|This article, M78 Mortar, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The M78 Mortar is a UNSC crew-served light artillery/infantry fire support weapon.
The M78 is a 81mm long-range gravity fired smoothbore battlefield mortar used to provide heavy tactical fire support to UNSC troops. An indirect fire weapon, it is capable of launching a variety of munition across the battlefield. Unlike previous mortars, the M78 carries six rounds in a revolver-like drum at the base of the weapon. To reload the weapon, the drum is simply slid out and reloaded with mortar bombs.
The weapon is deployed like any conventional mortar, with a base plate and an adjustable bipod. It also constains an attached targetting suite with dataport link, allowing it to be connected via cable, wirelessly or via sat uplink to a plethora of battlefield systems, such as the cameras attached to forward soldiers, recon drones, recon vehicle's optical suites foward camera emplacements and military satillites. This, along with the day/night vision telescopic targetting sight with laser range finder mounted on the mortar allow it to pick out its targets and engage them accurately.
The weapon has a incredibly sturdy design, allowing it to fire all six rounds in six seconds without noticeably deviation in accuracy. The weapon is riddled with coolant tubes and the firing end is finned, allowing it cool faster. It also has a Blast Attenuation Device to protect the crew from the blast when firing.
The vehicle is served by a crew of five, with the squad leader, the gunner, the assistant gunner, the first ammunition bearer, and the second ammunition bearer.
- The squad leader stands directly behind the mortar where he can command and control his squad. He also leads the squad in emplacing and firing the mortar.
- The gunner stands to the left of the mortar where he uses whatever means to target the enemy and moves the mortar into the correct firing position via the digital controls on the bipod. He is equipped with a dataport linked holoslate for targetting the enemy positions.
- The assistant gunner stands to the right of the mortar and cleans the weapon after every fifteen shoots or after each fire mission. He is the one who actually fires the weapon by releasing the mortar into the firing tube from the revolver.
- The first ammunition bearer stands to the right rear of the mortar. He has the duty of preparing the ammunition (charge settings, fuzes, etc...) and loads them into the revolver and passes them to the second ammunition bearer.
- The second ammunition bearer stands to the right rear of the mortar behind the ammunition bearer. He maintains the ammunition for firing and provides local security for the mortar position.
It is a unusually large for a tactical mortar, standing just below the height of an average man, and its large size and weight mean that the usage of a weapons carrier to transport the weapon is highly recommended, although in emergencies it can be manhandled.
"This thing will lob everything from Willie Pete to Airburst, and the best part is it can lob that stuff so dang far."
"Carrying it isn't any fun, so you'd better hope your Warthog doesn't get taken out."