Ukraine is set to purchase a new batch of Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile systems, according to a statement issued Thursday by Ukraine’s Defence Ministry.
The United States has been one of Kyiv’s strongest supporters since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region that has killed more than 13,000 people.
Contracts for the deal were signed in the fourth quarter of 2019, the defense ministry in a statement, without giving further details.
A first shipment of Javelin systems worth around $47 million arrived in Ukraine in April 2018 after the U.S. State Department gave the green light for the deal.
Kyiv and Washington believe the system will improve Ukraine’s long-term defense capacity.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill that envisages providing $300 million in military aid to Ukraine in 2020.
The Javelin FGM-148F missile features an advanced multipurpose warhead (MPWH) as part of the man-portable, fire-and-forget Javelin missile system. The MPWH incorporates the latest generation shaped charged technology to defeat present and future advanced armored threats while adding a fragmenting steel warhead case to significantly improve lethality against soft targets and light armored vehicles. The Javelin F-Model round deliveries are planned for early 2020 and will be available for international allies, with U.S. government permission.
There are also funded efforts underway to develop a higher performance Lightweight Command Launch Unit (CLU) and FGM-148G Model missile that will dramatically improve system performance while reducing weight and lowering system cost.
The Javelin Close Combat Missile System – Medium is a man-portable, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile used to defeat threat armored combat vehicles out to 2,500 meters.
The Javelin system consists of a missile in a disposable launch tube assembly and a reusable CLU. The CLU mechanically engages the launch tube assembly for shoulder firing, has day and night sights for surveillance and target acquisition, and electronically interfaces with the missile for target lock-on and missile launch. An operationally-ready Javelin system weighs almost 49.5 pounds.
According to Lockheed Martin, first deployed in 1996, Javelin is the world’s most versatile and lethal one-man-portable and platform-employed anti-tank and multi-target precision weapon system. To date, more than 45,000 missiles and 12,000 CLUs have been produced. The Javelin weapon system has experienced numerous technology insertions since its initial fielding to stay ahead of advancing threats.