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Albania Acquires Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles from United States.

| Defense News Army 2024

On April 6, 2024, Albania's Minister of Defense announced that the country had purchased Javelin anti-tank missiles from American defense contractor Lockheed Martin to bolster its military defenses. The details regarding the number of missiles, their cost, or the delivery schedule were not disclosed by Niko Peleshi, the Defense Minister.
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The Javelin is a guided anti-tank missile designed by the United States. (Picture source: US DoD)

The acquisition is part of Albania's ongoing efforts to modernize its military capabilities. This announcement follows Lockheed Martin's earlier disclosure that the U.S. Army had awarded them two contracts for the production of Javelin missiles, totaling $309 million. These contracts will provide over 1,300 missiles, funded by the recent Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, and include orders for various international clients such as Norway, Albania, Latvia, and Thailand.

The Javelin is a guided anti-tank missile designed by the United States and used by several countries around the world, including Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others. The missile system itself weighs 11.8 kg and has a diameter of 126 mm, with a length of 1.08 meters. It is known for its ability to strike targets at distances ranging from 2,500 to 4,750 meters.

Operating the Javelin requires two soldiers and comes equipped with various accessories to enhance its accuracy and reliability. It features a passive target acquisition system and fire control with an integrated day/thermal sight, offering 4x magnification in daylight mode and either 4x or 9x in thermal mode. This technology allows operators to precisely locate and target even in low light conditions or at night.

The missile uses a tandem-shaped charge warhead, specifically designed to penetrate the toughest armor. The associated firing post, necessary to launch the missile, weighs about 6.4 kg, adding a degree of portability to a weapon system of this caliber. Together, these features make the Javelin a formidable option for anti-tank warfare in modern conflicts.

Minister Peleshi reassured the public by stating, "There is no concrete threat. As a NATO member, our national security concerns are adequately addressed, and we are safe." He also noted NATO's non-threatening stance towards any nation, including Russia, and expressed Albania's support for the alliance's open-door policy towards new members such as Finland and Sweden.

Despite Albania’s supportive stance, Turkey has voiced its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Albania, along with North Macedonia and Montenegro, is a member of NATO, having joined the alliance in 2009.


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