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Desired point of impact (DPI)

Definition The Desired Point of Impact (DPI) in military operations refers to a precise point, associated with a target, where forces aim to strike for maximum effectiveness. It is usually linked to particular weapon systems or attack techniques, and is used to guide the execution of an attack. The DPI could be any spot like […]


The Desired Point of Impact (DPI) in military operations refers to a precise point, associated with a target, where forces aim to strike for maximum effectiveness. It is usually linked to particular weapon systems or attack techniques, and is used to guide the execution of an attack. The DPI could be any spot like a critical facility within a broader target area, a weak spot on a vehicle, or a specific location on a battlefield.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Desired Point of Impact (DPI) refers to a precise spot where a military operation aims to effectively use its firepower. This could include a specific location in enemy territory or a strategic position.
  2. A DPI is an important part of military planning and strategy. It helps to ensure that resources are utilized effectively and military objectives are achieved with minimal collateral damage.
  3. Accurate identification and description of a DPI often involves the use of advanced technology, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), satellite imagery, and other reconnaissance data. This allows for better precision and effectiveness in military operations.


The term “Desired Point of Impact” (DPI) is highly significant in military operations due to its role in defining and directing precise actionable targets.

The DPI refers to the exact location where a weapon system is to impact to achieve the desired effect, be it destruction, incapacitation, or disruption.

Correct identification and communication of the DPI is vital for mission success as it directly influences the accuracy of the strike and the minimization of collateral damage.

It forms the base for mission planning, conduct, and evaluation, having a substantial effect on both offensive and defensive strategic operations.

Therefore, the DPI’s accuracy is crucial for effective operational control, assessment, and execution in the military realm.


The Desired Point of Impact, commonly known amongst military personnel as DPI, serves a pivotal role in military operations, in particular those involving targeted strikes. Its core purpose is to provide precision and accuracy.

Specifically, DPI refers to the precise location where military forces aim their weapons for maximum impact and success during a mission. The term can apply to a variety of principles, from a sniper’s bullet to an aerial bombardment, ensuring troop safety through accurate, designed attacks.

Calculating and determining the Desired Point of Impact is a complex process founded on a combination of intelligence data, reconnaissance, meteorological factors, and the capabilities of the weapon system in use. This information contributes to mission planning, minimizing collateral damage, and ensuring maximum effectiveness.

DPI is critical to the successful execution of military strategies and operations for both offensive and defensive measures. Notably, in today’s technologically advanced warfare environment where precision-guided munitions are commonplace, the utilization of DPI has become an integral part of military strategy.

Examples of Desired point of impact (DPI)

Operation Neptune Spear: The operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011 is said to have had a DPI; the precise compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where bin Laden was found. U.S Special Forces had to ensure the helicopters landed as close to the desired point as possible within the compound to minimize exposure and maintain the element of surprise.

World War II’s D-Day Invasion: Each of the beaches targeted during the D-Day Invasion was a DPI for Allied forces. Each of the beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword – had been meticulously mapped and analyzed so that the invading forces would know exactly where they needed to land.

Operation Desert Storm (Gulf War): In this operation, the U.S. and coalition forces identified several DPIs for military strikes, which included command and control centers, infrastructure, and Iraqi military installations. Precision-guided munitions often referred to as “smart bombs,” were widely used for the first time in this conflict to maximize the chance of hitting the intended DPI and minimize collateral damage.

FAQs for Desired point of impact (DPI)

What is Desired Point of Impact (DPI)?

Desired Point of Impact (DPI) refers to a specific point or area that military forces aim to strike during a military operation. It’s a precise location identified using geographic coordinates or marked by specific features.

Why is a Desired Point of Impact (DPI) important?

A DPI is significant as it helps military forces to focus their resources accurately and effectively during an operation or a mission. It plays a crucial role in achieving the strategic and tactical objectives of a military operation.

How is a Desired Point of Impact (DPI) determined?

A DPI is typically determined through thorough intelligence collection and detailed planning. It takes into account factors such as target importance, force capabilities, mission objectives, terrain, and enemy defenses.

Can a Desired Point of Impact (DPI) change during a mission?

Yes, a DPI can change during a mission based on evolving operational circumstances, intelligence updates, or command decisions. The ability to dynamically alter a DPI and redirect assets is a key aspect of modern military operations.

What types of assets are typically directed at a Desired Point of Impact (DPI)?

The types of assets directed at a DPI can range from artillery and guided munitions to special operations forces and air strikes, depending on the operation’s nature and the DPI’s characteristics.

Related Military Operation Terms

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Sources for More Information

  • U.S. Army Official Website: This is the official website of the United States Army, where military terms and procedures, including the Desired point of impact (DPI), are explained.
  • U.S. Navy Official Website: The homepage of the United States Navy is also a reliable source of information regarding military operations, tactics, and terminologies.
  • U.S. Department of Defense: This is the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense, which is a primary source of official information on U.S. military activities and terms.
  • U.S. Air Force Official Website: The United States Air Force website offers detailed information and discussions on various military strategies and operations, including the concept of DPI.

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