The United States and its allies intend to supply ten Javelin anti-tank missile systems against “every Russian tank,” according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with NBC on April 6.
“We have supplied or will shortly deliver 10 anti-tank systems every Russian tank” in Ukraine, according to Blinken, “between the United States and other allies and partners.”
In recent weeks, the United States and its allies have expanded their weaponry supply to Ukraine.
In less than a week, the US and other NATO countries delivered more than 17,000 anti-tank weapons, including Javelin missiles, to Ukraine via Poland and Romania.
Anti-tank missiles became the centre of interest during the Ukraine crisis. Weapons experts say the Javelin might be especially effective against Russian tanks, but they warn that the missile systems alone are unlikely to shift the course of the conflict.
Javelin is an anti-guerrilla missile weapon that uses varied attack patterns to adhere to a target’s thermal picture. When launched, the rocket’s launch motor propels it out of the tube before its main engine ignites and puts it into flight. A lighter launch decreases debris and smoke, making it more difficult for adversaries to detect where the missile is fired. Javelin employs a “fire and forget” system, which allows the soldier to hide or load a new missile while the other continues to track its target.
When the missile is launched, the computer steers it, allowing the operator to move to cover before the missile hits the target. The device may shoot at any time of day or night and has a relatively long range of up to 2 miles.
While the Javelin can attack any vehicle that creates heat, it is particularly effective against tanks because it can attack from the top. This is why it is called the Javelin (javelin), as it resembles the point of a spear thrown in athletics competitions that falls at a steep angle to the ground.
If there is an upper layer of protection, the Javelin may also fire straight at a target and can be employed against low-flying helicopters.
According to Mark Cancian, senior consultant for the international security programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Javelin is “arguably the most sophisticated and powerful anti-tank weapon.” According to experts, the Javelin is a significant addition to Ukraine’s current arsenal of domestically built anti-tank missiles.
Ukraine claims that Russia has lost 335 tanks and more than 1,100 armoured vehicles in the conflict, but there is no solid evidence to back up this claim.
According to the US military specialist, Russian tanks are particularly vulnerable to this type of weapon because they are built to be “extremely small, compact, and strong.” “Usually, a Javelin missile hitting the head of a tank means ‘instant destruction,'” the expert explained.
According to Army estimates, US weapons manufacturers have the capacity to produce up to 6,500 Javelin missiles per year, with production costs ranging from $80,000 to $200,000 per missile. However, the current contract limits output to 2,100.
As the crisis enters its second month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the weaponry delivered by the West to Ukraine were insufficient, and he appealed for more fighter jets. However, the Biden administration has not replied to the proposal.
“We feel that the most effective method to reinforce the Ukrainian military is to give a big amount of anti-tank weapons and air defence systems,” said General Tod D. Wolters, chief of US European Command.
The United States has delivered the first 100 Switchblade drones to Ukraine.
According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, the United States has shipped 100 rounds of AeroVironment Switchblade to Ukraine and has stated that the drones would be deployed to Ukraine soon or have already arrived.
He did not identify which Switchblade drones were sent to Ukraine, but he did say that the US may provide drones equipped to destroy tanks and armoured vehicles.
Mr. Kirby also stated that American experts educated a small group of Ukrainian soldiers who arrived in the United States last fall to use these drones again, and that they will soon be able to return home and train more Ukrainian military.