Correction: A previously published version of this article misstated the testing date in a photo caption.
Editor’s note: This article was published as part of a content-sharing agreement between Army Times and The Fayettville Observer.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The 3rd Special Forces Group is testing a new mortar systems platform that could be used by special operation forces across the globe, according to a December news release.
“The current research and development project has lasted two years and will soon modernize firepower capabilities on the battlefield,” the release states.
The 3rd Special Forces Group is developing and testing the system through a partnership with Elbit Systems of America, which produces 120mm mortar weapon systems in Fort Worth, Texas.
Elbit announced a five-year $49 million contract with the Army in September.
Company officials announced at the time that the contract was awarded following the successful completion of a previous contract of this type that was awarded to the company in 2016.
The system tested by the Fort Bragg-based Special Forces soldiers is being called “Sling” and is in the final stages of development, according to the release.
The soldiers have tested the system “in applicable scenarios and environments,” the release said.
According to Elbit, Sling is an adaptable 120 mm mortar system that can be used on small 4x4 wheeled vehicles within 30 to 60 seconds.
The system can fire 16 rounds per minute with a range of about 4.3 miles, according to Elbit.
“The system will allow for more mobile and versatile capabilities on the battlefield for combatant commanders and other leaders to consider when planning both defensive and offensive operations,” the 3rd Special Forces Group release stated.