Defence Dept: Heavy Weapons Discharged in Night Operation

Department of Defence

Soldiers from the direct fire support weapons platoon (DFSW) of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment have conducted a full mission profile at night.

The 'shakeout' activity, at Townsville Field Training Area, involved live-firing the Javelin missile, MAG58 machine gun, 84mm Carl Gustaf and .50-calibre HMG weapon systems.

DFSW platoons suppress, neutralise or destroy enemy dismounts, vehicles or structures with anti-armour weapons and machine guns.

Lieutenant Emmett Evans said different tactics were used when conducting live-fire at night.

"In terms of communicating on the gun line by night, the platoon will use rehearsed hand signals for each phase, so that it is done silently," Lieutenant Evans said.

"When night-firing the 84mm Carl Gustaf, we require an illumination round to identify the targets.

"However, if engaging a near-peer target, the Javelin with thermal capable clue system would be preferred."

Lieutenant Evans said the guided anti-tank missile system of the Javelin could lock onto and destroy a target from a significant distance.

"The portable system allows small teams to insert into a target area and establish an engagement area by foot, while remaining in a degree of cover," Lieutenant Evans said.

"We can target enemy armour out to two kilometres and dismantle our position to withdraw before the dust has even settled from the initiation.

"Other in-service shoulder fired anti-armour systems cannot provide this type of capability from a distance.

"This weapon system provides less risk for our capability and soldiers."

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