Heavy Weapons


Every weapon has a fixed or attached device for aiming. Operators must be familiar with the various aiming devices, how they operate, and how to employ them correctly for the best effect. This section provides the principles of operation of the most widely available aiming devices, and provides general information concerning their capabilities, function and use.

An aiming device is used to align the Operator, the weapon, and the target to make an accurate and precise shot. Each aiming device functions in a different manner. To employ the weapon system to its fullest capability, the Soldier must understand how their aiming devices function.


      • Iron. Iron represents the various types of mechanical sighting systems available on the weapon. The mechanical sighting system for most weapons consists of the rear aperture and front sight post.

      • Optics. The optics aiming devices are predominantly for day firing, with limited night capability. This section covers the optics associated with weapons.

      • Thermal. Thermals are electronic sighting systems that provide a view of the field of view (FOV)based on temperature variations. The numerous variants of thermal optics are grouped into one type.

      • Pointer, illuminator, laser. These aiming devices use either a laser beam, flood light, or other light to aim the weapon at the target. There are three types of pointers, illuminators, and lasers.


Two major units of angular measurement the Army uses: milliradians (mils) and minutes of angle (MOA). Mils and MOAs describe a measurement of accuracy when firing a weapon, system, or munition. Mils and MOAs typically include the accuracy of a specific weapon, the performance of ammunition, and the ability of the fire as it relates to firing the weapon.


MOA is an angular unit of measurement equal to 1/60th of a degree (see figure below). The most common use of MOA is when describing the distance of change required when zeroing a weapon. One MOA equals 1.047 inches per 100 yards. For most applications, a Soldier can round this to 1 inch at 100 yards or 1.1 inches at 100 meters to simplify their arithmetic.


The mil is a common unit of angular measurement that is used in direct fire and indirect fire applications.

A Mil is "the angle obtained by dividing one round of the circle by 6400". Usually, we use the 360-degree angle of 360

Use. However, the military measures the heading in a more accurate way to increase the accuracy of the fire and the accuracy of the location. Similarly for indirect fire from field and mortars,

Use this mill angle to aim for accurate shooting.


Horizontal weapons orientation covers the frontal arc of the Operator, spanning the area from the left shoulder, across the Soldier’s front, to the area across the right shoulder

ACE3 Key binds for Scopes

  • Page Up Scope: Elevation up

  • Page Down Scope: Elevation down

  • Ctrl+Page Up Scope: Windage left

  • Ctrl+Page Down Scope: Windage right



Line of sight (LOS) is an imaginary line drawn from the firer’s eyes through the sights to the point of aim.


A burst of fire is a number of successive rounds fired with the same elevation and point of aim when the trigger is held to the rear. The number of rounds in a burst varies depending on the type of fire employed.


Trajectory is the curved path of the projectile in its flight from the muzzle of the weapon to its impact. The major factors influencing trajectory are the velocity of the round, gravity, rotation of the round, and air resistance. As the range to the target increases, so does the curve of trajectory.


Maximum ordinate is the highest point above the LOS the trajectory reaches between the muzzle of the weapon and base of target. It always occurs at a point about two-thirds of the distance from weapon to target and increases with range. Like trajectory, maximum ordinate increases as the range increases.


The cone of fire is the pattern formed by the different trajectories in each burst as they travel downrange. Vibration of the weapon and variations in ammunition and atmospheric conditions all contribute to the trajectories making up the cone of fire.


The beaten zone is the elliptical pattern formed when the rounds within the cone of fire strike the ground or target. The size and shape of the beaten zone changes as a function of the range to the target and to the slope of the target, but is normally oval or cigar shaped. The density of the rounds decreases toward the edges. Gunners and automatic riflemen should engage targets to take maximum advantage of the beaten zone. The simplest way of engaging targets to take maximum advantage of the beaten zone is to aim at the center base of the target. Most rounds will not fall over the target, and falling short creates ricochets into the target. (See figure C-2)

Effective Beaten Zone

Due to dispersion, only part of the beaten zone in which 85 percent of the rounds fall is considered the effective beaten zone.

Effect of Range on the Beaten Zone

As the range to the target increases, the beaten zone becomes shorter and wider. Conversely, as the range to the target decreases, the beaten zone becomes longer and narrower.

Effect of Slope on the Beaten Zone

The length of the beaten zone for given ranges varies according to the slope of the ground. On rising ground, the beaten zone becomes shorter but remains the same width. On ground sloping away from the gun, the beaten zone becomes longer but remains the same width.


The danger space is the space between the muzzle of the weapon and the target where the trajectory does not rise above 1.8 meters (the average height of a standing Soldier) including the beaten zone. Gunners should consider the danger space of weapons when planning overhead fires.


