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Raytheon, Lockheed to upgrade Javelin missile system

The companies received a $10.1 million contract to modernize the Command Launch Unit for their jointly-developed Javelin anti-tank missile.

By Stephen Carlson
Raytheon, Lockheed to upgrade Javelin missile system
U.S. Marines training with Javelin anti-tank missiles, which are to be upgraded by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the companies that jointly developed the weapons system. U.S. Marine Corps photo

July 24 (UPI) -- Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have been awarded a $10.1 million contract to modernize the Command Launch Unit for their jointly-developed Javelin anti-tank missile.

The modification will apply toward weight reduction, engineering design requirements and analysis for updating the CLU infrared targeting system. The work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is projected to be completed by September 30, 2019.

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The FGM-148 Javelin is a man-portable anti-tank missile used by the United States and many allied countries. The missile has a "fire-and-forget" infrared guidance system that requires no course corrections from the operator after launch.

The Javelin can target moving vehicles, fixed fortifications, troops in the open and low-flying helicopters. It can be used for direct fire or in a pop-up mode that allows it to hit tanks from above to take advantage of their thinner top armor.

The missile has a soft-launch capability that limits its back blast, allowing it to be used from fortifications and buildings. It carries a tandem-charge high-explosive anti-tank warhead for defeating hardened targets.

The CLU is a separate reusable infrared targeting systems that is attached to the missile prior to use. It provides thermal target detection and lock-on to the missile before launch, and it can be used independently as a thermal scanning device for dismounted troops.

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