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U.S. Joint Publication 1-02 defines direct fire as “fire delivered on a target using the target itself as a point of aim for either the weapon or the director” (Department of Defense, 2010, p. 97). Put another way, direct fire is the use of any weapon to attack a target that is in the line of sight of the person/crew of the firing weapon or system using the weapon’s sights to aim at the target. Projectiles fired from direct fire weapons usually have relatively flat trajectories. This entry examines techniques, advantages, and disadvantages of direct fire.

Some weapons can utilize either direct or indirect fire to attack a target, such as artillery, mortars, or machine guns. In such cases, the key factor in differentiating between direct ...

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