Pilum High: The Javelin Anti-Armor Missile
March 2/23: UK The US State Department has approved a possible $125.2 million FGM-148F Javelin medium range antitank missile sale to the United Kingdom. Announced Tuesday, the new deal follows a request by London for 600 of the weapons and includes 12 “fly-to-buy” missiles, US technical assistance and logistical support, noted the State Department. “The proposed sale will improve the United Kingdom’s capability to meet current and future threats,” it added. “The United Kingdom will use the enhanced capability to build its long-term defense capacity to meet its national defense requirements.”
The FGM-148 Javelin missile system aimed to solve 2 key problems experienced by American forces. One was a series of disastrous experiences in Vietnam, trying to use 66mm M72 LAW rockets against old Soviet tanks. A number of replacement options like the Mk 153 SMAW and the AT4/M136 spun out of that effort in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until electronics had miniaturized for several more cycles that it became possible to solve the next big problem: the need for soldiers to remain exposed to enemy fire while guiding anti-tank missiles to their targets.
Javelin solves both of those problems at once, offering a heavy fire-and-forget missile that will reliably destroy any enemy armored vehicle, and many fortifications as well. While armored threats are less pressing these days, the need to destroy fortified outposts and rooms in buildings remains. Indeed, one of the lessons from both sides of the 2006 war in Lebanon has been the infantry’s use of guided missiles as a form of precision artillery fire. Javelin isn’t an ideal candidate for that latter role, due to its high cost-per-unit; nevertheless, it has often been used this way. Its performance in Iraq has revealed a clear niche on both low and high intensity battlefields, and led to rising popularity with American and international clients.
The Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile System
Javelin ATGM: The Program
Customers & Recent Budgets
Javelin ATGM: Reports from the Front
Javelin: Contracts & Key Events
FY 2014 – 2023
FY 2007 – 2008
FY 2007 – 2008
FY 2006 and earlier
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