Javelin FGM-148


Type of missile Weight Missile
Anti-tank guided missile 11.8 kg
Country users Diameter Missile
Australia, Bahrain, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Libya, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. 126 mm
Designer Country Length Missile
United States 1.08 m
Operators Range Missile
Two soldiers 2,500 to 4,750 m
Accessories Warhead
Imaging infra-red and Magnification 4x day and 4x or 9x thermal Tandem shaped charge
Guidance Weight Firing Post
Passive target acquisition/ fire control with integrated day/thermal sight 6.4 kg


Javelin FGM-148 Missile
Anti-tank infrared guided missile


The FGM-148 Javelin is a modern man portable anti-tank missile system of US origin. It was developed from the mid 1980’s to the early 1990’s in order to replace the M47 Dragon in US service. The Javelin is a significant step forward in combat effectiveness and crew survivability compared to the older M47 Dragon.


The Javelin is a reusable system centered around the Command Launch Unit (CLU). This portion houses the optical sights and controls. The missiles are carried in a container that also acts as a single use launch tube. The missile is launched at an upward angle since the Javelin is a top attack weapon system. Against bunkers a more direct line of flight is used. The Javelin is a self homing system. The nose of the missile features the automatic infrared guidance system. This allows the operator to immediately seek cover after launch. The Javelin is man portable. The crew of two carry a single CLU and two missiles.


The Javelin missile features a tandem HEAT warhead. This is able to penetrate armor equivalent to 600 to 800 mm RHA. Since the Javeline attacks targets from the top it is able to engage all types of vehicle currently in use. Early missiles have a maximum range of 2.5 km. Current generation missiles can be used out to 4.75 km.


The first and main operator of the Javelin is the United States. The Javelin has been exported in large numbers, despite its high costs. Various nations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia have acquired the Javelin. Recently the Javelin was supplied to Ukraine, where is employed against Russian forces.

Firing Unit
The Javelin system consists of the CLU (Command Launch Unit) and the missile. 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 gunner’s controls for the missile system are on the CLU. The day sight is equipped with x4 magnification and the night sight with x4 and x9 magnification optics. The Javelin command launch unit then sends a lock-on-before-launch signal to the missile. With its soft-launch design, Javelin can be safely fired from inside buildings or bunkers.
The Javelin missile’s tandem warhead is a high-explosive antitank round. This round utilizes an explosive-shaped charge to create a jet of superplasticity deformed metal formed from trumpet-shaped metallic liners. The result is a high-velocity jet that can penetrate armor equivalent to 600 to 800 mm RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor). The Javelin missile has a maximum range of 2,500 m using fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The missile has an effective firing range of 4,000 m for the lightweight LCU. It has a maximum firing of 4,750 m when the missile is fired from a vehicle weapon station.
Combat Use
The missile has a small thermal imaging TV camera in the nose and a computer that is sufficiently sophisticated that once locked onto a tank, it will follow it autonomously, even if it is moving. The missile is designed to attack the topside of a tank where the armor is thinner. After launch, the missile climbs to a 330-660 ft altitude and dives at a 45-degree angle. The warhead is a tandem shaped charge for penetrating explosive reactive armor. The first charge detonates the armor and the second penetrates the vehicle. The Javelin can defeat any known enemy armor.
Javelin’s long-wave IR seeker enables it to engage in obscurants and reduced visibility and resists countermeasures. Its versatility makes it effective against tanks, bunkers, buildings, small boats, and slow-moving helicopters. It is adaptable to many platforms, including tripods, trucks, light armored vehicles, and remotely piloted vehicles.
The first view is a 4× magnification day view. It is mainly used to scan areas for light during night operation because the light is not visible in the thermal views. The second view is the 4x magnification night view and shows the gunner a thermal representation of the area viewed. This is also the primary view used due to its ability to detect infrared radiation and find both troops and vehicles otherwise too well hidden to detect. The third view is a 9x magnification thermal view. This process is similar to the automatic zoom feature on most modern cameras.

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Javelin was used and in excellent condition.

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