Mortar Fired Cameras Give Soldiers an Eye in the Sky
Kyle Maxey posted on February 20, 2014 |

mortar, camera, drone, surveillance, war, combat, video

Mortars have been around since the middle 15th century. Since that time they’ve progressed quite a bit, evolving from cast iron vessels shooting stone shot to modern systems that can project high explosives, white phosphorous, illumination canisters and much more.

 While the history of the mortar’s use in combat has placed it primarily in the offensive category, weapons developers ST Kinetics is looking to rewrite the script with its new Soldier Parachute Aerial Reconnaissance Camera System (SPARCS) round.

Launched from a standard mortar canon SPARCS is unlike its more deadly counterparts in that instead of carrying explosives the round is armed with a surveillance camera. Once it reaches the top of its trajectory the mortar pops its top revealing a camera that can record and send images back to any allied unit. With a number of SPARCS rounds in the air a wide image can be stitched together from multiple cameras and sent to an individual soldier’s HUD display or to a heavy duty tablet being carried by a forward operating platoon.

Currently the US, UK and Canada have purchased SPARC rounds. Given the ease with which they can be fired and their relatively low cost the SPARCS mortar seems like it might be the perfect complement to drones and satellite surveillance.

SPARCS review begins at 3:13:

Image and Video Courtesy of ST Kinetics and Wikipedia

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