Russian troops are positioned to assault from all angles as they enter Ukraine as part of what President Biden dubbed the “beginning of a Russian invasion.” This suggests that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine might happen in the following days.
The Pentagon has sent a quantity of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukrainian forces, which are commonly deployed by small, mobile units to attack tanks from afar. Javelin missiles, which were initially employed against Iraqi T-72 tanks during Operation Iraqi Freedom, have shown to be effective in warfare. The Javelin may be used as a shoulder-fired weapon or mounted atop a tactical vehicle and fired from there.
Could Javelin-equipped Ukrainian soldiers halt or destroy invading Russian tanks? While they may be able to do so, there are a few key aspects to consider. A cursory look at the map reveals that the eastern portion of Ukraine is mostly made up of lowlands and plateaus, while the western section is hilly.
Javelins must be launched from places obscured by rocks, trees, or uneven terrain in order to attain their full efficacy. With this in mind, the terrain in eastern Ukraine may make hit-and-run Javelin strikes on Russian tanks more difficult. Soldiers using Javelins may be more exposed to approaching Russian mechanised formations and less successful in halting them if they are unable to hide their places of attack.
In the end, Javelins may be deployed to slow down rather than completely stop a Russian ground assault. Effective hit-and-run strikes may compel a Russian ground assault to shift direction, and javelins could surely boost the cost of a Russian invasion.
The true difference might be in the Javelin’s targeting sensors’ range, picture fidelity, and accuracy. If Javelin targeting systems or long-range sensors on surrounding vehicles can correctly target incoming tanks from reinforced positions, a large number of Javelins might conceivably stymie a Russian tank column.
While Russian tanks may be able to monitor Javelin troops, a tank gun would struggle to precisely target small groups of mobility fighters. At the same time, incoming Russian ground troops would almost certainly have air superiority and close air support, putting vulnerable Ukrainian fighters in grave danger from the air.
Although it is unclear if Ukrainian troops would get the latest updated Javelin models, any Javelin is likely to have a significant impact on the ground. The continuous modifications to the Javelin anti-tank missile by the Army provide an intriguing point of comparison. The Javelin’s assault range is doubled thanks to Raytheon’s new Lightweight Command Launch Unit.
Improved sensor fidelity and a “quick lock” for carrying out assaults while on the move are among the most recent developments, which are set to go into production this year. Furthermore, Army officials informed the National Interest last year that the army is working on a new Javelin warhead.