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CHAPTER 2

OPERATION AND FUNCTION

This chapter discusses normal operation and function procedures for the Dragon in the man-portable mode. (For a detailed discussion on the operation of Dragon support equipment, refer to TM 9-1425-484-10.)

2-1. INSPECTION

Before placing the Dragon into operation, the gunner visually inspects the Dragon for physical damage and checks its function. During offensive operations, the gunner inspects the Dragon before leaving the assembly area. During defensive operations, the gunner inspects the Dragon before and after preparing the position. (See TM 9-1425-484-10 for information about PMCS.) The gunner inspects the daysight, nightsight, and the round.

2-2. CARRYING TECHNIQUES

Gunners can use either the long-distance or short-distance carry with the Dragon.

a. Long-Distance Carry. The Dragon gunner normally carries the round and the sight separately. This carrying technique is most often used during long-distance moves such as foot marches or cross-country travel, or when contact is not likely. For long-distance travel, the gunner uses carrying technique 1, 2, or 3, as shown in Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1.  Dragon carry techniques.

Figure 2-1. Dragon carry techniques.

b. Short-Distance Carry. The gunner can carry the Dragon short distances with the sight mated to the round. When using this type of carry, the gunner must keep the forward protective shock absorber and lens covers in place until the weapon is likely to be used. The protective lens covers prevent possible damage to the sight lens and keep foreign objects out of the launcher. Carry technique 4 and 5, also shown in Figure 2-1, can be used with the round and the sight mated. The soldier should only use one of these carry techniques when firing is likely. Otherwise, he should avoid carrying the weapon system in a ready-to-fire configuration.

2-3. PREPARATION FOR FIRING

Improper or careless handling of the round can damage its components and cause the missile to malfunction when launched. If there is any reason to believe the missile has been damaged, the round must be returned to the responsible ammunition personnel for inspection and disposition. Before using the nightsight, the gunner must conduct a preoperational check IAW TM 9-1425-484-10.

a. Releasing the Bipod. Unsnap the bipod-retaining strap (A, Figure 2-2). Push the bipod forward until you feel resistance. Snap off the forward shock absorber. Ensure that the desiccant bag, attached to the forward shock absorber, is not lodged in the launch tube (B, Figure 2-2). While still holding the round, depress the bipod friction lock. Push the bipod legs downward to number 4 or 5, then release the friction lock (C, Figure 2-2).

Figure 2-2.  Releasing the bipod.

Figure 2-2. Releasing the bipod.

b. Selecting a Firing Position. Select the firing position that best meets the situation. For training, use the sitting position (discussed later in this chapter). In a combat situation, you can use any one of the three positions: sitting, kneeling, or standing supported.

CAUTION

1. Do not use the shock absorbers as handles to lift the sight. The shock absorbers might tear off.

2. Do not touch the lenses, as this can easily damage them.

c. Removing the Sight from the Carrying Bag or Rucksack. Open the carrying bag or rucksack. Grasp the sight by the trigger mechanism or telescoping barrel. Remove the sight and remove the cover from the electrical connector. Secure the cover to the hook-pile tape on the forward shock absorber.

d. Removing the Lens Cover. Secure the lens cover to the top of the forward shock absorber (Figure 2-3). Visually inspect the lenses for damage or obstruction. When using the nightsight, make sure the ACTUATOR switch is in the ON position.

Figure 2-3.  Cover secured to forward shock absorber.

Figure 2-3. Cover secured to forward shock absorber.

e. Mating the Sight to the Round. Place the sight guide pins in the slots of the sight bracket guide rails (Figure 2-4). This example uses the daysight, but you will use the same procedure for the nightsight. Use both hands and slide the sight firmly to the rear until the spring clip locks the guide pin in place (Figure 2-5). If the sight does not mate, notify your squad or section leader. Assume the firing position and put the round on your shoulder.

WARNING

Avoid pressing the safety and the trigger while mating the sight to the round.

Figure 2-4.  Aligning the daysight guide pins.

Figure 2-4. Aligning the daysight guide pins.

 

Figure 2-5.  Seating the daysight on the round.

Figure 2-5. Seating the daysight on the round.

f. Adjusting for Height and a Level Sight Picture. Look through the sight to see if the sight picture is level. An unlevel sight picture (more than 6 degrees off level) will cause the sight to send bad commands to the missile. The missile will fly erratically and the missile will hit the ground. To obtain a level sight picture, adjust the bipod friction lock and the foot adjustment lever (Figure 2-6).

