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800px-M224 mortar firing

A real-life M224 Mortar being fired.

The M224 Mortar is a squad-level indirect fired weapon that fires 60mm shells in a high angle arc. It is currently used by the United States Army and Marine Corps.

Battlefield 3

"The M224 60mm Mortar is capable of firing High Explosive and Smoke rounds to provide suppressing fire and visual cover from indirect fire positions."

— Battlelog description


Campaign

In the mission "Operation Guillotine", Blackburn must carry a mortar into position to prepare an illumination round. The team is able to illuminate their target area for the US Marine group Haymaker. Unlike its counterpart in multiplayer, the mortar cannot be fired by the user.

Multiplayer

The M224 Mortar in Battlefield 3 is assigned to the Support kit. It is unlocked at 40000 support score. It is a manually used weapon, and is totally different from the Mortar strike of the Bad Company series, and the SOFLAM of the Recon kit. It occupies the Gadget 2 slot with the other Support-kit explosives.

When deployed, the minimap expands and displays a targeting reticle. The mortar operator must either guess where the enemy is, or rely on spotting to place enemies on the mini-map. Additionally, one must compensate for the time it takes for the round to reach the target.

The M224 has a limited range and cannot be targeted within 50 meters of the user. Much like a bipod on most weapons, the mortar can only be aimed within a 180 degree arc. Although the mortar is fired at an angle, it will always descend at a 90 degree angle.

The user carries an unlimited supply of ammo. The player can fire 60mm HEDP and Smoke shells, and can switch between the two. The user can only launch one shell every six seconds, regardless of which type was last used. The shells inflict significant damage, but can only one-hit kill with direct impact. Enemies manning their own mortars will also die in one hit.

Mortar users are marked with a special spotting icon every time they fire their weapon, in addition to regular spotting. This means that the mortar user is very susceptible to getting killed by: vehicles and enemies bearing Guided Weaponry and Javelins, flanking enemies, enemy vehicles, and especially, other hostile mortars. Check the map for enemy mortars before setting up, and try not to stay in one place for too long. The biggest threat to a mortar user is an enemy mortar user.

One possible way to use the mortar is to eliminate a sniper encountered at long range by getting behind cover and returning fire from (relative) safety. If the sniper is just out of the mortar's range, a smoke shell can be used to temporarily obscure the view in front of the sniper to make a quick getaway, or to confound their aim. Additionally, defensive infantry strong points (or campers for a better word), can very likely be forced to disperse with a single mortar shell, as a second one is usually lethal. This can give the Mortar a great tactical value on Rush game modes for the attacking team, giving the ability to soften up choke points with ease. Enemy anti-tank mines in the open can also be cleared from a safe distance.

The mortar shells have an unusual flight path, erupting straight from the tube (about 70° vertical), then falling straight down on the target. Thus, they can attack enemies standing beside tall buildings. The shells also take longer to travel the further away the enemy.

If the minimap and/or minimap spotting are disabled, such as with Hardcore, the player must rely on other teammate's observations and estimate corrections. A single dot on the HUD is the player's only indication of trajectory—it does not indicate the target, but rather how the tube is aimed.

Controls

Fire
Load mortar tube (launch occurs a second later)
Gadget 1
Select 60mm HEDP shell
Gadget 2
Select 60mm Smoke shell
Cycle Weapon
Toggle ammo selection

Patches

1.04 (March 2012)

Before the 1.04 Patch, anyone using the M224 Mortar could simply use it from their home base, making it near-impossible to kill the user. The only reliable way to kill them was using another mortar, though it was risky if the enemy noticed them using it. After the 1.04 Patch, M224 Mortars can now only be used in areas where both teams are allowed to traverse, making it easier to kill the operator.

The patch also made the mortar less precise by zooming out the targeting minimap and increasing the delay between fired rounds, making the mortar less effective as a lethal weapon and giving it more of a support role.

Due to a bug, the Mortar could not be placed anywhere on Grand Bazaar after the patch.

1.05 (June 2012)

The bug that didn't allow the player to place the Mortar anywhere on Grand Bazaar was fixed, or so they thought, as the bug seems to be around still on certain servers.

1.06 (September 2012)

Prior to the patch, the two shell types had separate fire rates, so by alternating smoke and high-explosive rounds, the player could double the number of shells they put out, even though only half of them are explosive.

The same reload timer now applies to the HEDP and Smoke rounds. Players can still instantly switch between the two, but cannot fire either within six seconds of the previous shell.

The patch also prevents Canister Shells and regular HEAT shells from being fired quickly from tank cannons, a similar bug. The damage was reduced significantly as only a direct hit will kill. It can take up to four shells from splash damage alone.

Battlefield 4

The M224 Mortar is a weapon featured in Battlefield 4 for the Support class. Unlike in Battlefield where it was manned directly, it is now rigged for remote control. It can be placed in a location chosen by the player and replaces the minimap usable minimap with a remote aiming console to fire from.[1]

The Mortar still fires in a matter similar to it's Battlefield 3 counterpart. It still has unlimited ammo and will slowly be reload them but now fires in a five-round volley. It has been confirmed that it is possible to kill oneself when operating the mortar.


Trivia

  • If a player has a silenced weapon as their primary and uses the mortar, they won't appear on the minimap, making them almost invisible to the enemy.
  • It is possible to lock on to mortars with guided weaponry, such as Guided Missiles, Guided Shells and FGM-148 Javelin missiles.
  • If positioned too close to a structure or ceiling, the user can be hurt by the blast or killed by rubble.
  • There will be a small glitch where player does not do the reload animation, but the mortar can still be fired.
  • There is a bug where the mortar can be fired from inside a building and pass through any obstacles to land where it was aimed, as evidenced here.
  • It is possible to kill an enemy with the Smoke Rounds, though it takes more shots to do so than with HE Rounds.
  • If a player stands right in front of the mortar when it's firing HE Rounds, he will not be harmed. When it's firing Smoke Rounds, then it will instantly kill the player.
  • There is a graphical glitch where, every few shots, when the player goes to reload he will appear not to be holding anything, but they will still hear the firing sound and the effects on target will still be the same.
  • The mortar cannot be used on most parts of Operation Métro, for the obvious reason that most of the map takes place in a subway in Paris in the map's Rush and Conquest variant. It can, however, be used on the first and last bases of the map on Rush, and the Cafe (A) flag in Conquest.
  • The 60mm HE round will only inflict ~10% damage to armored vehicles such as tanks whereas the 60mm Smoke rounds will inflict ~20% damage.
  • It is not possible to perform a takedown or a roadkill on someone manning the M224 Mortar, as the game classifies M224 as a vehicle. The mortar user is killed if their tube is destroyed while manned, though only explosions are capable of destroying a mortar tube.

References

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