Estonia receives approval from US to transfer Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine

According to a statement published by the Estonian Ministry of Defense on January 21, 2022, Estonian Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet has confirmed the approval from the United States to transfer Javelin's anti-tank missile weapon to Ukraine.
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Estonian Army carried out a live-fire exercise with Javelin Anti-tank Guided Missile. (Picture source Estonia MoD)

"Today Ukraine is at the forefront of separating Europe from the military conflict with Russia. Let´s face it - the war in Ukraine is ongoing and it is important to support Ukraine in every way we can so that they can resist the aggressor," Minister of Defense of Estonia, Kalle Laanet said and added that he is pleased that in consultation with the Allies, Estonia has decided to donate weapon systems to Ukraine.

"Today we have all the necessary approvals from US to send the weapons. With this, we show that we support Ukraine not only with words, but also with deeds. The Allies are united, but there is always a need for those who show initiative, Estonia is definitely one of those countries," Laanet added.

Estonia will continue to co-operate to deliver weapons to Ukraine expeditiously. Defence ministers also expressed hope that there will never be a need for Ukraine to actually use these weapon systems and that Russia will change its aggressive posture.

In October 2014, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Estonia for Javelin missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $55 million. The Government of Estonia had requested a possible sale of 350 Javelin Guided Missiles, 120 Command Launch Units (CLU) with Integrated Day/Thermal Sight, 102 Battery Coolant Units, 16 Enhanced Performance Basic Skills Trainers (EPBST), 102 Missile Simulation Rounds (MSR), and spare parts.

On February 2020, the United States delivered 128 anti-tank Raytheon Javelin missiles to the Estonian Ministry of Defense and Estonian Defense Forces as part of a larger contract signed by the Estonian Center for Defense Investment and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The FGM-148 Javelin is an infrared-guided anti-tank missile that can be carried and launched by a single soldier. The anti-tank missile system is manufactured by the American companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The Javelin missile has a maximum range of 2,500 m using fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The missile has an effective firing range of 4,000 m for the lightweight LCU. It can penetrate armor equivalent to 600 to 800 mm RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor).