IIRR, it's less a dispenser and more a mortar system and depending on the sophistication of the force and the era of the combat, it can be either conventional, 'white' or 'metal' smoke which defeats visual, IR and MMW in turn.
I mention it because I think most tanks can also lay (conventional) smoke by burning diesel in a secondary headvolume or by less efficient stochio's in turbines.
In point of truth; the Sov's were still so entirely reliant on optical/RF command guidance that it didn't matter back in the 80's but today, everybody and his brother wants a TI scope most every ATGM coming out of the pipe is either SALH or autono I2R/MMW so that you /need/ more.
The USAR and indeed /The West/ still don't mount an effective tank defense scheme, the closest I've heard being some of the gear on Israeli Merkava-III's.
If you don't see the launch (as you probably won't with a Hellfire or ATGW3 class, 4nm+ system) you probably won't see the inbound and even if a laser warner gives a terminal heads up, you will likely not get past the 'hunh?' double take to slam the panic button and tell the team to do the same so that all the projectors toss their grenadelets, burst them above ground and get the tank/s slowed and shunted in time behind the curtain, manually.
OTOH, with a modern active defense like the Russian's Shtora or our SLID was -supposed- to be, the missile plume/body itself is MAWS trackable and _automatically_ engaged by not only the softkill but also the hard knockdown defenses.
One nice thing is that, when it's done right, whole teams of individual tank icons can be replaced by a cobearing curtain of smoke through which missiles have an auto negative-100 SSPk modifier.
Whether the curtain bloom and descent is obvious then can be left to the player based machine-prefs.
In any case, NOW, all of a sudden, you're not looking at such total 'advantage AAH' because if you're hauling 16 missiles yet only 1 in 2 or 3 get (multiserviced) through to each target, you're not competitive with the 40-60rds on that mile-per-second 120/125mm maintube of the Tank-X. Can't swat down a main tube round just yet.
There's other stuff (decoys and static absorbers) that could and should be done with as a function of deceptive measure strategies too.
I -only wish- game companies would realize that the magic words of FLIR/laser-guided-whatsit and so on are no longer 80's new but 2000-sowhat?, not only to the basic milspeak saturated consumer but also _in the real world_.
Indeed, they are so evolutionarily locked into measure-CM now that they cannot be considered as anything but basic tools like a map or a radio to be used as and when the enemy get's careless or you put yourself in a literal /position/ to catch him in forced movement to contact or dislocation from sited defense. Up close and personal.
Think of the 'SCUD trailer'=oil tanker debacle by Horner in DS and now start to wonder, "Is that gap in the camonet to tease me into /thinking/ it's a real tank glowing underneath or just some Swabovian Nasties idea of headsex?".
If they have one of the later maintube guided missiles you can just sit there hymning and hawing in wonderment because somebody will notice and start chucking over-hill proxrounds at you about four times as fast as Hellfire ever dreamed to fly.
Point being that some of these wouldn't necessarily require a graphics animation so much as simple icon switchouts and a -real- thermography model that could fool TI at certain distances and aspects, depending on the expert-level of the troops generating their placement.
Smoke is to Mirrors what muzzle flash is to 'distant gunfire' report. Obvious and Last Ditch after you've already been engaged from a known threat (that also 'knows' you, Muahahahahahaah!;-)