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US approves sale to Poland of 180 Javelin guided missiles

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential $100 million sale to Poland of 180 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and associated equipment, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally and partner nation,” the Wednesday, March 4 release said. “This proposed sale of the Javelin system will help Poland build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements.”

Poland has requested to buy 180 Javelin missiles and 79 Javelin Command Launch Units, and the proposed sale also includes Basic Skill Trainers, Missile Simulation Rounds, Battery Coolant Units, tool kits, parts, training, and support, at a total estimated program cost of $100 million, the DSCA said.

The Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture will be the prime contractor.

FGM-148 Javelin fire-and forget anti-tank guided missile

The FGM-148 Javelin is a U.S.-made man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile which locks on and uses automatic infrared guidance, allowing the user to take cover immediately.

The Javelin’s high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead can defeat modern tanks by attacking them from above, but the system can also use a direct-attack mode against buildings and helicopters.

The tandem warhead carries two shaped charges: a precursor to detonate explosive reactive armor and a primary warhead to penetrate base armor.

The DSCA release did not specify which Javelin variant is to be supplied to Poland, but the Javelin Joint Venture was awarded an initial contract to produce 2,100 FGM-148F missiles in January 2019.

The FGM-148F features an advanced multipurpose warhead, incorporating the latest generation shaped charged technology to defeat armored threats and adds a fragmented steel warhead to improve lethality against both soft targets and lightly armored vehicles, according to the company.

There are also plans to develop a high performance Lightweight Command Launch Unit and FGM-148G missile that will dramatically improve system performance while reducing weight and lowering system cost.

Poland draws closer to the US

Poland’s conservative government has stepped up its efforts in Washington, which it regards as its most reliable ally, to reinforce the presence of U.S. troops on its soil.

Poland signed an agreement in January to buy 32 F-35 stealth fighters, in a deal worth $4.6 billion. The proposed $6.5 billion sale of F-35s and associated equipment and services to Poland was approved in September, but it is unclear what the deal signed in January includes.

Over the past year, Poland has also bought Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS mobile artillery rocket systems, ATACMS missiles, and RQ-21A Blackjack drones.

Meanwhile the United States has committed to increase the U.S. military presence in Poland to 4,500 troops.

With reporting from AFP

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