Javelin missile sale to Ukraine approved by State Department

UKRAINE. The U.S. State Department gave its approval for Ukraine's request to purchase $39.2 million in Javelin missiles and launch systems. In addition to 150 missiles and 10 Javelin Command Launch Units, the Ukrainian government seeks to buy training devices, transportation, support equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, and other support services and parts.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Javelin, a product of a joint venture by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, is a man-portable infrared guided missile launcher in use by the United States and has been widely exported. The weapon uses a one-shot missile canister that is attached to a reusable Command Launch Unit (CLU) for acquiring and engaging targets.

The Javelin is a "fire-and-forget" weapon that uses its own independent seeker head after launch, rather than requiring the user to maintain lock until the missile strikes the target. The CLU can be used independently of the missile as a thermal surveillance tool.

The missile is capable of a "pop-up" attack where it can target a tank from above, allowing it to penetrate the thinner armor on top of the vehicles' turret. It is also able to target low-flying helicopters under some circumstances.