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Weapons of Ukrainian victory: ATGM Javelin FGM-148 – ruthless to enemy tanks


The Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully use the portable anti-tank complex Javelin FGM-148. Today we will find out how dangerous it is for the armored and wheeled vehicles of Russian orcs.

In these difficult times, Ukraine and Ukrainians are courageously defending their country, destroying tanks, planes and other enemy weapons. We will not talk about the successful attacks of the Armed Forces and Territorial Defense fighters on enemy positions. The whole civilized world already knows about it. Ukraine is fighting, Ukraine is steadfastly defending its cities. Even the enemy is struck by such courage, frightened and demoralized, sometimes simply flees the battlefield, and then insidiously launches air and missile strikes on residential areas of Kharkiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv and other cities of Ukraine. But we stand, we fight, the people unite, they believe in our defenders, they are looking forward to victory over the hordes of Russian fascists.

Javelin FGM-148

In this fight, we are undoubtedly helped by the high-precision anti-tank missile system Javelin FGM-148, which we will talk about in more detail today.

Specifications of Javelin FGM-148

  • Missile type: anti-tank guided missile
  • Weight: 11.8 kg
  • Rocket diameter: 126 mm
  • Rocket length: 1.08 m
  • Effective firing range: from 2500 to 4750 m
  • Warhead: tandem charge
  • Weight of the passive block: 6.4 kg
  • Crew: two fighters
  • Optics: infrared image and 4x magnification during the day and 4x or 9x thermal magnification at night
  • Guidance: passive target detection/fire control with built-in day/heat sight
  • Operators: Australia, Bahrain, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Libya, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and the United States and, of course, Ukraine
  • Manufacturer: Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, USA.

History of Javelin FGM-148 development

The Javelin system was developed and built by a joint venture between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. FGM-148 Javelin is a portable anti-tank guided missile made in the United States, which uses a medium-range ‘fire-and-forget’ type missile system. Development of Javelin anti-tank missile system began back in 1975, it was to replace the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile system. The development lasted several years under different names and only in 1981 the weapon was named Javelin.

Javelin FGM-148

The compact, lightweight Javelin is ideal for attacking even by a single fighter in any conditions. Javelin was tested during the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq by US Marines and Special Forces and their allies. Eleven countries chose Javelin to fight the enemy’s armored vehicles. Ukraine is also one of these countries. Let me remind you that Javelin ATGMs first arrived in Ukraine in April 2018, when the United States provided our Armed Forces with 37 launchers and 210 missiles worth $ 47 million.

Javelin can also be used against helicopters and ground combat positions. It is able to hit targets even under cover or in bunkers. Its ‘soft launch’ makes it possible to work inside buildings and closed combat positions. Of course, the position of soft launch limits the gunner’s capabilities, making it easier for the enemy to respond to such an attack, but the destruction will be devastating if it hits.

Since 2019, servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been trained and received US certificates. For this purpose American instructors were present in Ukraine, conducting a course for training combat crews of FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile systems. Now they know how to control and use these weapons.

The course was conducted by military instructors of the Joint Multinational Training Group. The training course was conducted for Ukrainian military instructors of the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security of the National Academy of Land Forces. Of course, with the start of the war, even more servicemen were urgently trained to operate this missile system.

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The main versions of Javelin FGM-148

In general, it should be understood that the Javelin FGM-148 system itself has had several generations. It all started with Javelin FGM-148A. This was the first version of a portable anti-tank guided missile. Then there was an improved version of Javelin FGM-148B and a further improved version of ATGM – FGM-148C. All of them were in service only with the US Armed Forces. Then came the export version of the Javelin FGM-148D, which the United States began selling to other countries. In 2020, the most advanced modification at that time, the Javelin FGM-148E, was brought to Ukraine. Although hostile Russian media have always tried to deny this and claimed that we were given old, written-off versions. Now their military is convinced otherwise. Tanks and artillery crews felt the power of Javelin FGM-148E.


I will also note that American developers have already created the Javelin FGM-148F. This version is equipped with a multi-purpose warhead. It is much more effective against enemy personnel, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, buildings and lightly armored or unarmored vehicles. But so far it is used only by the US Armed Forces. It is possible that these guided missiles will also appear in Ukraine.

