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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
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PCML
Arma3-icon-pcml.png
Faction Icon-side-blufor.png NATO
Icon-side-blufor.png CTRG
Icon-side-greenfor.png AAF
Icon-side-greenfor.png LDF
Type Anti-Tank Missile Launcher
Diameter 150 mm
Magazine
capacity
1
Mass 100
Variants None
Games
Arma3.icon.png
The PCML 150 mm missile launcher.

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

Overview

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

It can only load missiles with 150 mm high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) tandem charge warheads, which are capable of striking targets at distances of between 20-800 metres away. The launcher comes with an integrated night vision-capable sight that has a magnification strength of 2x, and an integrated laser rangefinder. It is able to toggle between a direct-fire or overfly top-attack (OTA) mode.

Missile away.

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). As such, it is the most effective against lightly-armoured ground vehicles.

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.

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.

Individual PCML units are not particularly powerful but when attacks are coordinated en masse, even T-140s can be neutralised within a matter of seconds.

Likewise, the missile itself only retains enough fuel for a flight time of seven 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.

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 amount of time required to actually lock the target (if a lock-on is even possible at all due to the weapon's susceptibility to weather/terrain clutter), the presence of a minimum lock distance, 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.

Munitions

PCML Missile

The PCML is only capable of loading and firing one type of missile. Each missile has a weight of 80 "mass" units:

Warhead Damage type Base damage value Penetration depth (mm)
Primary High-Explosive 50 N/A
Secondary Kinetic 525 400

The primary warhead has a blast radius of 2.4 metres, while its kinetic submunition has a launch velocity of 1,000 m/s and a penetration depth of 400 millimetres.

Sensors

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

Visual Sensor

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

Poor visibility conditions such as darkness or rain can reduce its lock-on range by 20% (down to 640 metres from 800). 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.

Flight Profiles

The PCML can toggle between two flight profiles:

Direct-attack

Missile uses a linear flight trajectory. This is the default mode for the PCML's missiles.

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. Upon reaching this point, the missile will detonate and strike the target with the warhead's kinetic penetrator submunition from above.

Trivia

  • 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.
  • 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).
    • 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.
  • 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. A hotfix was eventually posted that addressed the issue eight days later.

Gallery

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
Machine guns 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.png 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.png AAF - Armoury (ArmA 3)
Handguns ACP-C2 .45
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.png 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
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