Lockheed Martin from US to produce 1,300 Javelin anti-tank missiles for Ukraine

According to information published on May 16, 2022, the U.S. Army recently awarded the Javelin Joint Venture two production contracts for Javelin anti-tank missiles and associated equipment and services with a total value of $309 million. These contracts include more than 1,300 Javelin missiles funded from the recent Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act and orders for several international customers including Norway, Albania, Latvia, and Thailand.
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U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Bunde, anti-tank missile gunner, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, launches a Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

The Javelin anti-tank missile weapon system is developed and produced by the Javelin Joint Venture, a partnership of Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is investing to increase the missile production rate beyond the current 2,100 per year. Likewise, Raytheon is investing to maximize the production of the reusable lightweight command launch unit.

To date, the Javelin Joint Venture has produced more than 50,000 Javelin missiles and more than 12,000 reusable Command Launch Units. Javelin is expected to remain in the U.S. weapon arsenal until 2050 and is subject to continual upgrades to retain overmatch against emerging threats and to support evolving operational needs.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the United States has already delivered more than 5,000 Javelin man-portable anti-tank guided missiles to the Ukrainian armed forces. Citing information from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense released on March 2022, at least 280 Russian armored vehicles have been destroyed by the American Javelin missile, out of 300 shots fired,

The Javelin is a fire-and-forget, shoulder-fired weapon that consists of a reusable M98A1 CLU and a missile. The CLU houses the day sight, night vision sight (NVS), controls, and indicators. The round consists of the missile, the launch tube assembly (LTA), and the battery coolant unit (BCU). The missile contains the guidance section, mid-body section, warhead section, propulsion section, and control actuator section. The LTA serves as the launch platform and carrying container for the missile.

The Javelin missile’s tandem warhead is a high-explosive antitank round. This round utilizes an explosive-shaped charge to create a jet of superplasticity deformed metal formed from trumpet-shaped metallic liners. The result is a high-velocity jet that can penetrate armor equivalent to 600 to 800 mm RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor).

The Javelin missile has a maximum range of 2,500 m using a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The missile has an effective firing range of 4,000 m for the lightweight LCU. It has a maximum firing of 4,750 m when the missile is fired from a vehicle weapon station.