Australia is looking to buy 200 JAVELIN FGM-148E missiles and related equipment from the U.S. at an estimated cost of US$46m in an effort to fill an immediate shortfall in its inventory. The JAVELIN Weapon System was introduced to the Australian Army to engage and destroy current and anticipated enemy armour at ranges beyond that achievable with previous shoulder-fired anti-armour systems. It uses automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch, as opposed to wired guided systems, where the user has to actively guide the weapon throughout the engagement. JAVELIN’s high-explosive anti-tank warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above, and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight.
The system is produced by a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, having been used extensively and to great advantage in combat operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Combat arms units employ JAVELIN as a dismounted shoulder-fired weapon (or from vehicle platforms) which also offers the capability to destroy slow-moving or hovering rotary wing aircraft and fortifications. Targets are engaged by locking on to their heat signature, after which, time of flight is approximately 14 seconds for 2 kilometres.
Other countries who have purchased JAVELIN include the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
J C Menon