Thailand buys Javelin anti-tank missiles from the US.

This acquisition could contribute to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals by enhancing Thailand’s capacity to respond to current and future threats, improving the a major non-NATO ally in Southeast Asia.

Soldiers fire the Javelin, an anti-tank weapon, during a training exercise. 

The US State Department has decided to approve the sale to the Royal Thai Army (RTA) 300 Javelin FGM-148 missiles, 50 control units (CLUs) and a synchronous support package for technical support and inter-related training. agency, estimated at 83.5 million USD. These anti-tank weapons will replace obsolete 106 mm recoilless guns, allowing the RTA to modernize anti-tank capabilities and enhance interoperability with the US military during operations, maneuvers, and operations. train.

This is Thailand’s fourth arms sale approved by the US State Department since the beginning of fiscal year 2017. The main contractors are Raytheon Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture in Orlando (Florida) and Tucson (Arizona). As Thailand is a strategic partner, this acquisition will contribute to US foreign policy and national security goals by enhancing our ability to respond to current and future threats. of Thailand to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, improving the security of a major non-NATO ally in Southeast Asia.

The Advanced Anti-tank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M) Javelin program was launched in June 1989, with a budget of $30 million, to develop a missile. to replace the obsolete M47 Dragon anti-tank missile, was awarded to a joint venture of two predecessor contractors to Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin. The Javelin missile was successfully tested in 1994 and the first batch entered service in 1996.

Javelin’s full name is FGM-148 Javelin – is a man-portable anti-tank missile system with control operating on the most modern “fire and forget” principle today, superior in control mechanism compared to many types. Missiles, including the Russian Kornet, can be fired from a soldier’s shoulder without the need for a launcher. Javelin weighs 11.8 kg; 1.1 m long; body diameter 127 mm; warhead 8.4 kg; effective range 75 – 2,500 m; maximum range of nearly 5,000m – depending on the version; guided by infrared imaging; Can be used in all weather conditions, day or night. The FGM-148 is designed to destroy armored vehicles, but it is also effective when directly attacking buildings, fortifications, etc., capable of attacking helicopters in arc shooting mode or direct attack.

Javelin is used by the US Army, Marine Corps and Australian Special Forces for a variety of purposes and has proven effective during the 2003 Iraq War, in counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan, as well as other missions. recent operations in Syria.

The weakness of the Javelin is that it is heavier than the Army originally required and is quite expensive: in 2002, a Javelin controlled launch unit cost $126,000, each missile costing about $78,000 (or $109,000). USD in 2018); This missile depends on thermal radiation for target detection and firing.

Although Javelin’s current HEAT warheads have proven effective against tanks, and other targets such as weapons, buildings, and armored and non-armored vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, China The U.S. Army Air Force and Missile Research, Development and Machine Building Center developed the Multi-Purpose Warhead (MPWH) for the FGM-148F. The new warhead is twice as effective against infantry due to its high fragmentation ability.

The Javelin modernization program will be implemented in 4 phases; version FGM-148F is the product of the 2nd stage of development; In stages 3 and 4, manufacturers will continue to reduce the weight and cost of the complex.

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