As reported by a correspondent for Censor.NET, Ukraine’s top prosecutor said that the Defense Ministry and state-run Ukroboronprom Concern in 2015 instructed Maiak Plant to develop and test a 120-mm mortar due to severe shortage of such weapons in the Armed Forces which additionally required more than 200 pieces of them. According to him, this mortar, which performance was based on the one of its Soviet prototype, was developed by July 2015.
Lutsenko clarified that the condition for the Armed Forces to adopt the mortar was its successful completion of the government tests. However, at this point the existing standards cannot be applied to determine whether the tests were successful or not, therefore the customer makes the decision on each case separately and independently.
According to him, as for the Molot mortar, compliance of its actual performance with the declared one was assessed based on 124 shots made with it. Eventually, the mortar was adopted by the Armed Forces following the corresponding tests. In its turn, Maiak Plant made commitment to perform maintenance and repair the mortars during five years after their delivery unless a failure was a consequence of violation of the rules of operation or storage of the weapons.
"According to the investigation, Maiak Plant performed no warranty service, much less repair," Lutsenko stressed.
At the same time, according to Lutsenko, in June 2016, Molot was tested under different procedure which revealed "several inconsistencies with the requirements," namely, a malfunction of the double loading prevention device. Nevertheless, no certificate of government tests completion was issued due to the lack of appropriate regulatory documents.
"We will definitely study the expert conclusion and also give an assessment of the possible flaws of the mortars," the prosecutor general said.
"The main thing I would like to ask the committee is to make a decision to request the Defense Ministry and Ukroboronprom to thoroughly check the existing Molot mortars and their maintenance by the manufacturer," Lutsenko said.
As reported, three Ukrainian fighters received injuries as Molot mortar exploded in a combat operation in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone in the Donbas on Sept. 23.
The JFO press service later issued an update on casualties of a recent incident involving Molot mortar, saying that two Ukrainian servicemen have been injured and there is no threat to their life. "Two mortar crewmen – not three, as was incorrectly reported by some media – received light tangential wounds. A shell exploded in the barrel of an M120-15 Molot mortar amid a combat operation on Sept. 23," it said.