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"AML-60 Gun Characteristics" Topic

28 Posts

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Wartopia30 Nov 2011 1:22 p.m. PST

The AML-60 mounts a 60mm breechloading mortar.

Does anyone know what sort of ammo it carries? Smoke and HE only? Anything like HEAT?

Can it fire indirectly or is it more of a "infantry gun"?

Jemima Fawr30 Nov 2011 1:50 p.m. PST

Here's the Wiki page on the Brandt breech-loading 60mm gun-mortar:


It's a little bit of everything, really. It certainly can be used as a pukka indirect-fire weapon, but can also be used in a direct-fire role. Bear in mind however, that the rounds are basically just mortar rounds, so are very low-velocity rounds.

Note that the article states that there is a HEAT round available, though a former SADF officer (who was experienced with Eland-60 and Ratel-60) I once conversed with was adamant that they did not have such things.

GeoffQRF30 Nov 2011 2:12 p.m. PST

Discussion on this on Tanknet, which also seems inconclusive: link

Looks like there were a couple of versions of that gun. It's possible the SA variants were only ever fitted with the LP version, so never capable of firing the HEAT round.

Jemima Fawr30 Nov 2011 2:48 p.m. PST

It may also be that the SADF didn't see much point in issuing the round to vehicles that operated alongside larger numbers of 90mm vehicles particularly when 99% of their time was spent operating against light infantry/guerrillas rather than enemy armour?

I know that the Portuguese operated whole units of AML-60 (battalion close recce platoons of approx 10 AML-60 apiece). I can see the value of a HEAT round where the whole unit is using one weapon type.

GeoffQRF30 Nov 2011 2:58 p.m. PST

Details here also seems to imply only certain armament options were HEAT capable: link As you say, it's possible that their intended purpose meant any HEAT option was designated to the Ratel 90s.

Wartopia30 Nov 2011 3:07 p.m. PST

I ask about the HEAT rounds because one source indicated that some AML-60s which were used in combat in Africa didn't even have HE rounds, only smoke!

GeoffQRF30 Nov 2011 3:14 p.m. PST

Cetainly sounds like the South African AML-90s may have only had smoke and/or HE.

Wartopia30 Nov 2011 3:17 p.m. PST

I noticed the wiki entry called it a gun-mortar. Are there other gun-mortar style weapons? heavier versions?

GeoffQRF30 Nov 2011 3:19 p.m. PST

Well the Russian 2S9 is equipped with a 120mm gum-mortar, firing HE, smoke and WP.

Prof Pate30 Nov 2011 3:59 p.m. PST

Couple of comments

IIRC Eland 90s were involved in some anti-armour actions in Angola vs T34s

Book I have on Irish Armour lists the AML-60 CS and HB type in some detail, but irritatingly doesn't specify ammo. It does list HE, HEAT, Smoke and cannister for the ALM-90s

Oh BTW, the Irish converted most of the CS pattern into firstly 12.7mm mg (removing both the MAG MGs as well) then took turret off and replaced it with a new turret, similar to the AML-90 type with a 20mm cannon

Not strictly relevant but perhaps of interest.


Wartopia30 Nov 2011 4:28 p.m. PST

thanks Geoff and John!

Interesting that the 2S9 lacks a HEAT round according to wikipedia.

I guess for game purposes I'll ignore HEAT rounds for these weapons.

Jemima Fawr30 Nov 2011 7:20 p.m. PST

There seems to be some confusion here re 60 and 90. It's the 60 we're talking about, not the 90! :o)

The AML-90, Eland-90 and Ratel-90 all have the bloody great, long-barrelled, low-pressure 90mm Cockerill Gun, which most definitely has HEAT. Eland-90s and Ratel-90s were indeed engaged in some sharp anti-armour actions in Angola even fighting successful actions against T-55s!

Re the 2S9 Nona:

All the NATO recognition & Soviet tactial guides I've read reckon the 2S9 to have HEAT, but they were written during the Cold War, so was probably a worst-case guess.

Re gun-mortars:

My all-time fave has to be the 2B9 Vasilek 82mm gun-mortar, which is a portee weapon that was designed to be used by some Motor Rifle regiments in lieu of (or in addition to) conventional 82mm and 120mm mortars. It's not only breech-loading, it's also automatic! The ammo is loaded in clips and there is definitely a HEAT round for the thing.


The Chinese also produce a copy.

Jemima Fawr30 Nov 2011 8:23 p.m. PST

Hmmm, Military Today seems to think that the 2S9 has an armour-piercing round (presumably HEAT) that can penetrate 600-650mm of armour:


GeoffQRF01 Dec 2011 2:38 a.m. PST

Slightly off topic, but talking of the 2B9, have you seen this little combo?


By Picatinny, the Huumer Scorpion is fitted with the 82mm mortar on the back… I suppose I need to make one of those when I upgrade the Hummers.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine01 Dec 2011 5:48 a.m. PST

Right I'm totally ignorant on these things (my Idea of a Modern wargame is AK-47)so I have a question. What is the difference between a breach loading Mortar and say a howitizer?

