A ‘silent’ short-range mortar system, the 2B25 Spigot, has been spotted being used by Russian forces in Ukraine.
Unlike other mortars, the weapon is said to be only as loud as a suppressed 7.62x39mm round being fired from a Kalashnikov rifle. And, according to a promotional video, the 2B25 was designed to produce less sound and not create as much light once fired, therefore hiding its location.
The barrel traps the gas used to fire the propellant charge, which reduces its sound and reduces the flame given off by the propellant.
“It has that advantage of being fairly lightweight and very quiet, but the lack of range means that any team operating the mortar has to get relatively close to its target to engage it,” British small arms expert Matthew Moss said. “It has that advantage of being fairly lightweight and very quiet, but the lack of range means that any team operating the mortar has to get relatively close to its target to engage it.”
The weapon seems predominantly to be used by Russian forces, he said, noting that the Russian-designed weapon has been in service for about 10 years.
“It is not a very widespread, widely issued weapon, so it was a relative surprise to see them finally turn up in Ukraine in around December last year.”
He added that so far at least two Russian units have been spotted operating the mortar in Ukraine.
“Both of them would fall into what we, in the West, would probably describe as recce forces or special operations forces, and they are the sort of guys who are conducting scouting, raiding and reconnaissance missions,” he said.
“So, it’s not a weapon that’s being used for the saturation of a target. It seems almost as if it’s either a weapon to support a small raid, or perhaps a weapon for harassment, or perhaps a short-fire mission where a team can move in, perhaps through woodland which we’ve seen a lot of, especially around the edges of Bakhmut, find a target and then put 10 rounds down then move away quickly.
“The relatively light weight of the mortar means it can be man packed so it can be carried in the backpack and once that fire mission has been carried out they can pack up really quickly and move away,” he added.
There is no Western equivalent to the 2B25, and it is not known whether any have been captured by Ukrainian forces.
~British Armed Forces