New Javelin missile passes flight test

Jan. 11, 2007 at 7:44 AM
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A new variant of the U.S. Javelin anti-tank rocket that has a longer range passed its recent qualifying tests.

The Block 1 version of the Javelin is actually already in production in Alabama and includes enhanced launch software and warhead as well as a new motor that provides more speed to get the warhead on target quicker.

The weapon's range has been extended to 3-4 kilometers, or more than 2 miles.

"The Block 1 configuration of the Javelin enables our soldiers to bring the system's unprecedented advantage to the forefront against a wider range of targets and missions," said Javelin Joint Venture President Duane Gooden. "This gives the ground commander additional flexibility and reliable firepower when and where he needs it."

Anti-tank weapons have put to use in Iraq and Afghanistan as a precision option against buildings used as insurgent strongholds. Such weapons allow infantry to knock out such positions without having to call in artillery or air strikes that can result in collateral damage or friendly fire casualties.

Raytheon said in a news release that the Javelin has been on target 95 percent of the time in more than 1,000 launches in ongoing combat operations.

The Block 1 is being produced under a U.S. Army contract issued in 2005.

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