United States Marine Corps Weapons & Equipment
Dragon Weapon System
Primary function: Anti-armor weapon system
ManBuilder: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace and Missile Systems and Raytheon
Launcher: 45.4 inches (115.32 cm)
Missile: 33.3 inches (84.58 centimeters)
Ready to Fire: 33.9 lbs (Day Tracker)
48.7 lbs (Night Tracker)
Day Tracker (Sights): 6.75 lbs
Thermal Night Tracker (w/1 bottle and battery): 21.65 lbs
Maximum effective range: 3281 feet (1000 meters)
Time of flight: 11.2 seconds
Armor penetration: Will defeat T-55, T-62, or T-72 w/o added armor
Unit Replacement Cost:
Night Tracker System: $51,000
Day Tracker System: $13,000
Mission: Primary: To engage and destroy armor and light armored vehicles. Secondary: defeat hard targets such as bunkers and field fortifications.
Features: The warhead power of Dragon makes it possible for a single Marine to defeat armored vehicles, fortified bunkers, concrete gun emplacements, or other hard targets. The launcher consists of a smoothbore fiberglass tube, breech/gas generator, tracker and support, bipod, battery, sling, and forward and aft shock absorbers. Non-integral day and night sights are required to utilize the Dragon.
The complete system consists of the launcher, the tracker and the missile, which is installed in the launcher during final assembly and received by the Marine Corps in a ready to fire condition. The launch tube serves as the storage and carrying case for the missile. The night tracker operates in the thermal energy range.
Day tracker: 1055
Night tracker: 923
Background: The first-generation Dragon, a 1000-meter system requiring 11.2 seconds flight-to-target time, was developed for the US Army and fielded in 1970. A product improvement program (PIP) was initiated by the Marine Corps in 1985 and managed by NSWC Dahlgren. The PIP, designated Dragon II, was designed to increase warhead penetration effectiveness by 85%. The Dragon II missile is actually a retrofit of warheads to the first generation missiles already in the Marine Corps inventory..
Information and Photos Courtesy of United States Marine Corps