The Portuguese used a variety of equipment, both foreign and local made, during the Portuguese Colonial War and n the mid-1960s the Portuguese acquired a batch of Panhard AML-60 Armoured Cars for their reconnaissance squadrons. These vehicles have a mortar as the main armament, an unusual weapon for an armoured car, so I thought I’d do some research on them.
Portuguese Panhard AML-60
CCAC 2402 in Guinea-Bissau
There many flavours of AML-60 but Vehicles of the Portuguese Armed Forces makes it clear that the Portuguese had the HE60-7:
- Blindado Recon Panhard AML- HE60-7 4,8 ton. 6 cm 4X4 m/1965 63 Ficha do Exercito
Panhard began production of this armoured car in 1960 (Wikipedia: Panhard AML) for delivery to the French army in 1961 (Army Guide: AML). Given the model number (m/1965) the Portuguese must have acquired theirs in 1965 (Vehicles of the Portuguese Armed Forces).
This model is fitted with an H 60 turret armed with twin 7.62 mm machine guns on the left and a single 60 mm mortar on the right. The machine guns can be elevated from -15 to +60° and the mortar from -15 to +80°. The TDA Model HB 60 can be used in the direct role up to a range of 300 m or in the indirect role up to a range of 2,600 m. In the basic model, 53 mortar bombs and 3,800 rounds of 7.62 mm machine gun ammunition are carried; if additional radios are installed for the command role, ammunition is reduced to 32 mortar bombs and 3,200 rounds of machine gun ammunition. Types of mortar bomb include HE, canister, smoke and illuminating.
The turret is provided with a large two-piece hatch cover that opens to the front and rear of the vehicle, seven periscopes (Model L794B) and an M112/M113 periscope with a magnification of x 5 for aiming.
I’m not sure the HE60-7 had the long range (LR) mortar but the comments of Wikipedia: Brandt 60mm LR Gun-Mortar probably apply anyway:
The French-made Brandt 60 mm LR Gun-mortar is a very unusual mortar, which is capable of firing like a gun. It is a smoothbore weapon that uses the same fin-stabilized bombs as normal 60 mm infantry mortars. These bombs can be breech-loaded within the vehicle on which the mortar is mounted, or drop-loaded in the usual mortar fashion.
Max Speed: 55mph highway, 36mph off-road (Harpoon HQ: Panhard AFV Family)
Ammunition (Tank Net: AML 60 Queston):
- Mk 61 HE: Weight: 1,72 kg Range: 2.050 m
- Mk 72 HE: Weight: 1,73 kg Range: 2.600 m
- Smoke: 1,72 kg
- Illumination: 1,55 kg