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How Many Weapons Can A Dragoon Carry?

April 30, 2019

The Dragoon in its 1980s heyday. It was envisioned as the best scout vehicle on four wheels with a punch stronger than most boring old APCs. Photo via Jane’s Light Tanks and Armored Cars, 1984.

For a vehicle designed in the 1970s, the versatility of the Dragoon in its second version is astounding. End users may deploy the Dragoon 2 ASV either as a fast reaction security vehicle or a weapons platform for convoy protection. With high hardness steel armor strong enough to resist assault rifles and machine guns, the Dragoon 2 is even more lethal when equipped with its own armament. The Spanish manufacturer Star Defense Logistics & Engineering (SDLE) offers a selection of armament choices for the vehicle.

The standard defensive feature of the Dragoon 2 is a basic ring mount for a general purpose machine gun. It’s also possible to swap the machine gun for an automatic grenade launcher like the Mk19 or the H&K GMG. Larger choices are available. (See above.) Whether as a recce vehicle or missions involving urban combat, a Dragoon 2 with an enclosed turret and a 20mm or 25mm cannon is as effective as current NATO IFVs.

The Dragoon 2 ASV in its present variant. Via SDLE.

A modular two-man turret with a coaxial machine gun and automatic grenade launcher can be mounted on the Dragoon 2. This makes it a bunker on four wheels, superior to pickup trucks and other unprotected transports it may face in a faraway theater. But the most potent weapon system on the Dragoon 2, given a modular oscillating mount married to a one-man control station inside the vehicle, is a combination of a 12.7mm or .50 caliber machine gun and a launcher for a top attack missile like the Javelin or the Spike-MR.

Having a remote controlled turret armed with a machine gun+missile combo is an optimal choice for Dragoon 2 formations that must fight alongside infantry. When in combat, the heavy machine gun lays down fire while the top attack missile locks on a target via a panoramic day/night sight and eliminates it. The US Army’s favorite Javelin, for example, is superb against buildings and fortifications. Having this type of powerful main armament on the Dragoon 2 has little effect on the vehicle’s spaciousness. Spare ammunition and missile canisters kept inside the hull leaves seating for a handful of passengers besides the crew.

The full complement of a Dragoon 2, by the way, is 11 people–eight dismounts and three crew members.

Of course, the largest possible armament for the Dragoon 2 is a 90mm gun with its own fire control system and laser rangefinder. If this seems impressive, when the original Dragoon 300 was being marketed to the US Army by the Arrowpointe Corporation in the 1980s, it was even pitched as a missile-armed tank destroyer with its own BGM TOW launcher and at least a dozen missiles inside its hull. Today, SDLE offer a particular variant of the Dragoon 2 mounting an 82mm or 120mm mortar that gives commanders a decisive advantage with mobile artillery.

Now that the Dragoon 2’s production is controlled by SDLE, the manufacturer offers a variety of options for modifying the vehicle to meet the customer’s needs. Even an unarmed Dragoon 2, equipped with a long-range FLIR camera on a retractable mast, proves an excellent cross-country recon and surveillance vehicle. Upgrades to its armor and other protective countermeasures are included too.

So how many weapons can a Dragoon carry? A lot.

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