US Plans to Supply Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles to Ukrainian Army

Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The United States is planning to supply the Ukrainian Ground Forces with the lethal and deadly accurate FGM-148 Javelin man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) that can destroy any tank in the Russian Army from as far away as 4,750 meters (close to three miles).

Russia continues to provide weapons, including Russian tanks such as the T-72B, to Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists who now seek to topple the government of Ukraine. The rebels plan to transform Ukraine from an independent state into a Russian province.

Providing the under-equipped Ukrainian Ground Forces with this ATGM, widely regarded as the best of its kind in the world, is bound to have a positive impact on the gloomy fortunes of the outgunned Ukrainians. It might also goad Russia into prodding its Ukrainian separatist puppets into immediately accelerating the war rather than await the arrival of the Javelins.

Still fresh in the Russian’s minds is the strategic effect the arrival of the American-made FIM-92 Stinger infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM) had on the Soviet Army during the Soviet War in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.

The arrival of the Stinger is regarded by some as a turning point in the war. The high losses sustained by Soviet aircraft from Stingers is said to have been a factor in convincing Moscow to end its military involvement in Afghanistan in defeat.

Data from the U.S. reveals Stingers fired by Mujahideen shot down 269 aircraft in about 340 engagements, a 79 percent kill ratio.

The arrival of Javelins on Ukrainian battlefields might also have the same devastating effect on Russian tanks and armored vehicles used by Russian-backed rebels.

The shoulder-fired Javelin can punch through 600 mm to 800 mm (23 inches to 30 inches) of armor, which is much thicker than the armor on the Russian tanks (T-34, T-64, T-72B) deployed by Ukrainian rebels.

The Javelin uses the “top attack mode” to destroy enemy tanks and armored vehicles. This method of attack ensures the Javelin’s tandem shaped-charge high explosive anti tank warhead easily penetrates the roof of an enemy tank, which is protected by thinner armor.

The Javelin was used to devastating effect by the US military against the Iraqi Army in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. In one famous encounter, a platoon of U.S. Special Forces operators equipped with Javelins destroyed two T-55 tanks, eight armored personnel carriers and four troop trucks.

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