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Gun-target line (GTL)

Definition The Gun-Target Line (GTL) is a military term used predominantly in artillery operations. It refers to the imaginary straight line that stretches from the firing weapon or artillery piece to its intended target. It helps in aligning and adjusting fire to accurately engage the target. Key Takeaways The Gun-Target Line (GTL) is a tactical […]


The Gun-Target Line (GTL) is a military term used predominantly in artillery operations. It refers to the imaginary straight line that stretches from the firing weapon or artillery piece to its intended target. It helps in aligning and adjusting fire to accurately engage the target.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Gun-Target Line (GTL) is a tactical term often used in military operations that refers to the imaginary line that connects a firearm or artillery piece directly to its target.
  2. The GTL plays a critical role in calculating the trajectory, range, and direction of projectiles. It forms an integral part of strategic planning in warfare and defense scenarios, helping to increase targeting efficiency and reduce collateral damage.
  3. Moreover, the Gun-Target Line (GTL) is not only important in traditional warfare, but also in modern warfare which relies heavily on technology. Advanced tools use this concept for more precise calculations and predictions, improving the accuracy of cyber warfare, such as drone attacks or missile launches.


The military operations term, Gun-Target Line (GTL), is significant because it describes the straight line drawn from the gun or release point to the target.

It is of critical importance in tactical and strategic operations, especially in air warfare.

The GTL assists military personnel in guiding their aircraft or armory towards the target accurately and efficiently.

The line aids in the optimal positioning of military assets, potentially improving the success rate of the missions.

The understanding and proficient use of GTL are thus essential for the precision and effectiveness of defenses or attacks in military operations.


The Gun-Target Line, or GTL, is a vital concept in military operations, specifically in the realm of artillery and aircraft gunnery. The use of GTL serves a critical role in the functional operation and navigational activities of armed units aiming to conduct precise targeting with their artillery.

In its basic form, the GTL is an imaginary line that extends from a weapon or gun system towards a particular target, paving the way for accurate targeting. Essentially, the GTL guides the deflection and direction of the fire in accordance to the gun-target range.

Its purpose is intimately linked with the coordination and accomplishment of effective firing techniques. By establishing the gun-target line, the military can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their fire control, increasing the predictability of outcomes and ensuring the success of their operations.

Therefore, understanding and applying the GTL in practice is key for precision, operational execution, and punching up to the operational efficacy in military settings.

Examples of Gun-target line (GTL)

Naval Combat Scenario: The GTL concept is used extensively in naval operations. For example, during the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf, U.S Navy gun operators would have used Gun-Target Line to accurately aim and fire upon Japanese vessels. The GTL would establish the line between the gun platform (warship) and the enemy target for precise weapon’s direction.

Sniping in Irregular Warfare: In modern warfare such as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, snipers would use GTL to accurately aim and hit the targets from concealed positions. The line would be drawn between the sniper’s gun and the target for proper alignment and accuracy.

Anti-aircraft artillery operations: This is seen in both past and modern conflicts. During the World War II during the Battle of Britain, the British anti-aircraft artillery units used GTL to track, aim, and fire at the incoming German aircraft. The concept is still applicable today with more advanced anti-aircraft systems where GTL is used to accurately track and engage enemy aircraft flying at high speeds.

Frequently Asked Questions – Gun-Target Line (GTL)

What does GTL stand for in military operations?

In military operations, GTL stands for Gun-Target Line. It is a term that is common in artillery.

What is the purpose of a Gun-Target Line (GTL)?

A GTL is an imaginary line connecting the gun and the target on a plane. It is useful for aiming and accurately firing artillery or other military munitions.

How is the GTL position determined?

The GTL position is typically determined using certain target data and positional data of the gun or artillery unit. This data can include coordinates or bearing, and the GTL can be adjusted based on other factors like wind and terrain.

Does weather impact Gun-Target Line (GTL) positioning?

Yes, weather conditions such as wind and temperature can affect the flight path of artillery thus changing the Gun-Target Line position. These factors are often taken into consideration when determining the GTL.

Is the use of Gun-Target Line (GTL) limited to ground artillery?

No, the concept of a GTL is not limited to ground artillery. It can also apply to air warfare, naval warfare, and other types of combat where the position and direction of a weapon relative to its target is crucial.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Gunnery Officer (GO): An important post in naval warfare responsible for operation and maintenance of a ship’s guns and supervises gunfire during a combat.
  • Fire Control System (FCS): A system used for calculating the correct ballistic inputs for a weapon to hit its target accurately.
  • Target Motion Analysis (TMA): A method of predicting a target’s range, speed, and course based on its relative motion.
  • Relative Bearing: The angle between the ship’s forward direction and the line of sight to the target/object.
  • Bearing Rate: The rate at which the relative bearing to a target changes, which is an important factor in GTL calculations.

Sources for More Information

  • Encyclopedia Britannica: A highly reputable and reliable source of information on a wide array of topics, including military terms and strategies.
  • Global Security: An American website that provides analysis and background information about security, defense and military, geopolitical, and intelligence matters worldwide.
  • Military Factory: Detailed pages containing comprehensive information about military terminology and more.
  • Federation of American Scientists (FAS): This organization conducts analysis and advocacy on science, technology and public policy, including matters related to the military.

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