U.S. could deliver Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine this year

United States could deliver this year Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine according to the Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak. The FGM-148 Javelin is an American-made man-portable anti-tank guided missile and employable fire-and-forget medium-range missile system. It was developed and built by a joint venture formed by American Companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

United States could deliver Javelin anti tank missiles to Ukraine this year 925 001
A U.S. Army Paratrooper assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade practices with the Javelin weapon system during Expert Infantry Badge training on January 30th, 2018. (Picture source U.S. MoD )

On December, 2017, ABC News website announced that the U.S. President Donald Trump has approved the sale of lethal munitions to the Ukrainian government in its fight against Russian-backed separatists in the country's Donbas region. The total defense contract of $47 million could include the sale of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 35 launcher units.

The Javelin is a portable anti-tank weapon system, manufactured by the American Companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Javelin under a joint venture. It is shoulder-fired but can also be installed on tracked, wheeled or amphibious vehicles. The Javelin missile system is in service with 20 armies in the world.

The Javelin system consists of the CLU (Command Launch Unit) and the round. The CLU, with a carry weight of 6.4kg, incorporates a passive target acquisition and fire control unit with an integrated day sight and a thermal imaging sight. The gunner's controls for the missile system are on the CLU. The day sight is equipped with x4 magnification and the night sight with x4 and x9 magnification optics.

The Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance The missile has a small thermal imaging TV camera in the nose and a computer that is sufficiently sophisticated that once locked onto a tank, it will follow it autonomously, even if it is moving. The missile is designed to attack the topside of a tank where the armor is thinner. After launch, the missile climbs to a 330-660 ft altitude and dives at a 45-degree angle. It has a maximum effective firing range of 2,500 m.