Combat unit

The Javelin system consists of a CLU (Command Launch Unit) module, a tube, which you saw exactly in the photos, and a rocket. The 6.4 kg CLU module itself contains a passive target detection system and fire control unit with a built-in daytime and thermal sight. The gunner’s controls of the missile system are located directly on the CLU.


The daytime sight is equipped with x4-fold magnification, night – x4- and x9-fold optics. In direct use, the Javelin command launch unit sends a lock signal to the rocket before launch. With the Javelin soft launch system, you can shoot safely from inside buildings or bunkers. Random launch is almost impossible. All electronics directly control the launch of the rocket.

Javelin FGM-148

All about the rocket

The tandem warhead of the Javelin missile is a high-explosive anti-tank projectile. This cartridge uses an explosive charge to create a jet of superplastic deformed metal formed from trumpet-shaped metallic liners.


The result is a high-velocity jet that can pierce armor equivalent to 600-800 mm RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor). The Javelin missile has a maximum range of 2,500 m using a ‘fire-and-forget’ missile, with locking before launch and automatic homing. The missile has an effective firing range of 4000 m for light CLU and a maximum firing range of 4750 m when the missile is launched from vehicle mount.


Combat use

The rocket has a small thermal imaging camera in the bow and a rather complex computer that locks on the target, so the rocket follows it autonomously, even if it is moving. That is, the on-board computer monitors every step of the enemy target. The missile is designed to hit the top of the tank, where the armor is thinnest. After launch, the missile rises to a height of 100-200 m (330-660 feet) and dives at an angle of 45° to the target. The warhead is a tandem charge for piercing jet armor. The first charge blows up the armor, and the second pierces the vehicle. Javelin can pierce any known armor of a state-of-the-art tank.


The Javelin long-wave infrared homer allows it to operate on a sunny day, in reduced visibility, and also resists countermeasures. It is its versatility that makes it an effective means of destroying tanks, small boats and helicopters, which move rather slowly, as well as bunkers and buildings. Is it possible to shoot down an enemy plane with the help of Javelin FGM-148? It all depends on the circumstances and the specific situation. It was once done in Iraq.

It is adapted to many platforms, including tripods, trucks, light armored vehicles and remotely controlled vehicles. It is possible to launch a rocket from the shoulder. That is, the occupants must know that our Ukrainian fighter with a Javelin may be waiting for them behind any bush or building. No one will be spared.

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What optics is used in Javelin FGM-148?

I also want to talk about the optical equipment of Javelin FGM-148E. The day sight received a 4-fold magnification, which is not bad for such weapons. It is mainly used to scan areas for light during night work, as the light is not visible in thermal mode. The second type of optics is a night sight with 4x magnification, which shows the gunner the thermal state of the surveyed area. The main sight uses the ability to detect infrared radiation and find enemy manpower and vehicles that are otherwise hidden from detection. The third sight is even more interesting. With its help, the gunner receives thermal images with 9x magnification.


Interestingly, this process is very similar to the auto-zoom feature on most modern smartphone cameras. It should be understood that the US military-industrial complex utilizes latest technological developments. This also applies to optics.

How to use Javelin

The Command of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has published a detailed video on operating the anti-tank complex FGM-148 Javelin.

Of course, you should remember the basic rules that begin with the axiom: before you shoot, get a 100% guarantee that you are targeting the the enemy.

Before launch, you must also make sure that no one is behind. The instructions for use of Javelin state that the area in a 60 degree sector at a distance of 25 meters behind the launch position must be free of personnel. And you need to have at least 5 meters of free space in front of the launch position.

Read also: Invasion of Ukraine: Bayraktar TB2 strike UAV review


The might of Javelin FGM-148E has been felt more than once by tank brigades of invaders near Kyiv, my native Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Mykolayiv and other cities and towns of my Mother Ukraine. I am confident that this portable anti-tank guided missile will continue to terrify the occupiers.

Glory to Ukraine! Everything will be Ukraine! And the orcs are following the direction of the Russian ship from my Ukraine!

If you also want to help Ukraine fight the Russian occupiers, the best way to do it is to make a donation to the Armed Forces of Ukraine through

Weapons of Ukrainian victory: ATGM Javelin FGM-148 - ruthless to enemy tanks

Yuri Svitlyk
Yuri Svitlyk
Son of the Carpathian Mountains, unrecognized genius of mathematics, Microsoft "lawyer", practical altruist, levopravosek
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