Israel Develops ‘Groundbreaking’ Precision Mortar Designed to Reduce Collateral Damage

The Iron Sting in action. Screenshot taken from video provided by the Credit: Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) on Sunday announced a “groundbreaking” new technology that protects civilians—including those of its enemies. The “Iron Sting” mortar uses laser and GPS-guidance to hit targets more accurately with technology previously only available for larger munitions such as missiles, thereby reducing collateral damage and civilian casualties.

The MOD press release said the Iron Sting “is designed to engage targets precisely, in both open terrains and urban environments, while reducing the possibility of collateral damage and preventing injury to non-combatants. Its operational use will revolutionize ground warfare and equip battalions with organic, accurate and effective firepower.”

Israel’s enemies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, often use their own people as human shields by attacking or storing weapons in civilian areas. As a result, Israel has to make special efforts to avoid hitting innocent bystanders when striking back against terrorist targets.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was quoted in the press release as saying the new Iron Sting mortar “fulfills the IDF’s needs, adapting combat capabilities to contend with enemies hidden within civilian, urban environments, while meeting the legal and moral standards set by the State of Israel.”

The technological breakthrough follows 10 years of research and development, according to Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, the head of Research and Development in the Directorate of Defense R&D. He noted this weapon capability is “made for the modern battlefield.”

“This laser and GPS-guided mortar munition provides troops with a precise firing capability that has only been implemented in missiles and air munition thus far. This is a very complex program and a groundbreaking system on the international level.” Rotem was quoted in the press release as saying.

The Iron Sting mortar. Screenshot taken from video provided by the Credit: Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.

The Iron Sting recently completed final testing in southern Israel and was developed in conjunction with Elbit Systems. A video provided with the press release showed the mortar in action, hitting targets accurately and precisely.

General Manager of Elbit Systems Land Division Yehuda (Udi) Vered was quoted in the press release as saying: “The introduction of this laser and GPS-guided munition transforms the mortar system from a statistical fire power into a precision fire system, thus delivering a significant change in fire capabilities at the tactical level.

“We believe that we have been able to develop an efficient solution that enables to increase precision and reduce collateral damage”.

Israel, whose military technology research includes creating the Iron Dome missile defense system, has put together multiple developments aimed at reducing civilian casualties in conflict in recent years—and with the Iron Sting, even enemy civilians will benefit.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 14, 2021)

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