Anti-Tank Missiles: M47 Dragon

Marine from Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, carrying M47 Dragon Anti-Armor missile system, MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, CA, 3 May 1997
Marine from Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, carrying M47 "Dragon" Anti-Armor missile system, MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, CA, 3 May 1997.

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M-47 Dragon Medium Antiarmor Weapon (MAW)

The M-47 Dragon Medium Antiarmor Weapon (MAW) is a shoulder-fired, medium-range, command wire-guided, anti-tank guided missile. To hit its target, the soldier must keep the weapon's sights on the target and direct the missile's flight.

At 33.9 pounds with the Day Tracker sight or 48.7 pounds with the thermal Night Tracker sight, Dragon is light enough to be carried and fired by a single infantryman, particularly desirable in airborne and airmobile operations. Because of its lethality, the DRAGON can destroy most armored vehicles and reinforced battlefield targets.

The DRAGON was first tactically deployed in January 1975 when the first U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR) unit was equipped. Dragon had a range of up to 3281 feet (1000 meters) and required 11.2 seconds flight-to-target time. Although the Army did not participate, the Marine Corps initiated an improvement program in 1985 that resulted in the Dragon II missile, a more powerful retrofit of warheads of the first generation missiles already in the Marine Corps inventory.

The Dragon Launcher has a length of 45.4 inches (115.32 cm) while the missile is 33.3 inches (84.58 centimeters) long. The manual is FM 3-23.24 dated 30 August 2002, titled "M47 DRAGON MEDIUM ANTITANK WEAPON SYSTEM".

Sighting a target with the M47 Dragon Medium Antiarmor Weapon (MAW)
Sighting a target with the M47 Dragon Medium Antiarmor Weapon (MAW).

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