A mortar is a long range indirect-fire projectile weapon used to deliver shells of explosives or chemical weapons.

A mortar can be used to launch photon grenades. Photon grenades mortars were part of the armory on Cestus III Colony. When a rescue landing party found the colony decimated, they were able to salvage a supply of mortar-launched photon grenades and used them to cover their escape from Cestus III in the face of an ongoing Gorn attack. In the year 2269, the crew of the USS Enterprise used photon grenade mortars against the Sackers. (TOS episode & Star Trek 2 novelization: Arena; TOS novel: The Three-Minute Universe)

Mortars were used by the German Nazi army in World War II during the siege of Stalingrad. The Russian Army used them as well in an attempt to break the siege. (TOS novel: Home is the Hunter)

The designs for the mortar were present in the databanks on the USS Verdun. In 2163, Commodore Lucian Murat had downloaded the designs and provided them to the Human forces on Torgu-Va, to utilize this weapon in their fight against the Tarn. Both Tarn and Human forces used mortars to deliver the chemical weapons. (TNG novel: The Forgotten War)

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