UK army to be armed with Javelin

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has selected the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture as the preferred supplier for its Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system program.


The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence has selected the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture as the preferred supplier for its Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon system program.


The £300 million Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon program calls for a weapon to meet the British Army’s requirement for a lightweight, medium-range anti-armour weapon system that will be in service until 2025.


The Javelin is a portable anti-tank weapon system that consists of the Command Launch Unit (CLU) and the round. The CLU, with a carry weight of 6.4kg, incorporates a passive target acquisition and fire control unit with an integrated day sight and a thermal imaging sight. The round consists of the Javelin missile, which has a range of 2,500m, and the Alliant Techsystems Launch Tube Assembly.


Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The missile is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker which is based on a cadmium mercury telluride (CdHgTe) 64 x 64 staring focal plane array in the eight to twelve micron waveband.


The tandem warhead is fitted with two shaped charges: a precursor warhead to initiate explosive reactive armour and a main warhead to penetrate base armour.


‘Javelin will equip the United Kingdom light and mechanised infantry forces with the world’s premier medium-range anti-tank capability,’ said Col. John Weinzettle, the U.S. Army Close Combat Missile Systems (CCMS) project manager. ‘Javelin ensures a single British soldier or marine can defeat all known armoured vehicles as well as conduct precision engagements of alternate targets such as bunkers, buildings, low flying helicopters and watercraft.’


Some 16 companies throughout the UK have already been selected to supply components up to sub-assembly level for the system. It is estimated that over 300 skilled jobs will be created or sustained by the UK Javelin acquisition.