Grazing Fires

Automatic weapons achieve grazing fire when the center of the cone of fire does not rise more than one meter above the ground. Soldiers employ grazing fire in the final protective line in the defense. Grazing fire is possible only when the terrain is level or sloping uniformly. Dead space encountered along the final protective line must be covered by indirect fire, such as from an M203/M320.

Plunging Fires

Plunging fire occurs when there is little or no danger space from the muzzle of the weapon to the beaten zone. Plunging fires happen when Soldiers fire weapons at long range, when they fire from high ground to low ground, when they fire into abruptly rising ground, or when they fire across


Enfilade Fire

Enfilade fire occurs when the long axis of the beaten zone coincides or nearly coincides with the long axis of the target. It can be frontal fire on an enemy column formation or flanking fire on an enemy line formation. This is the most desirable class of fire with respect to the target because it makes maximum use of the beaten zone. Leaders and gunners always should strive to position the guns to the extent possible engaging enemy targets with enfilade fire.

Frontal Fire

Frontal fire occurs when the long axis of the beaten zone is at a right angle to the front of the target. This type of fire is highly desirable when engaging a column formation. It then becomes enfilade fire as the beaten zone coincides with the long axis of the target. Frontal fire is not as desirable when engaging a line formation because the majority of the beaten zone normally falls below or after the enemy target.

Flanking Fire

Flanking fire is delivered directly against the flank of the target. Flanking fire is highly desirable when engaging an enemy line formation. It then becomes enfilade fire as the beaten zone will coincide with the long axis of the target. Flanking fire against an enemy column formation is least desirable because the majority of the beaten zone normally falls before or after the enemy target.

Oblique Fire

Gunners and automatic riflemen achieve oblique fire when the long axis of the beaten zone is at an angle other than a right angle to the front of the target.


Fixed Fire

Gunners deliver fixed fire against a stationary point target when the depth and width of the beaten zone covers the target with little or no manipulation needed. After the initial burst, the gunners follow changes or movement of the target without command.

Traversing Fire

Traversing disperses fires in width by successive changes in direction, but not elevation. Gunners deliver traversing fire against a wide target with minimal depth. When engaging a wide target requiring traversing fire, the gunner selects successive aiming points throughout the target area. These aiming points should be close enough together to ensure adequate target coverage. However, the aiming points do not need to be so close wasting ammunition by concentrating a heavy volume of fire in a small area.

Searching Fire

Searching distributes fires in-depth by successive changes in elevation. Gunners employ searching fire against a deep target or a target having depth and minimal width, requiring changes in only the elevation of the gun. The amount of elevation change depends upon the range and slope of the ground.

Traversing and Searching Fire

The traversing and searching class of fire is a combination of successive changes in direction and elevation resulting in the distribution of fires both in width and depth. Gunners employ traversing and searching fire against a target whose long axis is oblique to the direction of fire.

Swinging Traverse

Gunners employ swinging traverse fire against targets requiring major changes in direction but little or no change in elevation. Targets may be dense, wide, in close formations moving slowly toward or away from the gun, or vehicles or mounted troops moving across the front. If tripod mounted, the traversing slide lock lever is loosened enough to permit the gunner to swing the gun laterally. When firing swinging traverse, the weapon normally is fired at the cyclic rate of fire. Swinging traverse consumes an enormous amount of ammunition and does not have a beaten zone because each round seeks its own area of impact.

Free Gun

Gunners deliver free gun fire against moving targets rapidly engaging with fast changes in both direction and elevation. Examples are aerial targets, vehicles, mounted troops, or Infantry in relatively close formations moving rapidly toward or away from the gun position. When firing free gun, the weapon normally is fired at the cyclic rate of fire. Free gun fire consumes an enormous amount of ammunition and does not have a beaten zone because each round seeks its own area of impact.



An Operator who can accurately estimate the range to the target has a better chance of hitting it, regardless of the weapon used. Common methods of estimating range are listed below from the most to the least accurate. The tactical situation determines the method to be used:

      • Using range finders.

      • Measuring the distance on a map after correctly plotting your own position.

      • Pacing. Remember your individual pace count.

      • Using pair and sequence methods of target engagement. This method should be used only when in contact with the enemy.

      • Estimating range visually. This is the least accurate method of estimating range and therefore the least desirable.


Estimate how far the vehicle travels in 1 second:

      • Start when the front end of the vehicle passes the object.

      • Count, “One thousand and one” (takes about one second).

      • If more than half of the vehicle passes the object, estimate it as a fast-moving vehicle (10 mph or faster). If less than half of the vehicle passes the object, estimate it as a slow-moving vehicle (less than 10 mph).


