Artillery: Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder



September 22, 2008: One of the more useful tools, for the artillery, to come along in the last five years is the LLDR (Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder, or AN/PED-1). This 35 pound unit looks like two cameras mounted on a small tripod. Actually, one of the "cameras" is a "target locator" which uses a video camera type device for daytime spotting, and a thermal imager for night or bad weather. The bottom "camera" is a laser designator. There is also a laser rangefinder (good for items from 100 meters to 20 kilometers away) and a GPS. The basic use of the LLDR is simple (and it was designed that way). You find what you want to designate as a target, fire the laser rangefinder to get the range (and GPS coordinates), which can then be transmitted to aircraft, artillery, or another unit (or headquarters) which needs that information. While mainly used by artillery observers and forward air controllers, LLDR provides precise location information for headquarters as well. Makes it easier to coordinate movements, especially at night. Everyone has GPS in their vehicles. The laser designator identifies targets for laser guided bombs.

The LLDR was still in development on September 11, 2001, and production models reached the troops by 2004. They cost about a quarter of a million dollars each.



ad Help Keep Us Online!

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close