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US State Department approves $75 million Javelin anti-tank missile sale to Georgia

The U.S. State Department approved the $75 million sale of 72 Javelin anti-tank guided missile launch units along with 410 Javelin Missiles, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Georgia,” DSCA said in a press release on Monday. “The Javelin system will provide Georgia with increased capacity to meet its national defense requirements.”

The potential sale includes 410 Javelin Missiles, 72 Javelin Command Launch Units (CLUs) including two Javelin Block 1 CLUs to be used as spares, ten Basic Skills Trainers, up to 70 simulated rounds, U.S. government and contractor technical assistance and other support.

The prime contractors will be the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture of Orlando, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, but “these missiles are being provided from U.S. Army stock and the CLUs will be obtained from on-hand Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF)-purchased stock,” the release said.

The proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the DSCA said, adding that Georgia will have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.

FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile launch
FGM-148 Javelin fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile launch during a training exercise for Saber Strike, June 19, 2016. Image: US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Ben Houtkooper

FGM-148 Javelin fire-and forget anti-tank guided missile

The FGM-148 Javelin is a U.S.-made man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile which locks on and uses automatic infrared guidance, allowing the user to take cover immediately.

The Javelin’s high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead can defeat modern tanks by attacking them from above, but the system can also use a direct-attack mode against buildings and helicopters.

The tandem warhead carries two shaped charges: a precursor to detonate explosive reactive armor and a primary warhead to penetrate base armor.

During the al-Shaddadi offensive in Syria in February 2016, a Javelin was used to blow up a car bomb.

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