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The UK armed forces intend to procure up to 600 FGM-148F Javelin anti-tank missiles, according to a notification by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) dated 28 February 2023.

According to the notification, the US State Department has approved the sale of the systems as well as an unspecified logistics and support package with a total value of USD 125.13 M. The US Congress has yet to approve the acquisition of the missiles, after which the UK Ministry of Defence can negotiate a final contract with US companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which jointly manufacture the weapon.

The British Army is already an operator of the system, which replaced its MILAN and Swingfire anti-tank missiles from 2005 onwards.

A Javelin missile being launched by British soldiers. The system has been in UK service since 2005. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

The Javelin missile system can be used day and night and in all weather conditions and has proven its effectiveness during the war in Ukraine. The F version of the Javelin is the sixth performance upgrade of the system. A new multi-purpose, pre-fragmented warhead with a shaped charge can be successfully employed against conventional and reactive armour as well as other targets. The system’s range is said to be around 4,000 m.

The purchase of up to 513 modernised launchers and aiming devices for the FGM-148 Javelin was already approved for the United Kingdom in the summer of 2022. The so-called Javelin Lightweight Command Launch Unit (LWCLU) is a reusable component of the anti-tank system and is almost 2 kg lighter and more compact than its predecessor, corresponding to a weight reduction of about 40% and a volume reduction of about 70%. In addition, the LWCLU has a significantly longer battery life.

Furthermore, new capabilities for the launcher have been developed by the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture (JJV).

Waldemar Geiger