FGM-148 Javelin is a third-generation, man-portable, fire & forget anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)system developed for US Army and US Marines. It has an effective range of 2.5 kilometers and is designed to target heavily armored vehicles such as main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles.
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It is jointly developed by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The Javelin is approximately 1.2 meters long, has a diameter of 127 millimeters, and weighs 22.1 kilograms, with small variations depending on the type. The missile is armed with a single 8.4 kg tandem-charge, high-explosive antitank (HEAT) warhead. It flies at around 140 m/s and reaches max altitudes of 150 m and 50 m while in top attack and direct attack modes, respectively. While the Javelin’s penetration capabilities are classified, U.S. military training documents note the Javelin “penetrates all known armor, well in excess of 30 inches [762 mm] of rolled homogenous steel.”
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The key feature of the JAVELIN is the use of fire-and-forget technology that allows the gunner to fire and immediately take cover. Additional special features are the advanced tandem warhead, imaging infrared seeker, target lock-on before launch, and soft launch (the JAVELIN can be fired safely from enclosures and covered fighting positions).
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During the Iraq invasion, NATO states widely used Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs). The FGM-148 Javelin proved its worth during the Iraq invasion against Russian-origin tanks and armored vehicles. The Javelin Missile can be fired by a single soldier or by two or three soldiers. Soldiers can employ the Javelin at any time of day or night, as well as in poor visibility conditions.