IR Smoke is used by military forces to mask the movement or location of units such as infantry, tanks, aircraft or ships. The smoke provides screening even in the infrared electromagnetic region, unlike carbon emissions or fog, preventing designation from enemy weapons.
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• 800 MBT and IFV score
IR Smoke is a ground vehicle specialization available to Main Battle Tanks, IFVs, Mobile Anti-Air Vehicles, Mobile Artillery Vehicles and Tank Destroyers. It is their primary active countermeasure, activated by the button; when used by the driver, the vehicle is surrounded by a thick cloud of smoke, obscuring view and thermal imaging, scrambling weapon lock, distracting guided missiles, obscuring laser designation, and preventing spotting. Smoke is more comprehensive than the aerial equivalent, IR flares, as it distracts laser designation and protects the vehicle for as long as it stays within the smoke cloud, which lasts about five seconds.
Unguided weapons are unaffected by smoke and still have a chance of hitting the vehicle; nonetheless it is useful when retreating, obscuring the vehicle from view and making it harder to aim precisely. It also provides excellent cover for Engineers repairing the vehicle.
In all versions, a warning sound will notify players when they are being locked on and urge them to deploy countermeasures. It is best to deploy IR Smoke once the tone becomes a rapid high pitch staccato pulse, which indicates a guided missile is heading your way; the lock-on could just be a distraction.
Use of the smoke is the easiest way to avoid being killed by Javelins, and can help to some extent against Guided Missiles. Generally speaking, if a Javelin acquires a lock, firing smoke and sitting in the cloud until it dissipates can more or less nullify the missile, as it only takes two seconds after the smoke dissipates for the launchers to reload. Against aircraft, firing smoke and going stationary means the tank is an easy target for strafing runs, so rapid course adjustments and constant movement, coupled with firing smoke is probably the best approach.
• Attack Boat
IR Smoke returns in Battlefield 4 with an improved appearance. Instead of instantly creating a large cloud of smoke, small bursts appear around the vehicle, eventually filling the area—the effect is much the same as a real smoke system, as seen in the image at the top of this page.
IR Smoke can divert incoming missiles.
The similar Smoke Screen countermeasure is expected to generate a higher volume of smoke that trails the vehicle, but only prevents guided weaponry from inflicting critical damage.