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  1. #1
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    The Designated Marksman Concept

    Hello all,

    Just wanted to start a discussion around this topic. It's not a call to have one, in fact I've not yet formed any solid opinion on it.

    The basic idea of a designated Marksman is that they're part of a rifle section/platoon but are equipped to engage with precision beyond the effective range of the standard section weapon.

    Contrary to my initial belief, it isn't written in stone in the UK forces, at least not in the Royal Marines, where it was rather an Afghanistan specific adaptation with the L129 section DMR being a UOR purchase.

    The Baked Beans do however have a Designated Marksman as part of their standard pl level manoeuvre support group, who at least used to carry the L96 or L115 (.338).

    It came up in conversation because if we were to follow the model of having a (slightly) longer ranged precision weapon in the section structure (bearing in mind our 3 point structure as opposed to the simplified british 2 brick) that it would seem to fit with existing doctrine (not going to go into too much but everyone here knows their section in attack) and also, since we have a 7.62x51 Section support weapon re-purposing some more FALs would also fit with the role.

    The question really breaks down into the whys and whynots: i.e. Why Notes: additional cost/training burden/excessive division of labour. Whys: Extra flexibility in the section via extended range and enhanced accuracy...maybe?

    Also, the idea of a platoon level attachment (from weapons platoon) opens the field to less resource intensive applications of a potentially useful tool or does it?

    Thoughts suggests, nudie pictures etc, to CQ's table.
    Last edited by Come-quickly; 14th May 2013 at 20:35. Reason: Grammalamming
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    the last mohican slapper's Avatar
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    i have said it for years that the 2fsg or 2 i/c should have a fn or similar with scope mounted on top , the gpmg can tump away while the fn takes aimed steady shots
    who threw the smoke in the van

  3. #3
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    @Slapper I used to think the same thing, the problem is the 2i/c should have his attention on where the gun is firing not his own sight picture, the 2 man on the gun also has an important job already.

    I'd have thought that at section level it would probably best serve the role already filled by one of the less forward riflemen, but increasingly I'm biased towards it being a Pl level thing.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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  5. #4
    Non Temetis Messor The real Jack's Avatar
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    It'd be nice to have if a need was identified for them, if a requirement for them suddenly appeared overseas they could drop in a sniper per section/platoon with a spotters FN in the interim. At the moment the steyr upgrade programme is a much better use of resources.
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

  6. #5
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The real Jack View Post
    It'd be nice to have if a need was identified for them, if a requirement for them suddenly appeared overseas they could drop in a sniper per section/platoon with a spotters FN in the interim. At the moment the steyr upgrade programme is a much better use of resources.
    It doesn't follow that it would be an either/or with an existing funded program. Perhaps you missed the content of the first post, the idea is to discuss the concept, not play fantasy budgetary decisions.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  7. #6
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Would it not make it less flexible? As that is a rifleman you can't then use on the attack?

    If anything it should be the point of fire/flank security, but what about when they have to take an enemy position?

    The normal battle range is about 300 metre isn't it? But that may have increased in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  8. #7
    Lt General Barry's Avatar
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    It doesn't have to be a .5 sniper rifle. There was a video posted here not too long ago of 2 British soldiers doing CQB - one of whom had a DMR in his hands, and arguably was better equipped for it because he could change shoulder to go around corners!

  9. #8
    Lieutenant X-RayOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Would it not make it less flexible? As that is a rifleman you can't then use on the attack?

    If anything it should be the point of fire/flank security, but what about when they have to take an enemy position?

    The normal battle range is about 300 metre isn't it? But that may have increased in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Not a problem if DMR has a 7.62 weapon. Remember once upon a time everybody in the section had 7.62 and were still perfectly able to conduct SIA's, etc.

    But in fairness, if it was to be introduced, the lessons and developments that have evolved over last 20 odd years in technology should be included on weapon. i.e. make it as ergonomic and light as possible, extendable butt, forward grips, ploymer hardwear, magazines, etc.
    Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

    And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

  10. #9
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-RayOne View Post
    Not a problem if DMR has a 7.62 weapon. Remember once upon a time everybody in the section had 7.62 and were still perfectly able to conduct SIA's, etc.

