The United States delivered 128 Raytheon Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) to the Estonian Ministry of Defense and Estonian Defense Forces on February 15, the U.S. Embassy in Estonia announced April 2.
The delivery is part of a larger contract signed by the Estonian Center for Defense Investment and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
“The shipment will continue to build upon Estonia’s defensive capabilities and further strengthens our nations’ strategic integration while ensuring interoperability among NATO Allies and partners”, said the Embassy statement.
The Javelin anti-tank missile systems are part of an on-going cooperative effort involving joint financing from the U.S. Department of State and Estonian national funds.
“The Estonian Defense Forces and United States European Command [EUCOM] continue to work together to achieve joint strategic objectives and guarantee stability in the region”, the statement added.
The United States has provided Estonia with over $100 million in joint defense cooperation over the past few years and takes part in over 150 military-to-military engagements each year.
In 2019, the Estonian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a €40 million (approx. $45 million) framework agreement with Eurospike for the supply of Israeli SPIKE LR ATGMs. The weapons will be delivered to the Estonian Defense Forces beginning in the third quarter of 2020 and will be used by infantry brigade anti-tank companies.
FGM-148 Javelin is an American man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) fielded to replace the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in U.S. service.
The system uses automatic infrared (IR) guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch, as opposed to wire-guided systems, like the Dragon, where the user has to actively guide the weapon throughout the engagement.
The Javelin’s HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above where their armor is thinnest and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight.
As of January 2019, over 5,000 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles have been fired in combat.