The American newspaper “Washington Post” considered that the American Javelin missiles represent a nightmare for Russian tanks in the war against Ukraine.
These weapon systems are expensive and complex to produce, with production cost estimates ranging from $80,000 to $200,000 per missile.
The United States and NATO countries have shipped more than 17,000 anti-tank weapons, including Javelin missiles, to Ukraine via Poland and Romania.
Images of destroyed Russian tanks have drawn attention to anti-armour missiles, as experts confirmed that they proved particularly effective against Russian tanks, though stressing that missile systems alone are unlikely to turn the tide of war. .
The Javelin, a shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile system, sticks to the thermal image of the target. It entered service in 1996. Its effective firing range is between 75 and 2,500 meters, and the maximum firing range is 4,750 meters.
Javelin missiles can target any type of vehicle, but are more powerful against tanks because they can be fired from above. This is why it is called a “javelin” because the way it is thrown is similar to throwing a javelin that falls to the ground at a very steep angle. It can also target helicopters, at low altitude.
These missiles are easy to use day and night, and the launch is not accompanied by a lot of debris or smoke, making it difficult for the enemy to know where the launch is.
How do you help Ukraine?
Mark Kansian, senior adviser in the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, described the Javelin as perhaps the “most advanced and powerful weapon” against tanks.
The Ukrainian military released images of soldiers carrying Javelin missiles alongside destroyed Russian tanks.
“Information about Javelin missiles in the armaments of the Ukrainian armed forces is causing panic among the occupiers,” the army said on Twitter.
Ukraine announced the destruction of 335 Russian tanks and about 1,100 armored vehicles since the beginning of the war. But there is no reliable data on the number of Javelin missiles used by Ukraine in the battle and on their impact on the course of the battles.
Experts said that the Javelin missiles are a powerful addition to Ukraine’s arsenal of domestically produced anti-tank missiles.
Kansian explained that it is easy to train fighters to use it, which is useful after thousands of civilians joined the army to counter the Russian invasion, adding that it is especially useful because it makes it easier for Ukrainian forces to set up ambushes or launches. powerful. points to target the Russian forces.
What did the Russians do to repel it?
And the newspaper considered that “there is little that can be done from the most equipped armies when it comes to throwing javelins.”
She emphasized that modern tanks are covered in reactive armor that fires explosives in response to any missile, but the Javelin is designed to bypass this armor.
Emil Kotlarsky, senior analyst at the intelligence company “Genes”, explained that Russian tanks are the most affected by these missiles, because they are designed to be “very small and compact”.
He noted that hitting the top of the tank with a Javelin missile means “immediate destruction.”
Despite its power, especially in open areas where Russian military vehicles are inching toward Ukrainian cities, the Javelin system has some flaws.
“There is a drawback with all these types of anti-tank weapons, which is that the tanks can fire at the launcher that is hiding behind a hill or a tree,” Cancian explained.
These weapon systems are also expensive and complex to produce, with production cost estimates ranging from $80,000 to $200,000 per missile, according to Kotlarsky.
US weapons manufacturers have the capacity to produce at most 6,500 Javelin missiles a year.
Kotlarsky said that if the conflict in Ukraine continues, the United States and European countries may be concerned about handing over more weapons that could put them at risk.
He added that as battles are increasingly expected to continue in cities, Javelin missiles, which are difficult to launch safely from building windows, may not be particularly useful, and that the missile alone “could not allow Let the Ukrainians defeat the entire Russian Army.”