    But in fairness, if it was to be introduced, the lessons and developments that have evolved over last 20 odd years in technology should be included on weapon. i.e. make it as ergonomic and light as possible, extendable butt, forward grips, ploymer hardwear, magazines, etc.
    It does GPMG

  11. #10
    Non Temetis Messor The real Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    It does GPMG
    ? What?
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

  12. #11
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Thread Rule: Please read the thread before posting, rather than just putting out whatever the voices in your head are saying.

    Getting away from the section level focus, what abut a DM at Pl HQ, after all in the olden times we learned that the fourth bod in HQ was a runner/marksman. Is re-emphasising the Marksman part worth considering, or adding a fifth bod to the HQ?

    In terms of training and ergonomics, the Canadiastanit's UOR'd a bunch of SR25s since it basically had identical handling properties to the C7 already in service, could a 7.62x51 Steyr HBAR be an option?

    Just stirring the talking pot.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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  14. #12
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    two contributions from this side of the water: firstly that you should be wary of capabilities that are not delegated to the lowest possible level. having DMR as a Pln asset is fine when you're doing 'two up front, one behind - and give it shitloads', however it runs into a slight problem when your Pln is split into two multiples doing seperate jobs 3km apart. secondly that there is no such thing as 'too accurate, at too long a range'.

    not really wishing to widen the debate, but seeking to make a point that i think is important on this issue - the Irish Army PK/PE force is, i would suggest, the least supported PK/PE force in the western world in terms of its ready access to heavy, long ranged weapons: you travel without Artilley, you no longer have mobile large calibre guns, and you don't have AH or Fast Jets. if something happens in whatever god-forsaken dump tickles your ministers fancy next, you are far more on your own than any ISAF soldier in Afghanistan - your soldiers have to win the firefight in a way that no one else does: in Afghanistan a British Pln foot patrol will have a full Bty of 105's at its beck and call, with AH and FJ within 30 mins (and often within 5 mins), as well as GMLRS and other systems sat round with nothing to do but pour destruction on any grid that the Pln wants wiped off the face of the earth. 'all' that Pln has to do is go to ground, put up a bucketload of fire to stop the enemy advance and degrade the effectiveness of his fire, identify the enemy positions up the chain and wait until the enemy gets turned into a warm, pink mist.

    because you don't have those systems available, your soldiers have to get themselves out of trouble. if they can put down accurate fire at 800+m they stand a better chance of doing so - i would think that this argument also covers the 7.62 minimi and something along the lines of the LASM...

    if one has veered off topic, one apologises...

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  16. #13
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    I suppose the key thing is that a Designated Marksman is not a sniper, and a DMR is not a sniper rifle. Unlike a sniper, the DM generally operates at a Section level, with a far broader set of roles than a sniper. The concept goes back a long way, but for armies equipped with 5.56mm rifles (or carbines) and section level LMGs, the DMR is supposed to be able to reach out to longer distances to engage targets, or provide accurate semi auto suppressive fire when required

    From my completely amateur perspective*, - it looks like a lot of western armies have grabbed the concept with both hands - the UK/Ger/Can/US all have a 7.62mm semi auto battle rifle at section level. The USMC even have gone as far as using a longer barrelled 5.56mm rifle as an 'automatic rifle' to do much the same thing, as well as the M39 (the USMC still have M249s and M240s in the infantry squad after all.) The question for the DF is whether this is due to the failings of short barrelled 5.56mm rifles in longer distance engagements in Afghanistan, or an addition that has benefits in a wider variety of situations?

    Strikes me that there's a strong argument for using the concept, right down to Section level. Even in urban operations, a single 7.62mm rifle gives a squad a worthwhile additional capability for little additional weight or cost (specially if you build the rifles yourself from old FALs). And while you were at it, a longer barreled Steyr probably has it's uses too. The updated AUG gives the option of mounting different optics anyways, so having a stock of heavier barrels wouldn't add hugely to the cost, and could be dropped into Sections for certain deployments (the updated AUG doesn't allow the user to change barrels quite so easily, right?).

    Ropebag is entirely correct on the support weapons front too. Goes back to the need for the DF to practice deploying with all available assets, including 105mm artillery (and Heavy mortars) and interoperability with other countries fire support (FAC anyone), because the day will come when there will be a DF infantry section deeply in the poo (again) somewhere, and if they don't have support, either indigenous or through an allied country, things will get messy.

