The United States of America has begun preparations to supply the Javelin anti-tank missile system to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said confirms Kurt Volker, the special representative of the U.S. State Department for Ukraine, in an exclusive interview with Radio Liberty.
“I want to point out that this is defensive equipment. It is useful only when there is a tank attack. Then they can be neutralized. So it is a defensive weapon. It is not used to attack and not used on the front line of a conflict. And I think that Ukraine shares this view,” added Volker.
He also said, “We only hope to fill in some of the ‘blank spots’ in Ukraine’s defense capabilities to prevent further escalation of the conflict - this is the least that we would like to do.”
Stepan Poltorak, Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, stated a few days ago that they will know early next month – after his visit to the U.S. on February 2 –exactly when Ukraine will receive the Javelin missiles.
In January, the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Viktor Muzhenko, reported that he had ordered preparations to begin to receive the missile complexes and get them ready for use.
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. State Department announced the approval of “expanded defense capabilities” for Ukraine. Washington did not officially identify which weapons would be provided to Ukraine, but the U.S. media reported that among these weapons could be the Javelin anti-tank missile system.
The Javelin system operates on the “fire-and-forget” principle; after launching, the missile guides itself to the chosen target without the need of an operator. Additionally, among the advantages of this system is the ability to hit an armored target from above, which is the least protected direction. Among the disadvantages of the system are the significant cost of both launchers and missiles, the heavy weight of the system – which the operator must hold on the shoulder – and the fact that it is not possible to correct the missile’s trajectory after it is launched in the event that the control system malfunctions.