I thought the whole point of Mortars was that you dropped the round down the barrel for quick firing surely adding a breach just slows the whole thing down.

GeoffQRF01 Dec 2011 6:03 a.m. PST

"In the taxonomies of artillery pieces used by European (and European-style) armies in the eighteenth, 19th, and 20th centuries, the howitzer stood between the "gun" (characterized by a longer barrel, larger propelling charges, smaller shells, higher velocities, and flatter trajectories) and the "mortar" (which was meant to fire at even higher angles of ascent and descent)."

Wartopia01 Dec 2011 6:36 a.m. PST


That's exactly why I'm researching this stuff! My boys and I are building/playing a set of modern rules conceptually similar to AK47. We enjoy odd ball armor and weapons. I'm especially fond of wheeled AFVs sporting interesting cannons.

GeoffQRF01 Dec 2011 7:00 a.m. PST

I think you main problem there is it terms of definition. Different armed forces may describe the weapons at guns, howitzers, gun-howitzers, mortars, gun-mortars, etc, depending on their own definitions of use.

Jemima Fawr01 Dec 2011 7:16 a.m. PST

I asked another ex-SADF acquaintance for his opinions on Ratel-60s (he was a FOO for G5 155mm guns in Angola). Yes, he commanded a Ratel-60, but no, the 60mm never worked, so he doesn't know anything about it,as he only ever used the MG and 155mm rounds from 40km away. :o)


One key aspect of these gun-mortars is that in most cases (though I've not seen the 2S9 120mm ammunition), the ammunition looks like mortar rounds rather than artillery shells. I.e. bulbous at the front, with tail-fins at the back.


The 2B9 Vasilek normally went on the back of a GAZ-66 portee truck, but was also sometimes seen on the back of a BTR-50 PK tracked APC.

Jemima Fawr01 Dec 2011 7:20 a.m. PST

The Chinese copy is called the W99 or Type 99:


GeoffQRF01 Dec 2011 7:26 a.m. PST

GAZ-66 portee truck


Or you can get the gun from us:


And mount it on anything you like :-D

Wartopia01 Dec 2011 7:32 a.m. PST


You hit the nail on the head.

Like AK47 we're keeping things abstract for that reason. Instead of "76-85mm Tank Gun" or "120mm Tank Gun" for a stat line we're using stuff like "Tank Gun I" or "Tank Gun IV". Sort of like PBI's "gun effect" and "armor effect" values but with more detail. So "Tank Gun II" can represent a superior lighter gun or inferior heavier gun…like AK47 as long as you pay the points you can use any model you want (obviously you want some semblance of the weapon you're representing).

Weapons are defined by:

Firepower (infantry kill probability)
AT (vehicle kill probability)
Damage (vehicles have Hit Points…)
Traits (special rules such as Lock On for ATGMs and indirect fire)

Cover and Armor modify the Firepower and AT values respectively.

Organizing the weapons data we have tank guns, low velocity cannon (eg on the BMP 1 and BMP 3), mortars, and now we may need to add gun mortars.

The rules are company level and "dystopian future" so we assume heavy stuff like arty and air are no longer part of the picture.

GeoffQRF01 Dec 2011 7:35 a.m. PST

I'd be tempted to just lump gun-mortars into a low power howitzer bracket

Wartopia01 Dec 2011 8:04 a.m. PST

Like a 75?

Only issue play sheet wise would be number of stat lines. I think howitzers and low velocity guns often have HEAT rounds while the gun mortars probably shouldn't be awarded that capability.

Wartopia01 Dec 2011 8:17 a.m. PST

Added a line to each mortar stat line (light/medium/heavy) for gun mount direct fire capabilities. :-)

Lights are 60s, mediums 80s, heavys 120s.

Jemima Fawr01 Dec 2011 8:53 a.m. PST

As mentioned above, the ammunition looks and behaves like mortar ammunition, so it's a bit more than simply a matter of differing terminology. You can even muzzle-load the Vasilek, should the auto-feed break down.

Re direct/AT fire; The 2S9 is listed as being able to engage targets directly at up to 1,000m and defeat 600-650mm of armour when it gets there. The Vasilek can apparently engage targets directly at 800m and defeat 300mm of armour (virtually the same as the SPG-9 recoilless rifle).

GeoffQRF01 Dec 2011 8:58 a.m. PST

Knowing teh Soviets, probably the same round :-)

Prof Pate03 Dec 2011 5:37 p.m. PST

Going back to the AML-60

The Irish Defence Force stopped using and demounted the 60CS because of a design defect found in (late) 1970s which the book claims made the weapon unsafe.

It is possible that 'Western' armies [e.g. SADF] stopped issuing ammo and indeed only used the 2 co-ax MG.

The HB variant could be breech or muzzle loaded, the latter requiring a crew member to climb out of turret to load.

AFAIK The typical organisation was 2 x 90 + 2 x 60.


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