Wednesday 1st March

09:00       US Army Mortar Programmes
Lt Col Tony Gibbs, Product Manager, Guided Precision Munitions and Mortar Systems

The presentation will provide an overview of OPM CAS Portfolio of products and latest developments in the Mortar realm.

09:45       US Army Combat Development Perspective of 2020
Alexander Wright, Mortar Team Chief, Lethality Branch, US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence

10:30   Coffee

11:00       United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) and Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM)
Col Tim Parker, Commanding Officer, United States Marine Corps Detachment, Ft Sill 
United States Marine Corps Fire Support Structure
EFSS (120mm Mortar) Updates.

11:45   Development of German Army Mortars – Current Challenges & Future Tasks
Capt Felix Jüllig, Deputy Team Leader, Heavy Infantry Development Team, Army Concepts and Capabilities Development Centre, German Army
Current vehicles and ideas for future armoured 120mm mortar carrier
Future ideas for a 120mm mortar system
60mm mortar system to come, including SOF version
Mortar systems within mountain troops including transportation issues
Training systems & simulators

12:30       Lunch

14:00       Teaching and Research at the Defence Academy
Dr Hugh Goyder, Senior Lecturer, Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham
Cranfield University delivers the academic content at the Defence Academy and conducts research. The presentation will cover a range of research and teaching areas.
Teaching and research activates
Oscillations of mortar bombs
Noise sources during bomb launch
Mortars and drones
Increasing mortar range

14:45       81mm organizational challenges and developments within the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
1LT Niels Houtenbos, OC Mortars / Deputy Chief Joint Fires, Ronnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron, 1st Marine Combat Group, Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.

Organisation of the mortar platoons and observers within the Marine Combat Group (battalion) and the Fire Support Organisation.
Changes since the re-organisation in 2013.
Current challenges
Current & future developments

15:30       Tea/Coffee

16:00       Development of Italian Army Mortars
Lt Col Bernardino Pirina, Chief of Sniper & Fire Support Weapon Training Department, Infantry School, Italian Army
Organisation of Mortars in the Italian Army – Mortar Platoon Structure
Current Equipment – weapons, ammunition types, fire control system, target acquisition systems, mobility & logistics
Future equipment projects

16:30       The Future of 120mm Self Propelled Mortars in the French Artillery
Major Francis Denisart, Staff officer, Office of Specialised Studies, School of Artillery, French Army
Mortars in the Army,
French Arty 2020,
120 mm Mortar RT F1

17:00       Conference Ends

Mortar systems

All conference sessions are subject to change


Tuesday 28th February 

09:00       Chairmans introduction & welcome

09:10       Combat development of UK Mortars
Major Aaron West, SO2 Lethality, Dismounted Cl, HQ Army Capability Directorate, UK MoD

• The future role of mortars and indirect fire support for British Infantry and Artillery units post-SDSR
• Outlining the requirements for the two new Strike Brigades and mechanised infantry battalions 

09:50       Training the UK Mortarman
Major Mark Dobson, Chief Instructor, Mortar Division, British Army
Current organisation and courses
Training Challenges
Live/Sim balance: the role of simulation in training

10:30       Coffee

11:00       Industry

11:45       The return of War Fighting
Major Michael Johnsson, Head of Gun & Mortar Branch, Fire Support Division, Danish Army Combat & Fire Support Centre.
presentation will focus on the challenges that Danish mortar equipment and doctrine is facing, based on the shift in focus from COIN operations to war fighting. The situation in Ukraine has identified some challenges that need to be dealt with in order to counter a well equipped adversary. The presentation will focus on fire support systems on Coy and Btn level.

12:30       Lunch

14:00       The Advanced Mortar System in the Finnish Army
Lt Col Mika Tauru, Deputy Commander of Artillery, Finnish Army 

Description of the AMOS-FIN system
An overview of current unit organisation
Description of tactics and techniques for operating the system – integration into artillery orbat
Operational use of the system

14:45       Norwegian Army CV90 Self Propelled Mortar Programme
Major Per Arne Bjorklid, Project Officer, Cavalry Weapon Systems, Norwegian Army 
Overview of CV90 family - variants
Description of the CV90 SP Mortar system – weapon, ammunition, vehicle, fire control, target acquisition, logistics, training.
Description of tactics and techniques for operating the system – how it complements and integrates into the Artillery/fires orbat
Experience to date including first firing

15:30       Tea/Coffee

16:00      Addressing the challenge of noise induced hearing loss associated to the 81mm mortar
Lt Col (Retd) Rob O’Connor, Project Lead, NITEWORKS
The Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Current mitigation strategies
Options to address peak noise exposure
Options to address average noise exposure Improving Mortar Performance via Ballistics 

16:30       Panel Discussion – Training Challenges for Combat Readiness
In past years the Mortar Platoon was trained by a combination of dry drills on the weapons and live firing. The latter part was achieved by turning over an annual percentage of the ammunition war stock. This model no longer applies. Most nations do not store a 30 day war stock of ammunition so live firing is less generously supported. Future precision guided munitions will be purchased in small quantities compared to conventional rounds so live firing opportunities will be even further reduced. Technology has moved on and presents the possibility to augment live firing with simulation.
The panel discussion will discuss how far this can go. Topics for discussion will include:
Minimum acceptable level of live firing for mortar platoon proficiency
Stove piped training for Forward Observers, Mortar Crews versus integrated platoon training
Full simulation or emulation
Distributed Mission Oriented Joint Fires Training 

17:30 - Conference Adjourns - Networking Drinks

The Mortar Systems Conference is the leading unclassified forum for Mortars in Europe. The conference brings together all the leading Mortar user and manufacturing organisations around the world. The conference will develop the themes discussed in the last 14 years with a series of presentations covering the whole subject area from a military practitioner and an industry technological point of view. Like previous conferences the speakers will be a range of international military and industry subject matter experts.

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6 & 7 March 2018, Bristol