What are Javelin missiles?


One of the oft-mentioned weapons that the US has been constantly supplying to the Ukrainian army is the Javelin anti-tank missile system. Since the Russian invasion began on February 24, the US has supplied 2,600 Javelin missiles to Ukraine, and on March 16 announced that it would be supplying 2,000 more as part of an $800 million aid package. What is this system and why is it in such high demand?

The Javelin missile (FGM-148) is an American-made, portable anti-tank missile system in service since 1996. The missile is based on infrared guidance technology and has lock-on-target capabilities, which allows the shooter to “fire-and-forget” – to search for cover or prepare the next missile as soon as the previous one was launched, without having to guide it to its target.

The Javelin has an arced flight path, known as “top-attack” which enables it to hit tanks and heavily-armored vehicles from above, where their armor is thinnest. It can, however, also be used for direct fire in order to bring down walls, fortifications, targets in close vicinity and low-flying aircraft such as helicopters.


Join now!