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UK seeks Javelin Lightweight Command Launch Unit

Mock-up of the Javelin LWCLU. (Raytheon Missiles & Defense)

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on its website on 1 August that the Department of State had approved a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of 513 Javelin Lightweight Command Launch Units (LWCLUs) to the UK, for an estimated value of USD300 million. Also included in the potential sale are LWCLU Basic Skill Trainers; Javelin Outdoor Trainers; Javelin Vehicle Launcher Electronics (JVL-Es); associated training packages, training documentation, and lifecycle support; and Systems Integration and Check Out. This order would make the UK the first export customer for the LWCLUs.

A UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Janes on 3 August, β€œWe are committed to the Javelin Lightweight Command Launch Unit and have requested further information from our partners. The Javelin capability will enhance the battlegroup-level anti-armour capability and ensure the British military maintains its leading edge on the battlefield.”

Janes understands that the acquisition of the Javelin LWCLUs would deliver a capability sustainment programme (CSP) designed to keep the Javelin anti-armour system relevant for the coming years. However, there are no requirements to procure additional missiles to complement the acquisition of the LWCLUs, as the system is backward-compatible with existing missiles in the UK inventory. The Javelin Joint Venture (JJV) has completely switched missile production to the FGM-148F model. Production of the FGM-148G is expected to begin in 2025–27, which coincides with the expected out-of-service dates of the Javelin in UK service. The Javelin CSP plans to maintain current anti-armour capabilities until the entry into service of the next-generation Close Combat Anti-Armour Weapon (CCAAW), part of the Battle Group Organic Anti-Armour capabilities project announced in May 2021.

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