Main Conference Day 1

08:00 AM - 09:00 AM Registration and Welcome Coffee

09:00 AM - 09:10 AM Chairman's Opening Remarks

Christopher Foss, Independent, Consultant

Christopher Foss


09:10 AM - 09:50 AM Developing British Indirect Firepower after the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR)

Aaron West, SO2 Lethality, British Army HQ Capability Directorate
• 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
• What might be the mortar procurement priorities for militaries with increasingly restrained budgets? Will target acquisition or lethality be scarified for survivability?
• What opportunities exist for the mortar to be used as a direct fire capability as part of existing organic firepower support systems? Is this desirable for future operations?

Aaron West

SO2 Lethality
British Army HQ Capability Directorate

09:50 AM - 10:20 AM RUAG Cobra Mortar System

André Müller, Manager Artillery Systems, RUAG Defence
• Technical and tactical requirements of a modern mortar system
• Technical solution about the RUAG Cobra Mortar System

André Müller

Manager Artillery Systems
RUAG Defence

10:20 AM - 10:50 AM Morning Coffee

10:50 AM - 11:20 AM The Challenges Training Delivery Organisations Face In The Developing OME Landscape (Mortars)

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• The challenges for Munitions Training squadron in delivering technical content to Ammunition Technicians and Ammunition Technical Officers
• How will the future introduction of Insensitive Munitions and Precision Guided Mortars affect ammunition technical procedures
• What are the implications in the training arena with the development of new mortar systems

11:20 AM - 11:50 AM Safeguarding against Munitions Failue and Securing the Post-Conflict Battlespace

Martin Pope, TSO, Munitions Systems, Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC)
• Causes of munitions failure and the challenges for bomb disposal in contemporary conflict
• What kinds of solutions exist to protect against insensitive munitions failure?
• Aging mortar munitions in the contemporary battlespace
• Risk analysis requirements of a precision-guided mortar during its design phase
• What are safeguards are being developed to prevent against misfires and what are the potential performance safety requirements for precision-guided and digitized mortar systems?

Martin Pope

TSO, Munitions Systems
Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC)

11:50 AM - 12:20 PM Acoustic Multi Mission Sensors For Sound Ranging Of Rockets/Artillery And Mortars

Alex Koers, Director, Microflown Avisa David Cabo, Senior Scientist, Microflown Avisa
• Value proposition
• Acoustic Multi Mission Sensor
• Results of tests Fall 2016
• Incremental value of sensor nodes
• Ongoing developments

Alex Koers

Microflown Avisa

David Cabo

Senior Scientist
Microflown Avisa

12:20 PM - 1:20 PM Lunch and Networking

Mortar Upgrades, Integration and Initiatives in the Canadian Armed Forces for Future Operations

1:20 PM - 1:50 PM Mortar Upgrades in the Canadian Forces for Future Expeditionary Ops

Andrew Nicholson, Chief Instructor-in-Gunnery, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Schoo, Canadian Armed Forces
• Briefing on the Canadian Artillery’s support to the Canadian Army’s operational functions
• The balance between tube artillery and mortar systems supporting close support missions
• Existing and future mortar capabilities within the Royal Canadian Artillery
• Integrating mortars into future operations for Canadian Armed Forces
• Plans for the procurement of Light Weight Counter Mortar Radars (LCMR)

Andrew Nicholson

Chief Instructor-in-Gunnery, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Schoo
Canadian Armed Forces

1:50 PM - 2:20 PM ConFrag® - A New Generation Of He-Ammunition

Christian Müller, Head of Research & Development, Hirtenberger
In 2015 Hirtenberger introduced a technology to increase the performance of high explosive mortar grenades. This proprietary technology, called ConFrag®, provides a significant increase in lethality compared to a standard HE warhead. The presentation will briefly introduce the basic principles of ConFrag®, the comparison with state-of-the-art mortar bombs and a look at current and future applications.

• ConFrag ® in brief
• ConFrag®- Mortar Ammunition Compared to Standard Mortar Rounds
• General and Tactical Advantages of ConFrag® Mortar Rounds on the Battlefield
• Potential for ConFrag ® Technology Applications for Other Calibres

Christian Müller

Head of Research & Development

2:20 PM - 2:50 PM Airbourne Indirect Fire Support: Rapid Deployment Systems and Operational Procedures

Jacob Ahle, Battalion Assistant Operations Officer, Airborne, U.S. Army
• Briefing on the mortar systems and operating procedures used by U.S. Army Europe Airborne Unit
• How to ensure rapidly deployable, highly mobile indirect fire for airborne operations – what are the challenges and what solutions are out there?
• Interoperability and training with European military nations

Jacob Ahle

Battalion Assistant Operations Officer, Airborne
U.S. Army

2:50 PM - 3:20 PM Afternoon Tea and Networking

One of the main issues mortar teams are only too aware of is what can be done about reducing the workload of the Mortar Fire Controller (MFC). The problem is often institutional because in most armies no formal role of MFC even exists. The MFC is the one soldier who is completely wrapped-up in the fight. He has to be able to do a dozen things at the same time whilst running a mile being shot at. He is not artillery Forward Observation Officer who has a whole team to help him. He is one man of a pair but with similar responsibilities as the FOO.

This interactive session will explore the challenges that the MFC faces and look at practical approaches to reducing his or her workload.

Jacob Ahle

Battalion Assistant Operations Officer, Airborne
U.S. Army

Michael Wright

Mortars and Common Fire Control Systems Division
ARDEC, U.S. Army

Timothy McGuire

Deputy Commanding General
U.S. Army Europe

Patricia Alameda

CM, Mortars and Common Fire Control Systems Division

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Czech Mortar Platforms: Past and Future

Martin Šufajzl, General Staff, Czech Armed Forces
• Delivery requirements for indirect firepower in the Czech Army Mechanized Battalion
• What plans are there to develop small and medium-weight mortars in support of Czech operations?
• Experiences of joint indirect fire exercises in Europe and the future integration of mechanized battalions into the European theatre

Martin Šufajzl

General Staff
Czech Armed Forces

4:30 PM - 5:10 PM The Ukrainian Operational Experience and the Primacy of Mortar and Counter-Mortar Systems

Andrei Kalaban, Commander of Artillery Reconnaissance Group, Ukrainian Land Forces
• Briefing on ongoing operations in eastern Ukraine and the primacy of mortar fire
• Ukraine’s recent acquisition of 120mm self-propelled mortar systems and lightweight counter-mortar radar

Andrei Kalaban

Commander of Artillery Reconnaissance Group
Ukrainian Land Forces

5:10 PM - 5:20 PM Chairman's Closing Remarks and End of Day One

Christopher Foss, Independent, Consultant

Christopher Foss


5:20 PM - 11:59 PM Hirtenberger Drinks Reception