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M816 81mm Infrared (IR) Illuminating Cartridge
M853A1 81mm Illuminating Cartridge

The M853A1 & M816 Cartridges are designed for use with the M252 81mm Mortar System for illuminating target areas to facilitate adjustment of fire. The projectile is loaded with an illuminant candle assembly and parachute assembly. The M853A1 and M816 are identical with the exception of the illuminant candle composition. The M853A1 contains a standard illuminant mix which provides approximately 525,000 candlepower of light whereas the M816 contains an infrared illuminant mix for use with standard night vision devices. It is designed to provide infrared illumination which can not be detected by the human eye in the target area.

The M853A1/816 is equipped with the M772 Mechanical Time Fuze which functions at a user-specified time after launch. When the fuze functions it initiates the candle assembly and separates the front and rear projectile segments. As the parachute deploys, the candle burns for 50-60 seconds, providing the required illumination over the target area.

The M853A1/816 consists of the following major components:

  • Projectile Body Assembly
  • M219 Propelling Charge
  • M752A1 Ignition Cartridge
  • M29 Fin Assembly
  • M772 Mechanical Time Super Quick Fuze
  • Illuminant Candle Assembly
  • Parachute Assembly
Charge Zone
1152 m/s300 m1450 m
2211 m/s550 m2900 m
3260 m/s700 m4100 m
4304 m/s850 m5000 m

Maximum Rate of Fire.........30 rounds/min (2 minutes)
Sustained Rate of Fire..........15 rounds/min
Height of Burst..........475 m
Burn Time..........50 sec
Cartridge Weight..........4.04 kg (8.9 lb)

M853A1 Type Classified Standard..........December 1986
M816 Type Classified Standard..........July 1994

Contractor: Thiokol
Procurement Type: Production (Marine Corp)
Previous Contracts: 2
Contract Type: Firm Fixed Price
Production Qty: 8000
Scope: Initial Production Contract

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:52:16 ZULU