Bahrain Requests 160 Javelins & 60 CLUs
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified the US Congress [PDF format] of Bahrain’s request for 180 Javelin anti-armor missile rounds (see MPEG video of Javelin firing) and 60 Javelin command launch units (CLUs), plus simulators, trainers, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, personnel training and equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, Quality Assurance Team services, and other related elements of logistics support. Bahrain is the base for the US 5th Fleet, and a close ally in the region.
The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $42 million, and The prime contractor will be Raytheon/Lockheed-Martin JAVELIN Joint Venture in Orlando, Florida.
Despite a high per-unit cost, the Javelin missile is becoming popular in the wake of its performance in Iraq…
The Javelin missile received very good reviews from the front lines during Operation Iraqi Freedom for its fire-and-forget accuracy and large explosions. Its role in the Battle of Debecka Pass in northern Iraq received particular attention. As Army Magazine notes:
“Debecka Pass basically had two Special Forces ‘A’ Teams facing a battalion-sized enemy force that had 12 tanks, 24 armored personnel carriers, three howitzers, a multiple rocket launcher, an anti-aircraft gun, 150 soldiers and probably another 18 to 20 light vehicles and trucks,” [Raytheon business development manager Roy] Adams said.
“The American force ended up destroying two tanks, eight personnel carriers and four cargo trucks. More important, they were able to hold off that enemy force until the 173rd Airborne Brigade could relieve them and assume ownership of that pass.”
He added, “One of the sergeants who was there said, ‘Without the Javelin weapon systems, 30 Americans never would have left that pass alive.’ “
Interestingly, the Javelin CLUs have also received rave reviews from the front lines. Their advanced optics and thermal imaging led to widespread use as an effective day & night surveillance tool.
Finally, the Javelin comes with embedded training that allows operators to train and qualify through multiple scenarios without firing a missile. While some live-fire is required for truly effective training, the expense of weapons like TOW and Javelin has traditionally limited training and practice to unacceptably low levels. Using an embedded virtual training option helps to alleviate this problem.
As noted above, despite its higher price tag, this feature set and battlefield credibility appear to be compelling. In the last 2 years, Raytheon notes that 9 countries have adopted the Javelin weapons system.
- Michael Yon (May 7/07) – Rattlesnake. Michael is becoming one of the best military journalists of this generation. Here he files a dispatch that covers British forces near Basra, Iraq, as they plan and execute a counter-ambush trap using Javelin missiles in a prominent role.
- Raytheon (Jan 17/07) – Javelin Joint Venture Earns Logistics Award for Supporting the Warfighter. The Javelin Joint Venture Logistics Support Team has received the from the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency’s 2006 Defense Logistics Award for Contractor-Military Collaboration.
- US Army, Army Magazine (June 1/06) – Soldier Armed. Reviews the Javelin’s development history, talks about the system’s utility on the battlefield and discusses planned future enhancements.
- Australian DoD Army Newspaper (December 2003) – Watch out, armour: First Javelin instructors qualify at School of Infantry. Covers training aspects.