Infantry Drills

G-42: Close Combat Munition System Engagement Considerations

Previous: G-41: Engagement of Field Fortifications and Building with Shoulder-Launched Munitions

G-42. Urban engagement considerations for CCMS include engagement distance, thermal crossover, back blast, weapon penetration, and breaching structural walls. Details follow. TOW systems always should seek to engage at maximum range. If within 1000 meters of an enemy, the flight time of the TOW missile likely will be greater than the flight time of a main gun tank round:

  • Engagement distance. The Javelin missile has a minimum engagement distance (150 meters in the attack mode and 65 meters in the direct attack mode), which limits its use in built-up areas. The TOW 2B has a minimum range of 200 meters and a maximum range of 3750, which limits its use in built-up areas.
  • Crossover. Sometimes the Javelin seeker or TOW round will not be able to distinguish between the background and target because the two have the same temperature (crossover).
  • Time. When a gunner comes across a target of opportunity, he may not be able to take advantage of it. The cool down time of the Javelin’s NVS is 2.5 to 3.5 minutes. Javelin seeker cool down takes about 10 seconds. Once the BCU is activated, the gunner has a maximum of four minutes to engage the target before the battery coolant unit is depleted.
  • Back blast. The soft launch capability of the Javelin enables the gunner to fire from inside buildings because there is little overpressure or flying debris.
  • Weapon penetration. The dual-charge Javelin warhead penetrates typical urban targets. The direct attack mode is selected when engaging targets in a building. Enemy positions or bunkers in the open closer than 150 meters are engaged using the direct attack mode. Positions in the open farther than 150 meters are engaged using either the top or direct attack mode, depending on the situation.
  • Breaching structural walls. The Javelin and TOW (except the TOW BB) are not effective when breaching structural walls. ATGMs are not designed to breach structural walls. All CCMS are designed to produce a small hole, penetrate armor, and deliver the explosive charge. Breaching calls for the creation of a large hole. CCMS are better used against armored vehicles or the destruction of enemy-fortified fighting positions.

Next: G-43: Antiarmor Role

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad