After assuming a firing position, the gunner looks through the sight and acquires the target (Figure 2-7). The gunner must evaluate the target to determine whether or not it is within range and engageable. By moving the launcher, the gunner adjusts his sight picture, placing the target within the stadia lines (Chapter 6). a. Acquire and track the target.
b. To fire the weapon, push the safety plunger in with the thumb of the right hand, depress and hold the trigger, and maintain the sight picture until impact (Figure 2-8). When engaging a moving target, move the upper part of your body left or right to adjust for azimuth; move up and down to adjust for elevation. Jerking, bumping, or moving the sight while the missile is in flight may cause you to miss the target. To establish a smooth tracking rate, track the target for about two seconds before squeezing the trigger.
c. Ignore the missile when it appears in the sight picture. Do not try to fly the missile. Keep the cross hairs on the target—let the sight guide the missile.
2-6. MISSILE FLIGHT AND CONTROL
As the missile leaves the launch tube, the infrared flares begin to operate, and the command-link wire is dispensed from the missile. The missile fins fold out and lock into place. The safety and arming device sequence is completed after the missile has traveled about 65 meters (Figure 2-9).
SAFE and ARMING
SAFE and ARMING
Figure 2-9. Dragon functioning concept.
a. The sight's electronic controls compare the missile's position with the gunner's LOS. It sends electronic position information to the missile through the command-link wire.
b. Based on information received from the sight, the missile generates commands to correct its position. The missile may store the commands until it rolls to the proper position for its rocket motors to fire, or it may fire the rocket motors immediately to correct the missile's position relative to the gunner's LOS.
c. The missile's rocket motors fire to accelerate it or to correct its position. The gunner keeps the cross hairs on the selected aiming point until impact.
d. To fire a second round, the gunner releases the spring clip at the rear left side of the sight support assembly, slides the sight forward, and lifts it clear of the support. The gunner expends or destroys and discards the round IAW unit SOP. The gunner either prepares another round or he secures the sight and any extra rounds and prepares to displace on order.
A failure to fire occurs whenever the missile does not leave the launcher after the gunner depresses the trigger lever bar. When the missile fails to fire, the gunner immediately resqueezes the trigger lever bar and continues to track the target for 15 seconds. If after 15 seconds the missile has not fired, the gunner announces "Misfire," releases the trigger lever bar, and carefully feels near the sight battery. If the sight battery is hot, the gunner performs hangfire procedures; if it is cold, the gunner performs misfire procedures. Ideally, a two-man team operates the Dragon, and the assistant gunner secures the new round. In the normal tactical situation, a moving armored vehicle closes on the position and moves to within 1,000 meters. To preserve forces, leaders should have an emergency action SOP in place that covers what to do if a Dragon fails to fire.
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