    *I'd love to say that my extensive use of the M21 in a wide range of tactical roles in 'Operation Flashpoint; Crisis' qualifies as relevant experience, but, well, no ...
    Last edited by Aidan; 15th May 2013 at 15:50.

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  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-RayOne View Post
    Not a problem if DMR has a 7.62 weapon. Remember once upon a time everybody in the section had 7.62 and were still perfectly able to conduct SIA's, etc.

    But in fairness, if it was to be introduced, the lessons and developments that have evolved over last 20 odd years in technology should be included on weapon. i.e. make it as ergonomic and light as possible, extendable butt, forward grips, ploymer hardwear, magazines, etc.
    its back to the future,, The selection of 5.56 was a mistake but too many reputations on the line, so why not have every infantryman as a first class shot who can engage a target effectively out to 300m with iron sights and a few guys with optical sights, Price a sportised FN FAL with all of the latest material etc to lighten wt goes for about 1000 us.
    I had the opportunity to shoot one a few weeks ago , my sight not what it was but still hitting targets at 2oo m ( max distance at this range)
    I know the u can carry more ammo with 5,56 etc arguement but u end up not having to shoot so much 7.62.

  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BANDIT View Post
    its back to the future,, The selection of 5.56...
    again, not wishing to derail the thread - i don't think going to 5.56 was a mistake, it was an entirely logical move when the battles we thought we'd fight we're in urban or heavily vegetated areas against people who were not wearing body armour and who would stop their advance to tend to their still breathing casualty.

    it just turns out we didn't fight that war, we'll fight over arid, hot, dry terrain against people who don't stop to give aid, and who can be relied on to open fire at the first opportunity. 5.56 at 300m was ideal against 3rd Shock Army in Western Europe, but less so against Abdul and his mates in the desert where visilbility is so good you could aim 155m with the naked eye... there was also the small matter of the practicality of staying with 7.62 when everyone else in Europe was going to 5.56 - being right would mean nothing when you can't get spares.
    Last edited by ropebag; 15th May 2013 at 17:15.

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  21. #16
    the last mohican slapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Come-quickly View Post
    @Slapper I used to think the same thing, the problem is the 2i/c should have his attention on where the gun is firing not his own sight picture, the 2 man on the gun also has an important job already.

    I'd have thought that at section level it would probably best serve the role already filled by one of the less forward riflemen, but increasingly I'm biased towards it being a Pl level thing.
    ya i agree but if the 2 i/c has it he can still give orders he wont be shooting it just means he will have better accuracy if he needs to from that distance but your gunner should know how to shoot and have enough of a brain
    who threw the smoke in the van

  22. #17
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    Ropebag, in the DF, the concept that the ordinary soldier can be anything other than a spear-carrier who cannot think for himself, or for his mates, is realistically not more than 20 years old. Thankfully, it has evolved from "privates cannot and will not call for artillery support of any kind/will not call for air support of any kind/will not call for AFV support, etc, etc". The concept of all-arms and the training for same that would have been familiar to the Tommy/GI/Landser of 1944 was scarcely conceived or understood even by Congo days, slightly familiar by Leb days and regarded as the coming thing by Chad/Liberia.

    regards
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  24. #18
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    GTTC,

    oh...

  25. #19
    the last mohican slapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Ropebag, in the DF, the concept that the ordinary soldier can be anything other than a spear-carrier who cannot think for himself, or for his mates, is realistically not more than 20 years old. Thankfully, it has evolved from "privates cannot and will not call for artillery support of any kind/will not call for air support of any kind/will not call for AFV support, etc, etc". The concept of all-arms and the training for same that would have been familiar to the Tommy/GI/Landser of 1944 was scarcely conceived or understood even by Congo days, slightly familiar by Leb days and regarded as the coming thing by Chad/Liberia.

    regards
    GttC
    we have air support
    who threw the smoke in the van

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  27. #20
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The real Jack View Post
    ? What?
    Everyone in the section still carries 7.62mm ...... for the GPMG

    Quote Originally Posted by Come-quickly View Post
    Getting away from the section level focus, what abut a DM at Pl HQ, after all in the olden times we learned that the fourth bod in HQ was a runner/marksman. Is re-emphasising the Marksman part worth considering, or adding a fifth bod to the HQ?

