Javelin missile supplement worth of a little over $ 31 million has been handed over to Lithuania as part of the assistance of the United States of America. Lithuania is planned to acquire missiles for $ 104 million over the next decade, the sum includes a $ 13 million procurement contract signed back in late 2019. The systems will be assigned to different units of the Lithuanian Land Force as part of the steps to strengthen defence capabilities of Lithuania. The Lithuanian Defense Ministry requested the sale of 220 Javelin missiles and related gear from the US joint venture of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to boost the country’s capacity to combat enemy tanks and armored vehicles. The acquisition program is part of Lithuania’s increased efforts to enhance its strike capability because of Russia’s military intervention in neighboring Ukraine.
“The U.S. is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally for the Baltic security. The Javelin anti-tank missile system provided by the U.S. particularly increases the long-term combat capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the deterrent effect,” Vice Minister of National Defence Eimutis Misiūnas said.
“I applaud Lithuania’s ongoing efforts to modernize and improve its Armed Forces capabilities,” said Ambassador Gilchrist. “These Javelin missiles will increase Lithuania’s interoperability with U.S. military forces and, above all, they signify the United States’ unwavering commitment to the security of our valued Allies.”
The Javelin anti-tank missile system will be deployed by the country’s Land Forces as a supplement to the existing Javelin system. In 2002, Lithuania was the first country to purchase Javelin systems from the U.S. Javelin is a portable anti-tank missile system capable of destroying targets at a range of up to 2.5 kilometers. Since 2014, Lithuania, a small Baltic state with a population of less than 3 million and the eastern-flank North Atlantic Treaty Organization member country, has been stepping up its defense capabilities. The Javelin medium-range anti-tank missile system is and advanced weapon capable of destroying modern, explosive reactor armour (ERA)-fitted main battle tanks. The contract also cover technical support, transport and logistics, plus general assistance for the programme.
The system uses “fire-and-forget” principle: when the target is locked and a missile is fired, it guides itself all the way to the target, which increases protection of the unit since it can change its location without having to wait for the missile to hit its target. The Javelin missile’s tandem warhead is capable of attacking its target straight on or from the top from an altitude of up to 150 metres and hit a tank on the most vulnerable spot, i.e. the hatch. The Javelin has a soft launch design that ignites the engine of the missile only when it is outside of its launch-tube, which does not allow to detect where the missile was launched from. The missile can also be launched from enclosed spaces in case of an urban warfare situation.