On February 15, the United States delivered 128 anti-tank Raytheon Javelin missiles to the Estonian Ministry of Defense and Estonian Defense Forces as part of a larger contract signed by the Estonian Center for Defense Investment and the U.S. Department of Defense. The shipment will continue to build upon Estonia’s defensive capabilities and further strengthens our nations’ strategic integration while ensuring interoperability among NATO Allies and partners. The Javelin anti-tank missile systems are part of an on-going cooperative effort involving joint financing from the U.S. Department of State and Estonian national funds.
The United States has provided Estonia with over $100 million in joint defense cooperation over the past few years, and takes part in over 150 military-to-military engagements between our service members each year. In December 2019, the Estonian defense ministry said the United States has allocated $175 million in military aid to the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for 2020. U.S. President Donald Trump signed U.S. National Defense Authorization Act bill granting aid to the Baltic countries, the bill includes a solidarity clause, which confirms the United States’ commitment to the Baltic region and assigns the Pentagon to write an analysis of defense assistance.
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 2020, over 5,000 Javelin missiles have been fired in combat.