    In terms of training and ergonomics, the Canadiastanit's UOR'd a bunch of SR25s since it basically had identical handling properties to the C7 already in service, could a 7.62x51 Steyr HBAR be an option?

    Just stirring the talking pot.
    Maybe but the runner is a busy guy

    Is there a 7.62mm Steyr?

    Irish UNIFIL battalion used to have a sniper at platoon level



    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    two contributions from this side of the water: firstly that you should be wary of capabilities that are not delegated to the lowest possible level. having DMR as a Pln asset is fine when you're doing 'two up front, one behind - and give it shitloads', however it runs into a slight problem when your Pln is split into two multiples doing seperate jobs 3km apart. secondly that there is no such thing as 'too accurate, at too long a range'.

    not really wishing to widen the debate, but seeking to make a point that i think is important on this issue - the Irish Army PK/PE force is, i would suggest, the least supported PK/PE force in the western world in terms of its ready access to heavy, long ranged weapons: you travel without Artilley, you no longer have mobile large calibre guns, and you don't have AH or Fast Jets. if something happens in whatever god-forsaken dump tickles your ministers fancy next, you are far more on your own than any ISAF soldier in Afghanistan - your soldiers have to win the firefight in a way that no one else does: in Afghanistan a British Pln foot patrol will have a full Bty of 105's at its beck and call, with AH and FJ within 30 mins (and often within 5 mins), as well as GMLRS and other systems sat round with nothing to do but pour destruction on any grid that the Pln wants wiped off the face of the earth. 'all' that Pln has to do is go to ground, put up a bucketload of fire to stop the enemy advance and degrade the effectiveness of his fire, identify the enemy positions up the chain and wait until the enemy gets turned into a warm, pink mist.

    because you don't have those systems available, your soldiers have to get themselves out of trouble. if they can put down accurate fire at 800+m they stand a better chance of doing so - i would think that this argument also covers the 7.62 minimi and something along the lines of the LASM...

    if one has veered off topic, one apologises...
    Your platoon commander and sergeant can only be in 1 place at a time as well and can't do the rest of the job without being with the rest of the platoon.

    To the best of my knowledge, open to correction, but we don't do that.

    Our battalions bring the 120 overseas


    Quote Originally Posted by slapper View Post
    ya i agree but if the 2 i/c has it he can still give orders he wont be shooting it just means he will have better accuracy if he needs to from that distance but your gunner should know how to shoot and have enough of a brain
    The members of the FSG will be too busy!

  28. #21
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    The concept is viable/worthy but prob UGLs might be more universally useful.

  29. #22
    Non Temetis Messor The real Jack's Avatar
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    In what distant universe dev do you make sense?
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

  30. #23
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Dev, are you honestly claiming that the Army doesn't use platoon minus fighting patrols? Really? And that they don't occasionally trust their massive training investment in officers and NCOs to allow them to operate independently of each other with the support of other trained NCOs and men?

    @Danno: Again it's not an either or, that's like saying that 4x4s are useful but trucks are more flexible. DMRs do not preclude the use of UGLs, just ask any of the users of the DMR concept at section level, they all have at least one UGL per fireteam.
    Last edited by Come-quickly; 16th May 2013 at 00:32.
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  31. #24
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The real Jack View Post
    In what distant universe dev do you make sense?
    Quote Originally Posted by Come-quickly View Post
    Dev, are you honestly claiming that the Army doesn't use platoon minus fighting patrols? Really? And that they don't occasionally trust their massive training investment in officers and NCOs to allow them to operate independently of each other with the support of other trained NCOs and men?

    @Danno: Again it's not an either or, that's like saying that 4x4s are useful but trucks are more flexible. DMRs do not preclude the use of UGLs, just ask any of the users of the DMR concept at section level, they all have at least one UGL per fireteam.
    I didn't say that CQ!

    I qualified my answer but:

    In the British Army, as ropebag said, it is standard practice for an infantry platoon to divide in 2. The platoon commander commanding 1 and the Platoon sergeant the other.

    We could have a platoon minus or section plus, but not 2 multiples. Open to correction

  32. #25
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Multiples also commonly known as fighting patrols!

    Return to topic pending in 3...2...1...
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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