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« The PCML (Person-Carried Missile Launcher) is a portable, short range, fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile system. The PCML is a soft-launch system, allowing it to be used from within an enclosed room.
Field Manual
The PCML 150 mm missile launcher.

The PCML (full name: Person-Carried Missile Launcher[1]) is a 150 mm anti-tank missile launcher used by several BLUFOR and INDFOR factions in ArmA 3.


The PCML is a portable short-range, fire-and-forget, guided missile launcher.

It can only load and fire 150 mm missiles that are fitted with high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) tandem charge warheads. The PCML is capable of locking onto targets at distances between 20-800 metres away.[CfgAm 1][CfgAm 2] The launcher comes with a magnified night vision-capable sight[CfgWp 5] that also integrates a laser rangefinder.[CfgWp 6] Its missiles can utilise either a direct-fire or overfly top-attack (OTA) flight profile.[CfgWp 7]

The PCML's HEAT missile uses a shaped charge warhead like most ATGMs, which means that it has some utility against slat cage-protected vehicles (to a certain degree). This is because the initial blast will usually destroy the cage while the penetrator punches through to strike the vehicle's main armour.

However, engagements against even moderately armoured vehicles such as tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles or Main Battle Tanks is a poor choice due to the low damage output of its warhead against said targets (especially in direct-fire mode).[CfgAm 3] As such, its effectiveness is mostly limited to lightly-armoured ground vehicles like Armoured Personnel Carriers and MRAPs.

Unlike the heavier Titan, the PCML locks onto targets using a visual sensor as opposed to infrared, and is able to acquire any kind of target regardless of whether it has a 'cold' or 'hot' thermal signature. Additionally, up to two spare missiles can be comfortably carried in any of the smaller backpacks without having to rely on another person to haul them.


Individual PCML units are not particularly powerful, and need to be employed en masse to neutralise heavier tanks like T-140s.

However it should be noted that unlike the Titan family of ATGMs, the PCML cannot make use of SACLOS guidance. This means that missiles fired without a lock-on will not follow the user's crosshairs. Also, in stark contrast to the Titan, the PCML's visual sensor can be affected by poor weather and lighting conditions, which causes a reduction in the sensor's lock-on range. In the case of heavy fog, the PCML may not be able to lock onto distant targets at all.[CfgAm 4][CfgAm 5]

Likewise, the missile itself only retains enough fuel for a flight time of eight seconds. Should it fail to hit a target before it runs out of fuel, it will automatically self-destruct mid-flight regardless of how close it was to reaching a target.[CfgAm 6]

Overall, the PCML as an anti-armour system is arguably the least capable of the guided missile launchers in ArmA 3, being only marginally better than the RPG-7 in long range ambushes versus mobile armoured targets (and only when there is no one else to assist in ranging targets for the user).

While the PCML's lock on capability theoretically eliminates the need to manually predict a target's trajectory, the lengthy three seconds that are required to actually lock onto the target (if a lock-on is even possible at all due to the weapon's susceptibility to weather/terrain clutter)[CfgWp 8], the presence of a minimum lock distance of 20 metres[CfgAm 1], and the ineffectiveness of the missile against heavy armour (necessitating multiple shots) makes this a moot feature in most cases.

Meanwhile, NATO's alternate (and unguided) AT launcher, the MAAWS Mk4, possesses greater penetration, a higher damage output, a faster engagement time, lighter to carry rockets, has anti-personnel munitions, and has faster flying rockets. Combined with the internal laser rangefinder on the Mod 1 variant, this results in the PCML being a mediocre AT system at best due to its inherent drawbacks.



The PCML's optical sight cannot be manually zeroed. It uses a fixed magnification but does feature an integral laser rangefinder[CfgWp 6] and can switch between a day or night vision mode.[CfgWp 5] Its reticle is partially illuminated, though only for the horizontal/vertical bars and dot at the centre of the reticle.

Without guidance, the red dot at the centre of the reticle approximately represents the point of impact for any targets at distances under ~ 130 metres. Beyond that, the reticle serves no purpose as the missile will gain altitude at distances under 300 metres, and the drop compensation markers do not apply due to the missile's relatively flat trajectory.

If the missile is being guided, then the reticle becomes effectively redundant as in both cases (direct-attack/overfly top-attack), the missile will adjust its own trajectory until it either strikes the target or misses/self-destructs.


Left: Initial lock-on. The sight needs to be pointed close to the target but does not have to be positioned directly at the centre.
Right: Lock-on is still maintained off-boresight up to a maximum of 300 degrees from the centre of the reticle.

