The Pentagon has ordered more Javelin anti-tank missiles manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin as Washington’s stockpile dwindles. Taipei is due to receive hundreds of these weapons systems next year and the White House has already sent thousands to Kiev.
Lockheed and Raytheon’s contract is to produce an “indefinite-quantity” of Javelins over three years in a deal that could be worth as much as $7.2 billion. The weapons makers jointly produce the anti-tank weapon. Missiles will be distributed to the Army, Marines, Navy, as well as the “international customers.”
After Russia invaded Ukraine last year, the White House sent thousands of Javelin missiles to Kiev. Two months into the war, the Center for Strategic and International Studies assessed the US sent about 7,000 Javelins to Ukraine, about one-third of the American stockpile. Over the past year, the total number of Javelins sent to Kiev has increased to 8,500.
Lockheed is working to increase production to about 4,000 Javelin missiles per year. Doug Bush, the head of acquisitions for the Army, claimed the contract shows America’s commitment to boosting weapons production. Each missile costs between $160,000-180,000.
“The Army, along with industry partners, are striving to shorten the production lead time associated with production and delivery of these systems,” Bush said. “This contract award further illustrates the urgency the US government is applying to the acquisition of systems and replenishing munitions stockpiles.”
In addition to filling America’s and Ukraine’s stockpiles, Taiwan is set to receive 400 of the anti-tank missiles during the next two years. A sale of $125 million in Javelins to the UK was recently approved by the State Department.