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The specialization functions similarly to the SOFLAM and vehicle-mounted CITV Station in Battlefield 3 by enabling the gunner of the vehicle to laser-designate targets. The range for the Gunner SOFLAM for air targets is 500m. The specialization also comes with a target range calculator, but unlike the infantry-portable PLD, only displays range of vehicles.
Although available to both MBT and IFV, it is most commonly employed by operators for IFV than for MBT due to the fact the IFV come with very limited secondary weapon options consisting of only the Zuni Rockets and TOW Missiles. This gives a 50-50 chance of the driver of an IFV to be equipped with TOW Missiles instead of Zuni Rockets, allowing increased target engagement and damage capability as the TOW missile has the ability to guide itself to laser-designated targets. This is less so for Main Battle Tanks as the increase in secondary weapons options decreases the likelihood of the driver having Laser-Designation compatible weapons such as Guided Shells to be equipped out of the more common Coaxial Machine Guns.
Even if other friendly units cannot provide guided weaponry, the operator still benefits from having a remote camera with which to spot enemies and range targets. The default Thermal Optics equipped alongside this specialization can also assist in both gunner and driver to identify incoming threats more easily. Once an enemy vehicle has been designated, friendly unit's damage against that target is increased. "Painting" or lasing a target with the SOFLAM will give a "target designated" bonus of 10 points. The SOFLAM allows Laser-Designation compatible weapons to be able to even lock on to aerial targets and deal an extra damage boost to all vehicles. This is especially effective in open maps with little cover such as Silk Road where vehicles are a plenty. The driver of the MBT or IFV can choose to become a dedicated, albeit more protected Laser-Designator from withi the safety of the armored vehicle in question compared to infantry-portable SOFLAM and PLD's which are easy targets for multiple threats.
The Gunner SOFLAM has an uncanny side-effect however, as its bright red laser can give away the position of the vehicle, especially in Hardcore game modes where 3D Spotting is deactivated by default. In cases where the driver of the vehicle is attempting to dispatch hostile targets discretely, and unless Guided Shells or TOW Missiles are equipped, painting the target during such situations until discovered are highly discouraged.