Achieving a lock-on does not require pointing the red dot directly onto the target's centre-of-mass. The centre of the reticle approximately represents the limits of the launcher's sensor. Once the locking begins, it is only necessary to keep the target within the sight's reticle (up to the black border) as its off-boresight limit extends to 300 degrees.[CfgAm 7]



PCML Missile

The PCML is only capable of loading and firing one type of missile.[CfgWp 9][CfgWp 10] Each missile has a weight of 80[CfgMa 2] "mass" units:

Parameter Primary warhead Submunition
Base damage value 50[CfgAm 8] 525[CfgAm 3]
Splash damage value 25[CfgAm 9] 0[CfgAm 10]
Warhead type High-Explosive[CfgAm 11] Armour Piercing[CfgAm 12]
Blast radius (metres) 2.4[CfgAm 13] 0[CfgAm 14]
Launch velocity (m/s) 40[CfgMa 3] 1,000[CfgAm 15]
Maximum speed (m/s) 180[CfgAm 16] 0[CfgAm 17]
Penetration depth (mm) 2.7[CfgAm 11][CfgAm 18][Formula 1][note 1] 400.005[CfgAm 19][Formula 2]
Deflection angle (degrees) [CfgAm 20] [CfgAm 21]

PCML missiles are always fired with an initial launch velocity of 40 m/s.[CfgMa 3] It takes a further 0.8 seconds of flight time[CfgAm 22] for the missile's motor to attain a top in-flight speed of 180 m/s.[CfgAm 16] The missile has enough fuel for a maximum flight time of 8 seconds. It will self-destruct if it is unable to hit a target within that timeframe.[CfgAm 6]

The primary warhead has a blast radius of 2.4 metres[CfgAm 13] and is only partially considered to be explosive (50%).[CfgAm 11] Its kinetic submunition on the other hand, exclusively deals AP-type damage.[CfgAm 12] It has a launch velocity of 1,000 m/s[CfgAm 15] and an armour penetration depth of 400 millimetres.[CfgAm 19][Formula 2]


The PCML's missile relies on only one kind of sensor for guidance:

Sensor type Max range (Air/Ground) Min range (Air/Ground) Affected by environment? Target max speed (km/h) Azimuth coverage (°) Elevation coverage (°)
Visual A: 800 m
G: 800 m
[CfgAm 23][CfgAm 24]
A: 500 m
G: 500 m
[CfgAm 25][CfgAm 26]
Fog (6%)
[CfgAm 4]
Light (20%)
[CfgAm 5]
126 km/h
[CfgAm 27][Formula 3]
[CfgAm 28] [CfgAm 29]

Visual Sensor[]

The missile can lock onto targets between 20[CfgAm 1]-800[CfgAm 2] metres away, and is only able to track mobile vehicles that are moving at speeds of up to 126 km/h.[CfgAm 27][Formula 3] The sensor's lock-on cone is restricted to a horizontal and vertical angle of 5 degrees.[CfgAm 28][CfgAm 29]

Poor visibility conditions such as darkness or rain can reduce its lock-on range by 20% (down to 640 metres from 800).[CfgAm 5] Fog can also cause a further reduction to its lock-on range; this reduction begins at 6% (800 down to 752 metres) and will steadily increase depending on how thick it is.[CfgAm 4][note 2]

Flight Profiles[]

The PCML can toggle between two[CfgWp 7] flight profiles:



Missile uses a linear flight trajectory.

This is the default mode for the PCML's missiles.

Overfly top-attack[]

Overfly top-attack

In overfly top-attack (OTA) mode, the PCML's missile will act similarly to being launched in direct-attack mode. However, it utilises a slightly different initial flight trajectory after launch.

Rather than homing straight towards the target's centre-of-mass, the missile will attempt to ascend to a height of 2.5 metres above the target.[CfgAm 30] Upon reaching this point, the missile will detonate and strike the target with the warhead's kinetic penetrator submunition from above.[note 3]


  • The PCML is based on the real-world "NLAW" missile launcher designed by Saab of Sweden. It is used by the armed forces of several European nations, most notably by the British Army where it is designated as the "MBT LAW".
    • Unlike the real NLAW however, the in-game PCML is capable of being reloaded whereas the real launcher is a single-shot disposable weapon.
    • It is also much less effective against armour, with the real NLAW being capable of penetrating over 500 millimetres of RHA.[2]
  • The PCML's missiles have a tendency to dip towards the ground after flying past 300 metres.
    • If engaging targets on flat terrain in direct fire mode, this dip can cause the missile to immediately impact onto the ground instead. It is recommended to either switch to using OTA mode or be at least 5 metres higher than the target to prevent this from occurring.
  • Prior to the release of the Tanks DLC, the in-game PCML was unable to make use of alternate guidance modes and was restricted to direct fire only. This was later refactored with the release of Game Update 1.82, which finally gave the PCML (along with other guided ATGMs) the ability to toggle between the two flight profiles (Direct/OTA).[3]
    • Although its OTA mode isn't directly comparable to the real-world NLAW's Predicted Line-Of-Sight (PLOS), the mode allowed PCMLs to tackle MBTs with a limited degree of effectiveness, rather than forcing the user to rely solely on flanking the tank to strike its engine/rear armour.
    • The update also granted the PCML's optical sight an integrated laser rangefinder. Prior to this update, the PCML solely relied on its reticle markers for aiming.[3]
  • The PCML's inventory image originally depicted the ArmA 2 NLAW rather than the ArmA 3 PCML. A similar issue is still present in its Field Manual entry, where both the entry's icon and the background image are that of the NLAW rather than the PCML.
  • Due to an unintended bug, Game Update 2.08 disabled the PCML's ability to utilise its OTA mode.[4] A hotfix was eventually posted that addressed the issue eight days later.[5]



