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Military

Chapter 6

Tracer Observation

This chapter describes how to evaluate tracer observation. The information provided focuses on correctly reading the observations and applications. It is important to know how to sense tracers. The observer cannot properly sense the tracers if he cannot read them correctly. He will have to read the tracer the moment it is passing the target. Tracer sensing will play an important part when adjusting the air defense reticle sighting systems to obtain the correct line and lead to hit a target.

TRACER OBSERVATION OF FAST-MOVING AIRCRAFT

 

6-1. Proper observation and sensing of tracers provides the gunner and observer with information on the trajectories of rounds fired in relation to the target. Corrections can be made in the direction of fire by observing and making proper tracer sensing. The three basic principles of tracer observation are superimposed tracer on the target, localized vision, and tracer path on incoming and outgoing targets.

SUPERIMPOSED TRACER ON THE TARGET

  6-2. Considerations in judging superimposed tracers on targets include apparent tracer path, path above or below, firing adjustment, and tracer silhouette and eclipse.

Apparent Tracer Path

 

6-3. The tracer path will appear to be curving. This is an optical illusion created by a target moving while an observer is moving his line of sight with the target. See Figure 6-1.

Figure 6-1. Optical Illusion.

Path Above or Below

 

6-4. If the tracer path is above or below the target, the observer cannot judge whether the tracer is at a greater or lesser range than the target.

Firing Adjustment

 

6-5. Always adjust rounds on line with the target first, and then adjust rounds to lead the target.

Tracer Silhouette and Eclipse

 

6-6. Figure 6-2 shows a "silhouette" and an "eclipse." To sense a silhouette or an eclipse, either the tracer or the target must appear in front of the other (superimposed). The round will disappear into the target if it is a hit. To judge for lead, the observer must see a silhouette or an eclipse.

6-7. Tracer Silhouette. In a tracer silhouette, the tracer appears to pass between the target and the gun when rounds are adjusted to be on line with the target.

6-8. Eclipse Silhouette. An eclipse silhouette occurs when the target passes between the tracer and the gun with line-adjusted shots.

Figure 6-2. Silhouette and Eclipse.

LOCALIZED VISION

 

6-9. Vision should be localized in the immediate vicinity of the target. See Figure 6-3.

Sight Vision

 

6-10. A large part of the tracer path can be viewed from the gun. Vision should be localized in the immediate vicinity of the target as mentioned above.

Figure 6-3. Localized Vision.

Tracer Path and Tracer Hump

 

6-11. Read all tracers from nose to tail on all target courses. In Figure 6-4A, the tracer path appears to enter the nose of the target first and then proceed toward the tail. Locations where maximum curvature appears are called the tracer humps.

Tracer Hump Field of Vision

 

6-12. Although the observer will see the curve and the tracer hump in his field of vision, he must ignore it completely to make accurate tracer sensing.

Tracer Sensing

 

6-13. Many observers make tracer sensing at the hump. When this is done, the observer will always read the tracer sensing as ahead of the target, but the true sensing is to the rear of the target. See Figure 6-4B.

TRACER PATH ON INCOMING AND OUTGOING TARGETS

 

6-14. On incoming and outgoing targets, the tracer will appear to pass the target twice. Many observers make a tracer sensing on the first tracer pass. This is wrong because the tracer is not in the immediate vicinity of the target- the tracer is somewhere short of the target. The observer must read the tracer when it passes the target the second time. See Figure 6-5.

Figure 6-4. Tracer Hump.

Figure 6-5. Tracer Passing Target Twice.

TRACER OBSERVATION OF SLOW-MOVING AIRCRAFT

 

6-15. Track slow-moving aircraft, and read and sense tracers in a manner similar to that for fast-moving aircraft. Slow movers are trickier to track than fast movers. Sometimes helicopters cross under cover or will pop up and disappear behind cover making it difficult to track. Consequently, the observer has to sense the tracer and apply corrections to the gun in the least amount of time.

LINE AND LEAD SENSING FOR CROSSING TARGETS

Sensing Low

 

6-16. In Figure 6-6A, the observer knows the tracer passed low of the target. He reads the sensing low.

Sensing Ahead

 

6-17. In Figure 6-6B, the tracer is on line and eclipses the target. The observer reads the sensing ahead. Too much lead has been applied.

Figure 6-6. Observer-Low and Eclipse, Ahead.

SENSING FOR INCOMING AND OUTGOING TARGETS

Tracer Right

 

6-18. Figure 6-7A shows the tracer sensing is read as right. Too much right lead has been applied.

 

 

Tracer Left

 

6-19. Figure 6-7B shows the tracer sensing is read as left. Too much left lead has been applied.

Figure 6-7. Observer-Right and Left.

Tracer Passes Target Twice

 

6-20. In Figure 6-8, the observer sees the tracer pass the target twice. He reads the tracer when it passes the target from nose to tail. He senses the tracer as ahead because the tracer eclipsed the target.

 

Figure 6-8. Observer-Eclipse, Silhouette.

TARGET FLYING DIRECTLY AT SIGHT

 

6-21. For a target coming directly at the gun as in Figure 6-9, the observer sees that the tracer passed the target twice. He reads the tracer from top to bottom. In other words, the tracer is read only after the tracer hump, regardless of the type of target and what direction it is flying. The tracer is sensed as ahead.

Figure 6-9. Observer-Ahead and High

POP-UP TARGET

 

6-22. Line information for pop-up targets is read as the tracer passes the target. In Figure 6-10, the observer sees the tracer pass to the left of the target. The sensing is left.

 

Figure 6-10. Observer-Sensing Left.

LINE AND LEAD SENSING FOR TARGET CROSSING UNDER COVER

Tracers in Rear

 

6-23. In Figure 6-11, the observer sees that the round burst is to the rear of the target. The tracer sensing is astern.

 

Figure 6-11. Observer-Burst Rear.

Tracers Ahead

 

6-24. In Figure 6-12, the observer sees the round burst ahead of the target. The sensing is ahead.

Figure 6-12. Observer-Burst Front.

Tracers Low

 

6-25. In Figure 6-13, the observer sees that the tracer passes low of the target. Sensing is low.

Figure 6-13. Observer-Tracer Low.

Tracers High

 

6-26. In Figure 6-14, the observer sees that the tracer passes high of the target. The sensing is high.

Figure 6-14. Observer-Tracer High.

SENSING TRACERS

 

6-27. It is important to know how to sense tracers. The tracers cannot be properly sensed if they cannot be correctly read. The tracer will have to be read the moment it is passing the target. Tracer sensing will play an important part when adjusting the air defense reticle sighting systems to obtain the correct line and lead to hit a target.

 



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