Originally introduced in 1996, the FMG-148 Javelin has become a vital tool for the U.S. Army over the last two decades. The portable one-man anti-tank missile has been fired more than 5,000 times in combat, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and continues to be utilized by allied forces around the world.
Capable of taking out modern tanks by attacking them from above where their armor is weakest, the FMG-148 Javelin is one of the most lethal portable weapons the U.S. Army has at its disposable. Its portability allows for it to be used anywhere at any time on the battlefield.
The Javelin is a fire-and-forget style of weapon that uses infrared guidance to seek out its target automatically and allows for the soldier to take cover immediately after the missile is deployed. It can even be fired safely from enclosures and covered fighting positions.
Each year, hundreds of Army soldiers are trained to properly use the Javelin both in the classroom and in live fire training exercises.
In the video below, soldiers with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment practice with the FGM-148 Javelin at the Estonian Defense Forces central training area in Estonia.
Take a look:
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment is a unit of the United State Army Europe. Soldiers are stationed in Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany and facilitate preparation for future full spectrum operations throughout EUCOM’s area of responsibility, according to the U.S Army’s website.
Also known as the 2nd Dragoons, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment was founded in 1836 and is currently the longest active serving cavalry regiment in the United States Army. Today, the regiment consists of approximately 5,000 soldiers across seven subordinate squadrons.
When it was first introduced, the Javelin was capable of striking targets from up to 1.6 miles away. It officially replaced the wire-guided M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in 2001.
The most current iteration of the FGM-148 Javelin has a range of 2.95 miles. It weighs nearly 50lbs and packs a 43 inch long, 5-inch wide missile. At a cost of $174,000 per unit according to the Department of Defense’s 2019 budget, live training exercises with the Javelin come at a significant cost.
Because of this, the U.S. Army has recently introduced advanced virtual reality into its training repertoire that allows for more soldiers to become familiar with the FGM-148 Javelin’s systems at a lower cost. Developed by Raytheon in partnership with Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Army now has around 500 virtual reality trainers in classrooms around the world.