The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that a Ukrainian soldier in the battle near Marjinka in the Donetsk region destroyed five Russian combat vehicles in “one combat” using the American Javelin hand-held launcher. “American weapons in Ukrainian hands work wonders,” the caption for the video, which was made available on the Internet, was written.
“Marjinka, Donetsk region. A Ukrainian soldier, an excellent Javelin operator, destroyed FIVE Russian combat vehicles in one fight,” the defense ministry wrote. Ukraine on social media, adding that “American weapons in Ukrainian hands work wonders.”
The post on Twitter was accompanied by a recording from the Ukrainian 79th Independent Air Assault Brigade.
Mariinka in the Donetsk region, where the fighting took place
The Javelin was one of the weapons that changed the course of the war
One of the factors that allowed the defenders of Ukraine to survive more than a year of war was the supply of arms. Three weapons in particular changed the course of the war: Javelin missiles, HIMARS missile launchers, and drones Bayraktar TB2 – wrote the CNN television portal.
At the very beginning of the war there was a threat that within a few days Russian armored columns heading towards Kiev would appear on the streets of the city. The Ukrainians needed something to stop this attack – and they found it in the form of Javelin rocket launchers – guided anti-tank missiles fired from the shoulder by one person.
Part of their appeal lies in their ease of use. As the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, which developed the missile together with Raytheon, explains: “To fire, the shooter places the cursor over the selected target. The Javelin launch unit then sends a lock-on signal to the missile before firing.”
The Javelin is a fire-and-forget weapon. As soon as its operator fires a shot, it can run for cover, and the projectile will find its way to its target. This was especially important in the first days of the war, because the Russians tried to enter Ukrainian cities with armored columns. The Javelin operator could launch a missile from a building or from behind a tree and disappear before the Russians could return fire.
The Javelin is also good at hitting the weak point of Russian tanks – their upper, horizontal armor on the turret – because the shell after firing goes skyward and then falls on the target from above. This could be seen in photos from the beginning of the war, which showed Russian tanks with “blown” turrets, which was, among others, responsible for Javelin missiles.
Javelin Advantage – Politically Acceptable
The impact of the Javelins on the course of the fighting was so great that two and a half months after the start of the war, the US president Joe Biden visited their factory in Alabama, where he praised the workers for their help in defending Ukraine.
Javelins had another advantage, especially at the beginning of the war: their delivery to Ukraine was politically acceptable. “Their low cost and defensive use make them politically easier to deliver to other countries,” wrote Michael Armstrong, an associate professor at Brock University in Ontario in Canada. “Governments do not agree on sending more expensive offensive weapons, such as warplanes,” he added.
Main photo source: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine