The Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile system is expected to be in the U.S. Army’s operational inventory through 2050, according to a recent Lockheed Martin news release.
As noted by the company, the U.S. and allied partners rely on Javelin’s proven capabilities to deter and defend against threats worldwide. Recently, the U.S. and several allies have sent Javelin missiles to Ukraine in support of their military and security forces.
In May and again in September 2022, the Javelin Joint Venture (a partnership of Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Lockheed Martin) was awarded production contracts for Javelin rounds and support. More than 3,100 of the missiles procured will go toward replacing systems sent to Ukraine.
To meet this new demand, Lockheed Martin is increasing the missile production rate beyond the current 2,100 per year to nearly 4,000 per year.
Likewise, Raytheon is keenly focused on accelerating production rates and lowering lead times to support demand.
“We remain committed to delivering this exceptional weapon system to warfighters around the globe,” says Marek Wolert, Javelin Joint Venture president and program director at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “We are focused on accelerating our production rates and lowering our lead times to optimize our capacity and throughput to support our customers.”
Raytheon’s guidance and control subsystem production for Javelin missiles has been operating without interruption and, therefore, well positioned to support future delivery rate accelerations.
To evolve with customer needs, Javelin has planned upgrades to retain overmatch and support emerging operational needs.
The latest Javelin variant, the F-Model, is currently in full-rate production and boosts increased lethality and commonality across its userbase. The multi-purpose warhead provides versatility to our soldiers for every mission by eliminating the need for different rounds for different targets. The F-Model also increases effectiveness against current and future armor, including explosive reactive armor, soft targets and light armored vehicles.
The new Light Weight Command Launch Unit (LWCLU) brings a 30 percent reduction in size and a 25 percent reduction in weight while doubling target detection and recognition. The LWCLU also incorporates sensor, display and image processing upgrades to provide high-resolution video imagery to the operator, even in adverse weather and battlefield obscurants. The LWCLU is compatible with all current, past and future Javelin variants.
The Javelin Joint Venture received a $33 million contract in June 2022 to begin LWCLU low-rate initial production and is scheduled to begin deliveries in 2025.
On October 5, 2022, at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville AL, the first Javelin missile was successfully shoulder fired from a Lightweight Command Launch Unit (LWCLU). This event was in support of the LWCLU system qualification program. The successful completion of the event is a significant milestone in proving the safe operation of the LWCLU for Javelin gunners
Raytheon’s retrofit line for the current Command Launch Unit is active.
“As we enter into Low Rate Initial Production for the LWCLU, we are leveraging existing capital equipment and infrastructure to seamlessly transition from our active CLU efforts,” Wolert added.
To date, the Javelin Joint Venture has produced more than 50,000 Javelin missiles and more than 12,000 reusable Command Launch Units.