Config/script references[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> missileLockMinDistance
  2. 2.0 2.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> missileLockMaxDistance
  3. 3.0 3.1 CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> hit
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> maxFogSeeThrough
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> nightRangeCoef
  6. 6.0 6.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> timeToLive
  7. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> missileKeepLockedCone
  8. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> hit
  9. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> indirectHit
  10. CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> indirectHit
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> explosive
  12. 12.0 12.1 CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> warheadName
  13. 13.0 13.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> indirectHitRange
  14. CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> indirectHitRange
  15. 15.0 15.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> submunitionInitSpeed
  16. 16.0 16.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> maxSpeed
  17. CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> maxSpeed
  18. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> caliber
  19. 19.0 19.1 CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> caliber
  20. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> deflecting
  21. CfgAmmo >> ammo_Penetrator_NLAW >> deflecting
  22. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> thrustTime
  23. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> AirTarget >> maxRange
  24. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> GroundTarget >> maxRange
  25. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> AirTarget >> minRange
  26. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> GroundTarget >> minRange
  27. 27.0 27.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> maxTrackableSpeed
  28. 28.0 28.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> angleRangeHorizontal
  29. 29.0 29.1 CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Components >> SensorsManagerComponent >> Components >> VisualSensorComponent >> angleRangeVertical
  30. CfgAmmo >> M_NLAW_AT_F >> Overfly >> overflyElevation


  1. CfgMagazines >> NLAW_F >> count
  2. CfgMagazines >> NLAW_F >> mass
  3. 3.0 3.1 CfgMagazines >> NLAW_F >> initSpeed


  1. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> WeaponSlotsInfo >> mass
  2. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> recoil
  3. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> inertia
  4. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> dexterity
  5. 5.0 5.1 CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> OpticsModes >> optic >> visionMode[] >> {"Normal","NVG"}
  6. 6.0 6.1 CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> weaponInfoType >> "RscOpticsRangeFinderNLAW"
  7. 7.0 7.1 CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> modes[] >> {"Single","Overfly"}"
  8. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> weaponLockDelay
  9. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> magazines[] >> {"NLAW_F"}
  10. CfgWeapons >> launch_NLAW_F >> magazineWell[] >> {"NLAW"}


  1. initSpeed * caliber * 15 / 1000 = 180 * 1 * 15 / 1000
  2. 2.0 2.1 submunitionInitSpeed * caliber * 15 / 1000 = 1000 * 26.6667 * 15 / 1000
  3. 3.0 3.1 maxTrackableSpeed * 3.6 = 35 * 3.6


  1. The primary component of the PCML's warhead is 50% explosive. It is technically capable of penetrating armour but only 50% damage will be kinetic-based due to its explosive coefficient (0.5).
  2. The missile's sensor IS affected by the player's View and Object Distance settings and may not function at its maximum range unless their graphics settings are set to an equal or higher distance. However, it should be noted that specifically in the case of aerial targets, Object Distance settings will not affect the sensor's detection range (only View Distance still matters).
  3. Although it does not consistently occur, the kinetic submunition may occasionally fail to inflict any damage to the target when OTA is being used. The factors that influence the likelihood of this happening vary, though being at an elevation lower than the target vehicle or using the PCML against a vehicle that has a low-profile turret bear the highest risk.


  1. ARMA 3 2013 [Video Game], Bohemia Interactive a.s., Field Manual/Weapons/PCML, "The PCML (Person-Carried Missile Launcher) is a portable, short range, fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile system. The PCML is a soft-launch system, allowing it to be used from within an enclosed room."
  2. Saab 2020, NLAW - Anti-tank weapon, Saab, viewed 6 March 2023, <>. (archived link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kovařič, V 2018, SPOTREP #00079, Arma 3, viewed 7 September 2019, <>.
  4. van 't Land, J.J. 2022, SPOTREP #00102, Arma 3, viewed 17 March 2022, <>.
  5. van 't Land, J.J. 2022, SPOTREP #00103, Arma 3, viewed 17 March 2022, <>.

