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AUSA 2022: Lightweight Javelin launchers begin LRIP, missile manufacturing to ramp up by 2026

The JJV is ramping up production towards about 2,000 FGM-148F missiles per year. (Javelin Joint Venture)

The Lockheed Martin-Raytheon Javelin Joint Venture (JJV) is preparing to enter low-rate initial production (LRIP) for a new Light Weight Command Launch Unit (LWCLU) for the Javelin Weapon System and completed a test launch on 5 October towards the LWCLU's qualification programme, which could be complete by mid-2023.

The new LWCLU is approximately 30% smaller and lighter than the Block 1 CLU, and increases detection, recognition, and identification (DRI) visual-range performance of the day camera and high-definition night camera by ‘more than double'.

In June 2022 the US Army awarded the JJV an LRIP contract for LWCLU, and first deliveries for those are expected in 2025, Brad Barnard, executive director for Precision Fires and Maneuver for Raytheon, told reporters on 11 October at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 conference in Washington, DC.

There were 200 LWCLUs on order at the time of publication, and production is ramping up towards 600 units per year in full-rate production (FRP). An FRP award is expected in 2023, Barnard said.

Meanwhile, the JJV is investing in tooling to run a faster production line and decrease lead times, and is hiring additional staff to achieve a maximum output of just under 4,000 FGM-148F variant Javelin missiles per year by 2026, Jerry Brode Jr, vice-president of Close Combat Systems for Lockheed Martin, told reporters. The JJV produces about 2,100 missiles per year as of October 2022.

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