How exactly does the SOFLAM work? Do you always need to be manning it in order to lock on to enemy vehicles?
Like the MAV and T-UGS, the SOFLAM works either as a manned or unmanned device.
If you place it on a high area with an overlook (ideally), it will automatically scan for and lock on to enemy vehicles in its field of vision. No human intervention required.
I suspect that it is more efficient when manned and operated manually -- and you can switch over to your deployed SOFLAM to control it remotely at any time using the proper gadget key -- but it does work either way.
Also note that the SOFLAM survives your death as recon, once deployed it is a permanent battlefield artifact until it is destroyed by the enemy.
Adding to Jeff here, He forgot the most important part of why the Soflam is the best tool in the game. IT INCREASES THE POWER OF JAVELENS. Which is very very deadly.
Do look at this post: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2238182
When used in conjunction with the SOFLAM, a Javelin shooting at a "Painted" target will do 3x the normal damage
Another advantage i've noticed, Is that you can use guided rockets with the tank to lock on to soflam-ed targets. When firing you can switch back to your normal cannon and fire again. Give you instant kill. Its almost a known secret i don't want to part with. But for the greater good. Have it and use it!