[quote=“sksvlad”]I am going to ask 2 very basic questions which will indicate that I know nothing about this system. Please, answer in a simplest language possible.
- The spotter, I think, is a smoke indicator to where the real HE payload needs to go. If there were 2 separate soldiers, one spotter, another rocket launcher, I see a need for the spotter to indicate a target by putting smoke into it. Since this system combines spotter and rocket launcher in one weapon and has only one person firing, why does he need spotting capability? Just fire at the target you deem worthy.
- The spotter cartridge is a combination of 2 separate cartridges. Why the need for Hornet to reload? Other guns self reload using only one cartridge.[/quote]
I can answer the first one. Low-velocity weapons like the SMAW have a long flight time and a curved trajectory, so it is difficult to score a hit at longer ranges. The spotting rifle is fixed to the SMAW (a similar system is used with various other weapons) and the cartridge for it is designed to match the trajectory and flight time of the main round. So the user keeps firing the spotting rifle and adjusting his aim until a hit is scored on the target, at which point he fires the main round which should then score a hit.
These spotting rifle systems may also have the possibility of permitting cheap target practice, without needing to fire the main gun. So when used like this they are similar to sub-calibre practice weapons.
I suspect that the name “spotter ammunition” came simply from the fact that the gun which fired them is known as a “spotting rifle”.
Systems like this are on the way out, with the introduction of electronic sights containing laser rangefinders and ballistic computers which enable the user to score a first-round hit.
Some spotter/tracer/subcalibre rounds from my small collection of this type, with tentative identifications underneath (corrections and additions welcomed!):
7.65x21 (Erika Pak 75), 7.92x24.5 (Portuguese), 7.62x25 (Instalaza), 7.62x27 (Swiss), 7.62x33 (Argentine), 7.5x55R (Swiss), 7.62x24 (Portuguese), 9x51 (SMAW Mk 217), 10x43B (US XM75), 12.7x76 (.50 Spotter), 12.7x99 (British .50 BMG for use in Centurion tank), 14.5x21R (artillery trainer), 14.5x51R (artillery trainer), 15x99 (USA), 15.2x120 (15mm XM122 USA), 20x22R (Netherlands), 20x45R (USA), 20x126 case (XM101 for Davy Crockett)