Dragon

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Overview

Developed and manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, the M-47 Dragon is a medium surface-attack, wire-guided, man-portable, shoulder-fired ATGM that entered U.S. service in 1970. SACLOS (Semi-Automatic Command-to-Line of Sight) guided, the system consists of a containerized missile in a single use smoothbore fiberglass tube with an attached bi-pod, a separate electro-optical SU-36/P daysight, and a separate AN/TAS-5 passive thermal nightsight. The daysight features a fixed 6x magnification telescope with a 6° field of view, while the nightsight has a 3.4° by 6.8° FOV at a fixed 4x.

Compared to its contemporaries, the AT-3, AT-4, and MILAN, the Dragon has a very short 1000m max range, a similar 65m minimum range, a serviceable - if underwhelming - warhead, and, thanks to its disposable nature, no reload times. Unfortunately, the Dragon's unique method of steering/propulsion leads to inaccuracy, and combined with a moderately high 18.8kg weight, large launch signature, and the need for the operator to remain still throughout the launch-tracking-impact sequence, the system lacked popularity. Two upgrades to the Dragon family occurred in 1985 and 1990. The first, a product improvement program (PIP) initiated by the U.S.M.C., increased warhead penetration effectiveness by 85%. This version is known as the "Dragon II". The second so called "Super-Dragon" or "Dragon III" increased the system's maximum range to 1500m and added a tandem HEAT warhead to improve performance against first-generation reactive armors. All versions are currently available in Steel Beasts Professional (rev 4.000) and as modeled include the missile's distinctive “popping” sound and bouncing flight characteristics (rev 4.156).

Replaced in U.S. service by the Javelin missile system over a five-year period from 1996 to 2001, the Dragon was exported to a number of nations including: Denmark, Iran, Iraq (captured), Israel, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Yemen.

Employment

The observer position F8 displays a third-person view of the Dragon team.
Observer view of the Dragon team
Pressing N provides a magnified third-person view (and only if the Realism setting is Low or Medium (rev. 3.002)).
Magnified view from the Dragon team
F7 or F11 switches to the first-person view of the "Squad Leader"/gunner. Note that the thermal sight fills most of the "Squad Leader"/gunner's forward view.
Dragon team "Squad Leader's" view:
Pressing N will brings the Squad Leader's binoculars into action. This can not be used to engage targets.
Squad Leader's Bino view.
Pressing F2 accesses the weapon's day optics with a fixed 6x magnification and a 6° field of view. From here the mouse or joystick may be used to aim, and the space bar/default trigger to fire. As with other SACLOS guided weapons, all the gunner needs to do is keep the reticle centered on the target.
Dragon weapon sight, day.
Pressing (Num +) accesses the AN/TAS-5 passive thermal sight for day or night engagements, with a 4x fixed magnification and a 3.4° by 6.8° wide field of view provided. Note the sight picture is rendered in red and black, like that of the M2 Bradley, rather than the green and black common to other thermal imaging systems. NVG views are available from the F7 Squad Leader's view under appropriate lighting conditions if the team is so equipped (rev. 2.640). Note that NVGs are useful for observation only, and have no effect on weapon sights.
Dragon weapon sight, thermal.
Both daylight and thermal FOVs feature range estimation stadia lines - the two vertical lines (on each side of the 'big' vertical line) are 6 mil apart and may be used to determine if a target is beyond the missile's range. At maximum range (1,000 meters), a 6-meter long target (T-62 hull = 6.63m) completely fills the area between the stadia lines and exceeds the stadia lines at a closer range.

Targets that appear smaller than what is indicated to the right are beyond 1000m and should not be engaged.

Ranging with the SU-36/P, T-62 at 1000m