A Laser Guided missile tracks a target marked with laser designation either from the launch platform itself or external sources such as other aircraft, troops or ground vehicles via optical hardware built into the nose of the missile.
— In-Game Description
The operator or gunner of the missile's launch vehicle must obtain, and maintain target lock by aiming and keeping the lock-acquisition target HUD on the targeted vehicle or equipment. An orange diamond HUD symbol appears on the HUD of targeted vehicles to indicate targeted vehicle is occupied by enemy forces or equipment belonging to the opponent. The missile also contains lethal splash damage, able to instantly kill any infantry within proximity to an equipment targeted by the Laser Guided missile. A White diamond HUD symbol indicates the targeted vehicle is unoccupied while a large, red diamond HUD symbol indicates a target is laser-designated. The missile ammunition is limited to one missile per shot, with one extra in reserve magazines. Reload in between shots with magazine reload is proximately 6 seconds. This excludes awaiting reload from reserve storage. Reload between missile launch time can be decreased with the Belt Feeder specialisation.
The missile can also acquire any target which has been Laser-Designated by another player, even if the target is out of sight, dealing a damage boost. 2 Laser-Guided missiles assisted by Laser Designation and follow up cannon bursts of any calibre will guarantee destruction of all types of vehicles. The target lock of an enemy vehicle or equipment can be broken in 3 ways; target lock is obstructed by obstacles or level decals, target deploys countermeasures or lock is deliberately broken by the operator. Laser Guided missiles can be defeated or intercepted by IR Smoke, IR Flares, ECM Jammer and Active Protection systems. The requirement of a target lock and weapon lock direction indicator can place the operator at risk of discovery and enemy action.
For Stealth Jets, the Laser Guided Missiles are unlocked upon acquiring 18000 vehicle score. It, with the exception of Primary cannon armament, are the only Air-to-Ground weapons available for use. The missile for Jet aircraft has a lock range of 850 meters. For Attack Jets, the Laser Guided Missiles are unlocked by default, serving as a secondary weapon to the Primary default 30mm GAU cannon. Due to common use of vehicle counter measures, the Laser Guided missile equipped for Jet aircraft can be more effectively used in two ways to guarantee striking the target: Acquiring, firing and maintaining missile lock at maximum stand-off range (850 meters from the target) and point-blank target lock acquisition and weapons release (300 meters - 150 meters from the target). Due to most vehicle operators utilising countermeasures, a stand-off range attack guarantees at least one, or both missiles striking the target. When targeted, most vehicle operators will activate counter measures, with Active Protection systems being the most common for ground vehicles the instant a locked-on tone is audible.
By launching the missile at stand off range, the counter measure lacks the amount of time necessary to operate before expiring, and by that the time it expires, the missile will have enough travel time to bypass the countermeasure and strike the target. If time or situation permits, the weapon operator may also choose to fire the second missile right after the first at the now-vulnerable target to deal a damage bonus. For Attack Jets utilising this attack strategy, this allows room for follow up cannon-bursts with all rounds striking the target, will guarantee target destruction. A stand-off Laser Guided attack also provides other benefits, as the magnification provided by the targeting pod allows the pilot to spot incoming retaliatory attacks or missiles such as TV, TOW, Passive or Active Radar missiles launch at the aircraft which would otherwise go unnoticed in cockpit view, allowing the pilot to act accordingly. A point-blank weapons release attack can surprise the targeted vehicle, barely leaving any room or time for the target to activate countermeasures. For Jets and helicopters, this can be accomplished by flying at very low altitudes towards the (hopefully) unsuspecting target, acquiring target lock once within close proximity (300 - 150 meters) and launching the missile right on top of the target the instance target lock is acquired. These attack methods can also be accomplished in Attack Boats too. However, the operator may be left vulnerable if the target acknowledges the presence of the incoming vehicle.
For Attack Boats, the Laser Guided missiles is best utilised among sea-based maps with high waves and other obstacles. Unlike the TV missile available for Attack Boats, the Laser Guided can still operator after entering a wave and continue towards the target as long as lock is maintained and also has a faster reload time. It has a maximum lock range of 550 meters, which is less than air vehicles. Due to its operational nature however, missiles such as TOW or TV types are preferred over the Laser Guided, as they require no lock on and are discrete, unlike the Laser Guided which require constant lock to be maintained which may risk exposing the location of the launch vehicle. Like air vehicles, the Laser Guided missiles on Attack Boats are better utilised in stand-off range or point-blank weapons release attacks.
Damage Statistics and Effects
The following is a list of effects and damage to specific vehicle types from impacts by the Laser Guided missile. Vehicles not listed are vehicles which are instantly destroyed upon missile impact at any angle. Such includes Jets of all Types (Laser designation only), Quad Bikes, and PWCs.
Damage resulting from impacts are consistent from any angle of impact. Damage result from aircraft are only listed in the "With Laser Designation" table as weapon lock cannot be acquired by normal means without it. Damage results are displayed as 'Damage-per-Missile' (D.P.M).
|Vehicle Type||D.P.M||Top (Laser Designation)|
|Main Battle Tank||30, Critical Hit||45, Mobility Kill|
|Infantry Fighting Vehicle||30, Critical Hit||45, Mobility Kill|
|Light Jeeps||91, Critical Hit Disable||91, Mobility Kill, Critical Hit Disable|
|MRAP Jeeps||56, Critical Hit||84, Mobility Kill|
|Mobile Anti-Air||30, Critical Hit||45, Mobility Kill|
|M142 HIMARS||56, Critical Hit||84, Mobility Kill|
|Transport Helicopter||-*||61, Critical Hit|
|Attack Boat||30, Critical Hit||45, Mobility Kill|
|RHIB Boat||61, Critical Hit||61, Mobility Kill|
|Attack Helicopter||-*||91, Critical Disable|
|Scout Helicopter||-*||91, Critical Disable|
*Signifies unavailable data; Damage results from aircraft are done with the use of Laser Designation, as aircraft cannot be locked on to and fired upon by the Laser Guided in any other normal circumstances.
- During Battlefield 4: Night Operations update, the Laser Guided missiles was enabled to instantly destroy Light Jeeps with a single missile, when it once couldn't before. After Battlefield 4: Community Operations update however, the Laser Guided missile's damage against Light Jeeps was reverted again, critically disabling the vehicle and requiring another missile to destroy it instead of 1. It is currently unknown why the changes and reverts were made, as it was not listed in either patch notes and no words were given by the developers. This change was made probably due to balancing reasons.
- The DV-15 Interceptor piloted by the player in South China Sea is equipped with Laser Guided by default.
- The Multiplayer ground/helicopter variant of the Laser Guided specialisation image resembles that of the real life North American AGM-114 Hellfire while the Jet variant resembles the real-life AGM-65 Maverick.
- For balancing reasons, Laser-Designated targets such as RHIB Boats and Light Jeeps, receive no damage boosts from laser designated attacks, and can only be completely destroyed with 2 missiles, or the vehicle is left to self destruct after receiving a Critical Hit Disable.