Javelin missiles are the symbolic weapon of the Ukrainian resistance against Vladimir Putin. A video released in the last hours caught the moment he destroyed a russian tank.
As the fight with Russia grows, Ukraine recently strengthened its defense capabilities. The Ukrainian troops received from their main allies -with the United States and the United Kingdom in the lead-, advanced armaments to deal with the Russian threat.
Among the new generation material that the Ukrainian Army boasts, it is worth highlighting Javelin missilesin addition to the NLAW, capable of destroying Russian tanks and armor.
On January 17 they arrived in kyiv C-17 cargo planes of the British Royal Air Force. On that day, the UK Defense Minister, ben wallacemaintained that the government of Boris Johnson decided “to supply Ukraine with anti-armor light defensive weapons systems”.
A British diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss defensive aid with New York Timessaid the UK sent over 4,200 NLAWs to Ukraine. “We still consider it one of the best short-range defensive anti-tank weapons,” he said.
Javelin, the anti-tank weapon symbol of the Ukrainian resistance
The images of Ukrainian soldiers carrying Javelin missile launchers on their shoulders have gone around the world: This anti-tank weapon capable of piercing the most sophisticated armor, particularly useful in a guerrilla context, has become the symbol of the Ukrainian resistance against the Russian invasion.
Western countries, which want to support Ukraine militarily without coming into direct conflict with Russia, weapons deliveries to the Ukrainian army have multiplied since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Added to that are other shipments from weeks prior to the offensive.
According to a senior US official, the Ukrainians have already received 17,000 anti-tank weapons from various Western countries.
“The Holy Javelin”
However, the preferred weapon is the American Javelin (javelin in English)to the point that a meme circulating on social networks has transformed it into a religious icon in the hands of Mary Magdalene, an emblematic saint of the Orthodox tradition.
Converted to “holy javelin”, protector of Ukraine, the religious figure fires one of these missiles in the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Symbol of the support of the United States, Ukraine’s most powerful ally against Russia, the Javelin missile launcher is highly valued by the military due to its technical characteristics.
Equipped with two explosive chargescan pierce the world’s most sophisticated tanks, particularly the Russian T-90 tanks, whose explosive armor reacts to the impact of a shell to reduce or stop its piercing.
The Javelin’s first charge explodes on contact with the tank, releasing an even stronger second charge that pierces armor..
It has a range of 2,500 meters and can be used in direct attack mode to destroy a wall or, if aimed upwards, to shoot down a low-flying object such as a helicopter..
It can also be used in standby mode. indirect attackwhen the missile rises up to 160 meters and falls on the target vertically, like the javelin of the Roman legionnaires.
It’s that trajectory that makes it a formidable weapon against tanks because the hatch opens on the roof, where the vehicle is most vulnerable.
like a video game
It is lighter than other anti-tank systems that require a tripod, so the Javelin can be carried on the shoulder..
The projectile is ejected a few meters from the shooter before the propulsion system is activated, which allows the soldier to be more inconspicuous and can be used even from inside a building.
It’s the type “fire and forget”, which allows you to assign the target before shooting and then is fully self-guided. The shooter can take cover even before the missile reaches its target.
According to a US soldier consulted by the agency AFP, It is very easy to use. “If you have played video games, you can use it“, Explain.
Also, unlike other missile weapons, disposable after use, the Javelin has a fire control unit, equipped with GPS, infrared camera and motorized zoom that is reusable several times.
Attached to that unit is the tube that houses the disposable missile.
Unity of command is valuable because “we can still use it when we have no more ammunition, to monitor and observe” to the enemy, the American soldier points out.
Assembled by American manufacturers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the Javelin missile launcher costs $178,000 each, and includes the launch system and missile, according to the Pentagon’s 2021 budget.
Each replacement missile costs about $78,000..
(With information from AFP)
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