first published on March 2, 2018 by Will
In a long-overdue move, the US State Department will officially give the green light to sell Javelin missiles to the Ukrainian military.
The official announcement to sell the FGM-148 man-portable, infrared-guided, fire and forget anti tank missile was made public on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s website. The order will be for over 200 missiles and around 40 command launch units (CLU), with a price tag of almost $47 million.
The units will be sold from already existing Army stockpiles, rather than ordered from the manufacturer in order to speed up the transaction process.
Under the Obama Administration, the sale of “lethal military aid” was avoided in hopes of avoiding further escalations with Russia. However, the Trump Administration has taken a different stance. Late last year, the White House approved weapon manufacturer Barrett to sell over $40 million in .50 cal M107A1 sniper rifles and ammunition to Ukraine, and now the direct sale of advanced anti tank weaponry.
The Javelin missiles may change the game in the eastern part of the country as Ukrainian forces will be able to destroy Russian and separatist proxy military vehicles and fighting positions from their current standoff frontline trenches.
The Javelin is superior in many ways to wired guided missiles (ATGM), as the infrared guidance system allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch. The Javelin’s HEAT warhead has an attack feature that allows it to strike tanks from above rather than challenging thick front armor. The system itself is lighter than most other missile systems and therefore man-portable. It’s most impressive quality may be its almost 5K meter range in which it can strike targets with near perfect accuracy.