Both the Javelin and NLAW anti-tank missiles provided by the United States and the United Kingdom to Ukraine are causing Russian tanks nightmares, but which weapon is superior against Russian tanks?
On the Ukrainian battlefield, the prestige of Russian tanks has been severely harmed by two types of anti-tank missiles supplied by the West to Ukraine, especially the Javelin from the United States and the NLAW from the United Kingdom. Lockheed Martin Corp stated this week that it intends to substantially quadruple manufacturing of the Javelin missile, following a visit by President Joe Biden to its Alabama site. Ukraine has been helped in its war against Russia by this anti-tank weapon. The defence contractor announced that production will increase to 4,000 units per year, up from the existing 2,100.
However, the rise will take a few years. The replenishment of military supplies will be critical, as the US stockpiles have been depleted. The FGM-148 Javelin Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M) is one of the greatest shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons in the world. A dozen countries presently operate it. Each missile weighs 11.8kg, with the command launch unit (CLU) weighing 6.5kg and the round weighing 15.9kg.
The man-portable launcher launches a 127mm (5-inch) round with a tandem-charge HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) warhead weighing 8.4kg (19 pounds). It has optical and thermal imaging capabilities.
The Javelin isn’t the only anti-tank weapon in the Ukrainian military’s arsenal. In fact, the Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW) developed jointly by the United Kingdom and Sweden – also known as the MBT LAW or RB 57 – has seen even more widespread use.
It can conduct out an overfly top attack (OTA) on an armoured vehicle or a direct attack (DA) on structures and non-armored vehicles, guided by anticipated line-of-sight (PLOS).
The NLAW is believed to be great at close range, ranging from 20 to 600 metres, and is suited for battle in urban environments, such as cities and villages, because to its soft-launch system, which allows troops to employ it from within an enclosed location. It is easy to fire, weighing just 27.5 pounds, and is light enough that the operator can still carry another weapon, such as a rifle. NLAW can be utilised in an attack from practically any vantage point, including atop a structure, behind a tree, or even in a ditch or trench.
Operators can fire down 45 degrees and from inside a building, a basement, or the second floor of a building, all of which are beyond the range of most tanks.
In an open field, the Javelin’s effective range is 1 to 2.5 kilometres, or roughly 1.5 miles. It’s also a fire-and-forget platform with autonomous infrared guidance that lets you seek cover and avoid counter-fire right away.
Tank operators are largely unable to identify a Javelin in the region until it is fired because it is a passive weapon with low backblast.
The NLAW is likewise a smaller weapon, making it appropriate for urban combat, although the platform’s various costs may be the most important aspect. Each Javelin system costs roughly $178,000, plus $78,000 for new missiles – while the NLAW costs around $40,000 per unit. However, the potential for a single operator to eliminate an enemy tank with either platform is invaluable.
This article first appeared in DEFENSE VIEW©️