ABU DHABI — Ruag unveiled a Cobra at the IDEX show on Monday. No, it's not a snake that spits poison onto its victim. It's actually a new mortar system made by the Swiss company.

Representatives he company literally took the wraps of the weapon, which had stayed hidden by a curtain reaching which reached way above the stand​ since the start of the show.

The curtain came down to reveal a 120mm mortar which Ruag Defence CEO Markus Zoller said had already generated solid interest among potential customers in the Middle East region.

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First though Zoller said he expects to hear "imminently" whether Ruag has found a launch customer in the shape of the Swiss military that has been evaluating proposals in a competition to acquire a mechanized 120mm mortar system.

An earlier Ruag version of Cobra, known as Bighorn, was developed to meet an earlier Swiss Army requirement, which eventually evaporated and the program abandoned.

Cobra is a much improved and updated electronic version of a Bighorn system that relied on hydraulics to operate many of its systems.

The weapon is production ready and the Swiss company has already integrated the Cobra mortar on the Piranha 2 wheeled armored vehicle and work will be carried out to marry the system to the Piranha 3 if the Swiss competition goes Ruag's way.

The mortar is also being integrated on the M113 tracked platform and Ruag officials at the Cobra launch said pretty much any light-weight tracked or wheeled vehicle would be suitable.

The weapon features semi-automatic loading, fully electronic drives to aid shoot-and-scoot with reliability and accuracy over the weapons effective range of 9 kilometers, Ruag said in a statement released at the unveiling.

Ruag said the weapon will fire any standard 120mm ammunition, including new generation smart rounds.

Andrew Chuter is the United Kingdom correspondent for Defense News.

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