Chapter Antiaircraft Gunnery


155. General a. Individual caliber .50 machineguns can provide unit« with a self-defense capability against hostile low-flying, low-performance aircraft. These guns are employed in the air defense (AD) role as part of the unit's local defense. The machine-guns are not components of an integrated and coordinated AD system. Normally, the following rules for engagement apply:

(1) Attack aircraft identified as hostile.

<2) Attack aircraft committing & hostile act.

b. Unless otherwise directed, hostile aircraft within range of the gun (approximately 800 meters maximum effective range) should be engaged. Surveillance, reconnaissance, and liaison aircraft; troop carriers; helicopters; and drones are typical targets.

156, Employment a. Employment of machineguns used for AD is

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guided by the following defense design factors:

(1) The mission of AD machinegun defense is to impose maximum attrition upon the attacking enemy.

[2) Machinegun defenses are designed to combat lowflying, low-performance aircraft

(S) Defense design should produce an equally balanced defense that is effective in all directions, unless a forced route of approach exists. Defense design should weight those routes of approach which are likely to be used,

<4) Machinegun* should be sited so that the maximum number of targets can be engaged, continuous fire can be delivered, and the moat likely routes of approach are covered.

b. Machlneguns used to defend march columns should be Interspersed in the convoy, with emphasis on the lead and rear elements (fig 167).

t. Target selection and engagement control depend upon visual men as. The sites selected for the guns must provide maximum observation and unobstructed sectors of firs. Units furnished caliber .50 machineguns in sufficient numbers should site them within mutual support distances of 90 to &60 meters. Each gun is assigned a primary and secondary sector of fire. Weapon crews main*

tain constant vigilance in their primary sectors of Are, regardless of the sector in which the guns are actually engaged. For detailed coverage of aircraft recognition and identification, see Fm 44-SiL

157. Allocation a. The Browning machinegun, caliber .00 HB, M2 1b provided to forward area units on a Table of Allowance basis. Issue is determined by tactical considerations» extent of air parity, and the type of unit (artillery, armor» engineer, infantry) concerned.

b. Applicable mounts for the machinegun Include :

(1) Antiaircraft mount, MBS

(2) Truck mount, M86

(8) Pedestal truck mount, MS1C.

(4) Pedestal track mount H24A2.

(5) Cupola mount (M28) modified.

c. The M6& mount is portable and can be employed either on the ground or bolted to a vehicle platform. Unless modified, the other mounts listed are suitable for vehicular use only. The M28 mount was designed for the personnel carrier, H114. In a modified version it Is appropriate for use on the personnel carrier Ml 18.


158. Definitions (Fig 168)

а. The line along the course which the target is flying is the courts ¿ins,

б. The point along the course of any target at which the target la nearest the gun position is the midpoint.

c. That part of the course in which the target Is flying toward midpoint is the opjwoaefcww Jep.

d. That part of the course in which the target is flying sway from midpoint is the reesding Isg.

«. The angle formed by the gun, present position of the target, and any future position Is the angle of approach. The angle of approach at mid* point is always 1,600 mils.

159. Target Course Names

Aircraft may fly any of the following types of courses (figure 169).

a. Level. In a level course, the target is flying at a constant altitude.

b. Diving. In a diving course, the target is flying with altitude decreasing.

c. Climbing. In a climbing course, the target la flying with altitude increasing.

d. Incoming. An Incoming course Is one in which the target will fly directly over the gun.

e. Outgoing. An outgoing course is one in which the target is flying away from the gun.

/. Crossing. A crossing course le any course not incoming or outgoing.

g. Direotly at the Gun. This type of course is one in which the target is flying toward the pintle center of the gun.


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