Ground Warfare

US State Department Approves Sale of Javelin FGM-148F Missiles to Morocco

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US State Department Approves Sale of Javelin FGM-148F Missiles to Morocco

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Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin FGM-148F Missiles
Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin FGM-148F Missiles

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Morocco of Javelin Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $260 million. The Government of Morocco has requested to buy 612 Javelin FGM-148F missiles (includes 12 fly-to-buy missiles) and 200 Javelin Lightweight Command Launch Units (LWCLUs). Also included are missile simulation rounds; Javelin support equipment; hand and measuring tools; books and publications; power plus distribution equipment; component parts and support equipment; life cycle support and other technical assistance; gunner training; ammunition officer’s training; System Integration and Checkout (SICO); maintenance training; Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM); and other related elements of logistics and program support.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa. The proposed sale will improve Morocco’s long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to meet its national defense requirements. Morocco will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The prime contractors will be the Javelin Joint Venture between Lockheed Martin in Orlando, FL, and RTX Corporation in Tucson, AZ. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Javelin FGM-148F Anti-tank Guided Mssile (ATGM).
Javelin FGM-148F Anti-tank Guided Mssile (ATGM). (Australian Army)

The FGM-148 Javelin, or Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M), is an American-made man-portable anti-tank system in service since 1996, and continuously upgraded. It replaced the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in US service. Its fire-and-forget design features automatic infrared guidance, allowing the user to seek cover immediately after launch, in contrast to wire-guided systems, like the system used by the Dragon, which require a user to guide the weapon throughout the engagement. The Javelin’s high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead can defeat modern tanks by top-down attack, hitting them from above, where their armor is thinnest, and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight. According to claims by the manufacturer, the Javelin had been used in around 5,000 successful engagements.

Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The system employs a top attack flight profile against armored vehicles, attacking the usually thinner top armor, but can also make a direct attack, for use against buildings, targets too close for top attack, targets under obstructions, and helicopters. It can reach a peak altitude of 150 m (490 ft) in top attack mode and 60 m (200 ft) in direct attack mode. Initial versions had a range of 2,000 m (6,600 ft), later increased to 2,500 m (8,200 ft). It is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker. 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.Javelin FGM-148F fitted with a multi-purpose warhead (MPWH). Developed as “Spiral 2”. Production started in May 2020.

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