FGM-148 Javelin Missile Launcher
The FGM-148 is a modern anti-armor missile system in use with US regular and special operations forces.
The Javelin consists of a disposable launcher tube assembly which protects the missile when carried and attaches to the command launch unit (CLU). The CLU includes an optical viewer and infrared targeting system that is used to find targets. Once found, the CLU sends the target data to the missile's own thermal seeker head, via electronics in the launcher tube. This locks the target and the operator can now elect to fire the missile.
The Javelin is a fire-and-forget system which means that once locked on target and launched, the operator does not need to monitor or control its flight. In addition to improved accuracy, fire-and-forget has a significant advantage over wire-guided weapons such as the M47 Dragon the Javelin replaces, as the operator can seek cover after firing the missile.
The Javelin missile houses a tandem HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) warhead which is designed to defeat modern anti-missile systems, such as reactive armor, found on tanks. A smaller shaped warhead first punches through any shrapnel from reactive armor, creating a hole for the second shaped warhead to attack the target itself.
US Special Operations Forces such as Special Forces, Rangers and Delta Force carry the Javelin aboard their GMVs. The Javelin allows a small group of soldiers to take on armored threats at long distance that otherwise they would have to withdraw from. The Javelin was used to devastating effect against Iraqi armor by coalition SOF units during the opening stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
FGM-148 Javelin Specifications
|length:|| 1.2 meters (launcher tube)
1,1 meters (missile)
|rate of fire :||1-shot, discarded after firing
CLU can be reused
|effective range :||75m to 2500m|