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AN/PAQ-3 Modular Universal Laser Equipment (MULE)

Primary function: Target locator and guide for laser-guided projectiles.
Manufacturer: Hughes Aircraft
Weight:
Daylight operations: 42 lbs (19.07 kg)
With night sight: 108 lbs (49.03 kg)
In shipping cases: 220 lbs (99.88 kg)
Laser designator/rangefinder module:
Field of view: 4°
Magnification: 10x
Stabilized tracking tripod module:
Field of rotation: 360°
Elevation:
Up: 16.9°
Down: 22.5°
Terrain capability: 0° to 15°
Power requirements:
Batteries: 24 volts, nickel-cadmium
Battery life: rechargeable (Indefinite)
Run Time: 10 minutes
Recharge time: 7 hours
Unit Replacement Cost: $218,000

Features: The MULE is a man-portable tripod-mounted or shoulder-fired unit which incorporates a laser range-finder/target designator which works with all laser-guided weapons now under development. It is used to locate targets and to guide laser-guided projectiles to their targets. It can track moving targets and combine range, azimuth, and elevation into a digital message to be sent to the tactical fire control center. The major components are the Laser Designator/Rangefinder Module and the Stabilized Tracking Tripod Module. A supporting item of equipment is the North Finding Module.
The system is capable of operating on 24 volt DC rechargeable batteries, or from 24 volt DC vehicle power using an external power adapter. It can effectively range a moving target to 3,000 meters, and a stationary target to 5,000 meters.

Background: When the MULE was approved and fielded, certain shortcomings, such as the weight and bulk of the system and the inability to boresight the sight with the laser at the unit level, were both understood and accepted. The Mule provided a sorely needed target acquisition device that used emerging technology and was relatively successful.


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