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US to send additional Javelin antitank missiles to Ukraine worth USD 100Mn



US President Biden on April 5 authorized another $100 million in military aid to Ukraine for more FGM-148 Javelin antitank missiles. ”Ukraine’s armed forces have an urgent need for more of these particular weapons, which they have been using so effectively to defend their country”, U.S. DoD press secretary John Kirby said. This gift comes on top of the $300 million package of military aid announced by the Pentagon on April 1, which Army Recognition detailed.
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U.S. soldiers fire an FGM-148 Javelin antitank missile, Fort Campbell, July 29, 2016 (Picture source: U.S. Army)


With the addition of the newest aid, the U.S. has so far committed $1.7 billion for the defense of Ukraine against the Russian armed forces that invaded the country on February 24.

FGM-148 Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The system takes a top-attack flight profile against armored vehicles, attacking the usually thinner top armor, but can also make a direct attack, for use against buildings, targets too close for a top attack, targets under obstructions and helicopters.

It can reach a peak altitude of 150 m (490 ft) in top-attack mode and 60 m (200 ft) in direct-fire mode. Initial versions had a range of 2,000 m (6,600 ft), later increased to 2,500 m (8,200 ft). It is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker. The tandem warhead is fitted with two shaped charges: a precursor warhead to detonate any explosive reactive armor and a primary warhead to penetrate base armor.

The missile is ejected from the launcher to a safe distance from the operator before the main rocket motors ignite – a "soft launch arrangement". This makes it harder to identify the launcher, though the backblast from the launch tube still poses a hazard to nearby personnel. The firing team may change their position as soon as the "fire-and-forget" missile has been launched, or immediately prepare to fire on their next target.

The missile system is sometimes carried by two soldiers consisting of a gunner and an ammunition bearer, although one soldier can fire it. While the gunner aims and fires the missile, the ammunition bearer scans for prospective targets, watches for threats like enemy vehicles or troops and ensures that personnel and obstacles are clear of the missile's launch backblast.


 

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