According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the U.S. State Department has approved the potential $100 million sale to Poland of 180 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and associated equipment. Poland has requested to buy 180 Javelin missiles and 79 Javelin Command Launch Units, and the proposed sale also includes Basic Skill Trainers, Missile Simulation Rounds, Battery Coolant Units, tool kits, parts, training, and support, at a total estimated program cost of $100 million. The prime contractors will be Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture, Orlando, Florida and Tucson, Arizona.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally and partner nation,” the Wednesday, March 4 release said. “This proposed sale of the Javelin system will help Poland build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements.”
The FGM-148 Javelin is an American man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile fielded to replace the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in US service. It uses automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch, as opposed to wire-guided systems, like the Dragon, which require the user to actively guide the weapon throughout the engagement. The Javelin’s HEAT warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above where their armor is thinnest, and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight. As of January 2019, Javelin has been used in Afghanistan and Iraq in more than 5,000 engagements. The system is scheduled to be in inventory until 2050.
Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The system takes a top-attack flight profile against armored vehicles (attacking the top armor, which is generally thinner), but can also take a direct-attack mode for use against buildings, targets inside the minimum top-attack engagement range, and targets under obstructions. The missile also has the ability to engage helicopters in the direct attack mode. It can reach a peak altitude of 150 m (500 ft) in top-attack mode and 60 m (190 ft) in direct-fire mode. The tandem warhead is fitted with two shaped charges: a precursor warhead to detonate any explosive reactive armor and a primary warhead to penetrate base armor.