FGM-148 Javelin Anti-tank Missiles
FGM-148 Javelin Anti-tank Missiles

Georgian Defense Forces to Order FGM-148 Javelin Anti-tank Missiles for $30 Million

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Georgia of Javelin Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $30 million. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Georgia which is a strategic partner and a key contributor to security and stability the region. The Javelin system will help Georgia build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements.

The Georgian Defense Forces (Sakartvelos Tavdatsvis Dzalebi) has requested to buy eighty-two (82) Javelin FGM-148 Missiles; and forty-six (46) Javelin Command Launch Units (CLU). Also included are Enhanced Producibility Basic Skills Trainers; Missile Simulation Rounds; Security Assistance Management Directorate Technical Assistance; Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions Project Office Technical Assistance; other associated equipment and services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The prime contractors will be Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture of Orlando, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona.

U.S. Army Pvt. Hayden Johnson, center, a cavalry scout assigned to Mississippi Army National Guard fires a Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile during a combined arms live fire exercise as part of Desert Observer II the Udairi Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait.(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Jovi Prevot)

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 guide the weapon throughout the engagement. The Javelin’s HEAT warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by hitting them from above where their armor is thinnest, and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight. Over 5,000 Javelin missiles have been fired in combat.

The portable system is easy to separate into main components and easy to set up when needed. Compared to more cumbersome anti-tank weapon systems, the difference is noticeable. Range of up to 4,750 m (15,600 ft) is another advantage of this missile. Each Javelin flew distances between 1.2 and 4.3 kilometers (0.75 and 2.65 miles) and hit the ground target each time. This sysytem is much safer than using a wire-guided system, where the firer must stay stationary to guide the missile into the target. The soft launch capability of the Javelin allows it to have only a minimal backblast area.

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Cooper and Cpl. Jacob Siemsen, anti-tank missile gunners with 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, fire a Javelin missile while conducting a live-fire combat rehearsal during Fuji Viper 21.3 at Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan, April 12, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jonathan Willcox)