Armored vehicles usually have their heaviest armor in front, because they are designed

mainly for offensive operations against other armored vehicles. All vehicles are vulnerable to repeated hits on their flanks and rear, though the flank offers the largest possible target. Firers should always aim for the center of mass to increase the probability of a hit. The older the vehicle model, the less protection it has against anti-armor weapons. Consequently, newer versions may use bolt-on (applique) armor to improve their survivability.


Some vehicles are equipped with reactive armor, which consists of metal plates and plastic explosives. Reactive armor usually covers the forward-facing portions and sides of the vehicle and can defeat shaped-charge weapons such as the LAW and AT4. When reactive armor detonates, it disperses metal fragments to 200 meters. The M72-series LAW and the M136 AT4 cause only a small entry hole in an armored vehicle target, though some fragmentation or spall may occur.

Essentially all anti-tank munitions work by piercing the armor and killing the crew inside, disabling vital mechanical systems, or both. Reactive armor can be defeated with multiple hits in the same place, as by tandem-charge weapons, which fire two or more shaped charges in rapid succession. Without tandem charges, hitting the same spot twice is much more difficult.



The four engagement methods include single, sequence, pair, and volley firing.

Single Firing.

A single soldier with one light anti armor weapon may engage an armored vehicle, but this is not the preferred method of engagement. Several light anti armor weapons are required to kill an armored vehicle. A single firer firing one round must hit a vital part of the target to damage it at all

Sequence Firing.

A single firer, equipped with two or more light anti armor weapons prepared for firing, engages the target. After engaging with the first round and observing the impact, the firer adjusts his point of aim, engages with another round, and so on until he destroys the target or runs out of rounds

Pair Firing.

Two or more firers, equipped with two or more light anti armor weapons prepared for firing, engage a single target. Before firing, the first firer informs the others of the estimated speed and distance to the target. If the impact of his round proves his estimate to be correct, the other firers engage the target until it is destroyed. If the impact of the round proves his estimate to be incorrect, the second firer informs the others of his own estimate, then he engages the target. This continues until the target is destroyed or all rounds are expended

Volley Firing.

Two or more firers can engage a single target when the range is known. These firers engage the target at the same time on a prearranged signal such as a command, whistle, booby trap, mine, or TRP. For the best method of engagement, use the light anti armor weapon, because it places the most possible rounds on one target at one time, increasing the possibility of a kill


Light anti-armor weapons have little effect against field fortifications and buildings. Soldiers should not expect to severely damage targets with these weapons.


Non Armored vehicles, such as trucks, cars, and boats, are considered soft targets. Firing along their length offers the greatest chance of a kill, because this type of shot is most likely to hit their engine block or fuel tank.


Firing from an enclosure creates unique hazards. As such, before positioning soldiers in enclosures (in combat only), Only in combat, when no other tactical option exists, If it must be employed this way, the enclosure must meet the following minimum requirements.

      • Construction. The building must be sturdily constructed to reduce the structural damage that would occur in a weakly constructed enclosure such as one made of wood or stucco.

      • Size of Enclosure.

      • Backblast

      • Muzzle Clearance.

      • Weapon Clearance.

      • Personnel Positions. If any other soldiers must be present, then they must remain forward of the rear of the launcher and avoid standing in corners or near walls. If possible, they should construct reinforced positions that fit the previous criteria and that can protect them in case the building collapses.

ACE 3 Lock On Systems

Fire mode switching

The Titan / Javelin have the ability to be used in top down attack or direct.

Lock On Checklist

Ensure you have completed the following tasks to ensure a lock on:

  1. Switch to your weapon's optics

  2. Zoom in all the way

  3. Switch to thermal mode

  4. Centre the target in your view

  5. Press Tab (beeping will indicate success)

  6. Wait for beeping to change tone (indicates lock)

  7. Fire Weapon

Locking with the Titan / Javelin

    1. For this feature you need to have a compatible launcher.

    2. Fully zoom in with the launcher.

    3. Switch to thermals [N](Arma 3 default key bind Night vision).

    4. While keeping your aim steady on target press and hold [Tab ↹](ACE3 default key bind Lock Target [Hold]).

    5. When the sound changes and a cross appears on the screen the target is locked and you’re able to fire.

Switching fire mode

    1. For this feature you need to have a compatible launcher.

    2. When aiming with your launcher press [Ctrl] + [Tab ↹]

    3. On the right side of the screen (for most launchers) you should see that TOPis now illuminated in green which means that your missile will be fired in top down mode.


If you are having trouble establishing a lock check the following:

  • Are in optics mode

  • Are you in thermals mode

  • Have you zoomed in all the way