External links[]

See also[]

Weapons of comparable role and configuration[]

Weapons of ArmA 3
Handguns 4-five .45ACP-C2 .45P07 9 mmPM 9 mmRook-40 9 mmStarter Pistol 10 mmSpectrum DeviceZubr .45
Submachine guns ADR-97 5.7 mmPDW2000 9 mmProtector 9 mmSting 9 mmVermin .45
Shotguns Kozlice
Carbines AKU-12 7.62 mmAKS-74U 5.45 mmKatiba Carbine 6.5 mmMk20C 5.56 mmMXC 6.5 mmTRG-20 5.56 mm
Assault rifles AK-12 series (AK-12, AK-12 GL) • AKM 7.62 mmCAR-95 series (CAR-95, CAR-95 GL) • Katiba 6.5 mm (Katiba GL) • MX series (MX, MX 3GL) • Mk20 5.56 mm (Mk20 EGLM) • Promet series (Promet, Promet GL, Promet SG) • SDAR 5.56 mmSPAR-16 series (SPAR-16, SPAR-16 GL) • Type 115 6.5 mmTRG-21 5.56 mm (TRG-21 EGLM)
Designated marksman rifles ASP-1 Kir 12.7 mmCMR-76 6.5 mmCyrus 9.3 mmMk-I EMR 7.62 mmMk14 7.62 mm (Classic) • Mk18 ABR 7.62 mmMAR-10 .338MXM 6.5 mmPromet MR 6.5 mmRahim 7.62 mmSPAR-17 7.62 mm
Sniper rifles GM6 Lynx 12.7 mmM320 LRR .408
Squad automatic weapons CAR-95-1 5.8 mmLIM-85 5.56 mmMk200 6.5 mmMX SW 6.5 mmRPK-12 7.62 mmSPAR-16S 5.56 mmZafir 7.62 mm
Machineguns Navid 9.3 mmSPMG .338
Launchers 9M135 VoronaMAAWS Mk4PCMLRPG-7RPG-42Titan MPRLTitan MPRL Compact
Static M2Mk6 MortarMk30Mk32Remote DesignatorStatic Titan Launcher (AA, AT)
(Parenthesis) denote variants.
Karts DLC | Marksmen DLC | Apex DLC | Tanks DLC | Contact DLC
Arma3-factionicon-nato NATO - Armoury (ArmA 3)
Handguns 4-five .45P07 9 mm* • Spectrum Device
Submachine guns Vermin .45
Carbines MXC 6.5 mm*
Assault rifles MX series (MX*, MX 3GL*) • SDAR 5.56 mmSPAR-16 series* (SPAR-16*, SPAR-16 GL*)
Designated marksman rifles Mk-I EMR 7.62 mmMAR-10 .338* • MXM 6.5 mmSPAR-17 7.62 mm*
Sniper rifles M320 LRR .408
Squad automatic weapons MX SW 6.5 mm* • SPAR-16S 5.56 mm*
Machineguns SPMG .338
Launchers MAAWS Mk4 Mod 1* • PCML* • Titan MPRLTitan MPRL Compact
Static Mk6 MortarMk30Mk32Remote DesignatorStatic Titan Launcher (AA, AT)
(Parenthesis) denote variants.
* denotes weapons also used or are exclusive to the CTRG sub-faction.
Marksmen DLC | Apex DLC | Tanks DLC
Arma3-factionicon-aaf AAF - Armoury (ArmA 3)
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Submachine guns PDW2000 9 mm
Carbines Mk20C 5.56 mm
Assault rifles Mk20 5.56 mm (Mk20 EGLM) • SDAR 5.56 mm
Designated marksman rifles Mk18 ABR 7.62 mm
Sniper rifles GM6 Lynx 12.7 mm
Squad automatic weapons Mk200 6.5 mm
Launchers MAAWS Mk4 Mod 0PCMLRPG-42Titan MPRLTitan MPRL Compact
Static M2Mk6 MortarMk30Mk32Static Titan Launcher (AA, AT)
(Parenthesis) denote variants.
Apex DLC | Tanks DLC
Arma3-factionicon-livoniandefenseforce LDF - Armoury (ArmA 3)
Handguns 4-five .45
Submachine guns ADR-97 5.7 mm
Assault rifles Promet series (Promet, Promet GL, Promet SG)
Designated marksman rifles Promet MR 6.5 mm
Squad automatic weapons Mk200 6.5 mm
Launchers MAAWS Mk4 Mod 1PCMLTitan MPRLTitan MPRL Compact
Static M2Mk6 MortarMk30Mk32Static Titan Launcher (AA, AT)
(Parenthesis) denote variants.
Apex DLC | Tanks DLC | Contact DLC