M47 Dragon Medium Anti-tank Weapon System
Gary's U.S. Infantry Weapons Reference Guide

TM 9-1425-484-10:  Launcher and day tracker
Complete System
Country of OriginUSA
Date Of Introduction1975
Weight32.1 lb (14.57 kg) with daysight.  46.9 lb (21.29 kg) with nightsight
Length45.4 in (1,154 mm)
Diameter11.5 in (292 mm)
Caliber5 in (127 mm)
Minimum Range71 yd (65 m)
Maximum Range1,094 yd (1,000 m) with 11.2 seconds time of flight
Daysight - Infrared Tracker, Guided Missile, SU-36/P
Weight6.8 lb (3.10 kg)
Length7.72 in (196 mm)
Field of view
Magnification6 power
Nightsight - Night Vision Sight, Tracker, Infrared, AN/TAS-5
Weight21.65 lb (9.82 kg)
Length14.5 in (368 mm)
Field of view3.4° by 6.8°
Magnification4 power
M175 Mount
Weight82.8 lb (37.6 kg)


FM 7-7: Sitting with bipod
The M47 Dragon is a surface-attack, wire-guided, man-portable, shoulder-fired, medium antitank weapon system. It can defeat armored vehicles, fortified bunkers, concrete gun emplacements, and other hardened targets. The individual soldier or a two-man team can operate this weapon.

The Dragon's primary role is to destroy enemy armored vehicles. When there is no armored vehicle, the Dragons can be employed in a secondary role of providing fire support against point targets such as bunkers and crew-served weapons positions. Combat and combat support units normally use the Dragon in a self-defense role during rear operations.

The Dragon weapon system consists of a daysight, a nightsight, and a round of ammunition.

Mechanized infantry gunners can use the Dragon with the M175 guided missile launcher mount. This mount provides a stable platform on either the M113 APC or on the M3 or M122 machine gun tripod.

The Dragon can engage targets in daylight (with the daysight) and in limited visibility conditions, such as smoke, fog, or darkness (with the nightsight).

Deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990 for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. A few Dragons were fired during combat, but the missile was considered to be "a weapon of last resort" due to difficulty when aiming, exposure of the gunner to enemy fire, and the missile's inability to penetrate the latest add-on and reactive armors.

Replaced the M67 90mm recoilless rifle in U.S. service. Replaced by the Javelin missile in U.S. service.


The Dragon's ammunition is an expendable component consisting of both the missile and the launcher itself. The missile is installed in the launcher at the factory and is shipped ready to fire. The launcher serves as a storage and carrying case for the missile before it is launched.

The round consists of a smooth bore fiberglass launch tube with missile stored inside. The launch tube has a tracker battery that provides power to the tracker and fires the missile. The tracker bracket provides the electrical connections necessary for missile, trigger, and tracker operation. The bipod is attached to the forward end of the launch tube and supports the launcher during operations.

FM 3-23.24:  Launcher
The launcher consists of:


Three rounds are available for use with the Dragon: the M222 and MK1, MOD 0 tactical rounds (HEAT warheads), and M223 practice round (inert warhead). All rounds use the same basic airframe, aerodynamic control system, command-link wire, and missile electronics design.

TM 9-1425-484-10: Missile and Launcher TM 9-1425-484-10:  Missile and Launcher
Dragon ammunition data.
  M222 HEAT round MK 1, MOD 0 HEAT round M223 inert practice round
Length 29.29 in (744 mm) 33.32 in (846 mm) 33.32 in (846 mm)
Weight 25.29 lb (11.47 kg) 27.2 lb (12.34 kg) 10.4 lb (4.70 kg)
Arming Range71 yd (65 m)N/A
Maximum Effective Ranges
Beyond these ranges there is less than a 50% chance of hitting the target.
Stationary Target1,094 yd (1,000 m)
Moving Target109 yd (100 m)

SU-36/P Daysight

FM 3-23.24:  Daysight
The daysight is an electro-optical sight that determines the position of the missile relative to the gunner's line of sight (LOS). Note that the sight unit is sometimes called a "tracker."

The daysight attaches to and removes quickly from the round. The daysight's aluminum housing assembly contains the lens, infrared receiver assembly, and control signal comparator. The firing mechanism, located on the right side of the daysight's housing, consists of a trigger safety plunger and trigger lever bar.

AN/TAS-5 Nightsight

FM 3-23.24:  Nightsight
At dusk, or anytime the light level drops below what is needed to use the daysight, Dragon gunners switch to the nightsight. Note that the sight unit is sometimes called a "tracker."

It attaches to the round the same as the daysight. The firing mechanism, control system, and guidance system are the same as those on the daysight.

M175 Mounting Assembly

TM 9-1425-484-10:  M175 Mount
The M175 mount provides a stable launch platform to fire the missile from the M113-series APC and the M3 or M122 machine gun tripod. The tracker mount provides the electrical connection between the round and tracker. A remote firing mechanism is located on the right rear side of the cradle for easy access by the gunner. The azimuth and elevation damper assemblies reduce vibration and provide a firm but steady tracking action.


The Dragon can be fired from any one of the three basic firing positions: sitting, standing supported, or kneeling. When the M175 mount is installed on the M3 or M122 machine gun tripods, the gunner can use a modified sitting or standing supported position.
FM 3-23.24: M47
Sitting position
FM 3-23.24: M47
Position of round on shoulder
FM 3-23.24: M47
Standing supported position
FM 3-23.24: M47
Kneeling position
FM 3-23.24: M47
M3 position (left) and M122 tripod position (right)


FM 3-23.24: Daysight firing


FM 3-23.24: Dragon back blast area
The Dragon back blast area extends 164 feet (50 m) to the rear and 30 meters to the flanks of the launcher. This area is divided into two zones: a danger zone and a caution zone.


The Dragon missile has a minimum arming distance of 213 feet (65 m), which severely limits its use in urban areas. Few areas in the inner city permit fires much beyond the minimum arming distance. Ground-level long-range fires down streets or rail lines and across parks or plazas are possible.

Dragon penetration against structural materials.
Packed Earth8 ft (2.4 m)
Reinforced Concrete4 ft (1.2 m)
Steel Plate13 in (330 mm)

Dragon Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal
U.S. Army Photo
576x720, 43K, JPEG
U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal
U.S. Army Photo
720x576, 34K, JPEG