French Army instructors will launch their first U.S. Javelin anti-tank missile for practice France
Defense News - France
Friday , 10 December 2010, 10:45 AM
French Army instructors will launch their first U.S. Javelin anti-tank missile for practice.
PARIS - French Army instructors will launch their first U.S. Javelin missile for practice on Dec. 16 at the Canjuers base, a step forward in plans to rapidly deploy the weapon in the Afghan theater, a U.S. official said and the French Army has confirmed. Also, Alain Juppé, the country's new defense minister, is to visit the Canjuers camp and two military schools in Draguignon in southern France on Dec. 15 to inspect the facilities that will prepare troops heading to Afghanistan.
The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) procurement rejected the first delivery of four simulator units, the service said. One of the simulators was damaged in transit and the others were deemed to be not in good condition, having being drawn from old U.S. Army stock.
Initial training of 23 Javelin instructors started Dec. 6 at Draguignon and will wrap up Dec. 17, the Army said.
The date for deployment of the Javelins has not yet been set, said Army Col. Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the Joint Chief of Staff. Troop training and maintenance support in the field are key factors that will decide when the missiles can be sent to Afghanistan, he said.
There has been talk of April, when the next battalion is sent to relieve the present task force unit.
France bought the missile as an interim solution to fill the need for a fire-and-forget weapon to respond to Afghan insurgents firing from the protection of thick stone walls of houses and compounds.