Figure 2-6.  Leveling the sight picture.

Figure 2-6. Leveling the sight picture.

2-4. FIRING POSITIONS

The Dragon can be fired from any one of the three basic firing positions: sitting, standing supported, or kneeling. When the M175 mount is installed on the M3 or M122 machine gun tripods, the gunner can use a modified sitting or standing supported position. Chapter 5 discusses firing positions in detail.

2-5. TARGET ACQUISITION AND EVALUATION

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.

Figure 2-7.  Target acquisition.

Figure 2-7. Target acquisition.

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.

Figure 2-8.  Correct sight picture.

Figure 2-8. Correct sight picture.

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).

Figure 2-9.  Dragon functioning concept.

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.

2-7. FAILURE TO FIRE

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.

WARNING

A hangfire is a delayed firing. It is difficult to distinguish immediately from a misfire. The difference lies in when they occur and what causes them.

  • A misfire occurs when a gunner tries to fire a round from a cold weapon and the round jams for mechanical reasons.

  • A hangfire occurs when a round jams in a hot weapon.

a. Hangfire Procedures (Combat Only). In a typical tactical situation, a moving armored vehicle closes on the position and moves to within 1,000 meters.

(1) Remove the sight from the round and place it on the ground away from the firing site. Keep the round pointed toward the enemy; advise nearby soldiers of the round's failure to fire.

(2) Obtain a new round and mount the sight to it.

(3) Acquire the previous target and continue with the mission.

b. Hangfire Procedures (Training Only).

(1) The gunner notifies the range officer or NCOIC about the hangfire.

(2) The gunner removes the round from his shoulder and places the round flat on the ground. The gunner ensures the bipod legs are pointing to the side, with the round pointing downrange.

(3) The gunner moves away from the position.

(4) The range officer or NCOIC clears all personnel within 50 meters of the round and notifies the EOD.

c. Misfire Procedures.

(1) Loosen the sight from the round, then remate it to the round.

(2) Track the target and try to fire again.

(3) If the round again fails to fire, feel carefully near the sight battery once more.

(4) If the battery still feels cold, remove the sight from the round. Place the round on the ground away from the firing site. Keep the round pointed toward the enemy; advise soldiers near you of the misfire.

(5) Mount the sight on another round and continue with the mission.

(6) If the new round also fails to fire, carefully feel near the sight battery. If that battery is also cold, the sight is probably defective.

(7) If you can find another sight, replace the existing sight and continue with the mission, using previously unfired rounds.

2-8. RESTORATION TO CARRYING CONFIGURATION

The gunner uses a long-distance or short-distance carry to move a Dragon round that he has prepared for firing but that he no longer needs. To use the long-distance carry, the gunner performs Steps 1 and 2. To use the short-distance carry, the gunner performs only Step 2.

a. Step 1. Remove sight from round.

(1) Replace sight lens cover.

(2) Remove sight from round; and replace connector cover on sight and round.

(3) Return sight to carrying bag or rucksack.

b. Step 2. Restore round to carrying configuration.

(1) Replace connector cover.

(2) Replace forward shock absorber.

(a) Set round in an upright position with rear shock absorber resting on the ground.

(b) While lightly pushing down on bipod, press bipod brace toward round to lift it from locking slot.

(c) Once bipod brace is unlocked, push down on bipod until upper part of bipod that attaches to round is parallel with muzzle of launcher.

(d) Align cutout portion of forward shock absorber with bipod at launcher muzzle.

(e) Push down on shock absorber while lowering bipod against round. Ensure upper part of bipod engages shock absorber.

(f) Retract bipod legs and secure them to round with retainer strap.

(3) Lift up on forward shock absorber to ensure it is secure. Round is now in safe carrying configuration.

2-9. ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS

If the gunner can see the target, the Dragon can operate in all weather conditions. The Dragon and round stay the same temperature. For example, if the gunner removes a Dragon from a vehicle whose inside temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit, both the Dragon and the round will measure 45 degrees Fahrenheit, even if the outside temperature measures 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

a. Cold Weather. Before deployment, check all optical surfaces and all mechanical devices for proper operation. Ensure there is neither ice nor snow on the sight components. Never operate the Dragon in temperatures below minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

b. Hot Weather. To avoid subjecting the round and sight to prolonged, direct sunlight, provide as much shade or cover as possible. Never operate the Dragon in temperatures above 145 degrees Fahrenheit.



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