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Putin’s Problem: 30,000 Anti-Tank Missiles Have Been Sent to Ukraine

Javelin Like in Ukraine
Javelin anti-tank missile being fired along with a mortar. Image credit: UK government.

30,000 Anti-Tank Weapons Have Been Sent to Ukraine – So many Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles have been sent by the United States to Ukraine that the Pentagon announced it would have to accelerate the production to refill its own depleted stocks. Kyiv has requested that as many as 500 of each of the missile platforms be delivered daily, CNN reported.

It is now estimated that as many as 30,000 anti-tank missiles have been sent to aid Ukraine, along with several thousand anti-aircraft missiles. The Javelins have been credited with taking out dozens of Russian tanks, perhaps even into the hundreds.

However, just as there has been a demand for small arms ammunition in the United States, the military could face a shortage of anti-tank/anti-aircraft missiles as demand is outpacing the ability to produce the weapons.

The Pentagon doesn’t disclose its specific inventory levels, and as CNN also reported, it maintains the levels for what “may be needed in a conflict.” It currently takes about 18 to 24 months to manufacture a production lot of the Stinger, depending on the number in the lot. The Javelin, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is now reported to be in full production mode – and more than 6,000 are expected to be produced this year.

Anti-Tank Weapons Put to the Test in Ukraine

Even as Russia massed its forces on the Ukraine border, prior to launching its unwarranted and unprovoked attack last month, a variety of anti-tank weapons had been provided to help Ukraine’s forces. These included the aforementioned Javelin, the British-made NLAW and the Swedish-produced AT-4. Each has been used to reasonable success.

Here are some facts about each system:

FGM-148 Javelin is an American-made portable anti-tank missile system that entered service in 1996, and has been continuously upgraded. It is a fire-and-forget platform that utilizes an automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to take cover and avoid counter-fire immediately after launch. Its HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by striking them from above where the vehicle’s armor is the thinnest. It can also be used against fortifications in a direct attack flight.

The British/Swedish (NLAW) is a single-shot, fire-and-forget, shoulder-fired disposable missile system that was designed for use by infantry. The shoulder-mounted weapon is capable of firing a single 150mm high-explosive anti-tank missile up to 2,600 feet. The joint British/Swedish-designed NLAWS, developed by Saab Bofors Dynamics, are currently built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Thales Air Defence. It employs a “soft-launch system,” which means that the missile is ejected non-explosively, and can be used by infantry from within an enclosed space. Weighing just 27.5 pounds, it is easy to fire, and light enough that the operator can still carry an additional weapon such as a rifle. As with the American Javelin, the NLAW can be used to target the top of a tank’s turret – and operators need to aim just one meter above the tank and the downward shaped charge can do the rest.

Another Swedish-designed weapon that has proven well-suited to destroying Russian tanks is Saab Bofors Dynamics’ AT4, an 84mm unguided, man-portable, single-shot, recoilless smoothbore anti-tank weapon. Since its introduction in 1987, the AT4 has become one of the most commonly employed anti-tank weapons in the world. It was designed to fire a variety of different projectiles, including high-explosive anti-tank rounds; anti-structure and breaching tandem-warheads; anti-armor extended range rounds; and reduced sensitivity, anti-tank warheads for urban or jungle combat.

Ukraine has also reportedly been employing the Soviet-designed RPG-7, while videos have shown brave civilians learning how to make “ Molotov cocktails.” There have been reports of a few cases of the primitive gasoline bombs being hurled at Russian tanks, while some drones have been modified to carry and drop them, but more likely being stockpiled as a backup. For now, it seems that as long as the anti-tank weapons keep flowing to Ukraine, the Russian tank losses will continue to mount.

Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Alex

    March 30, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    And again, “Putin has problems.” No, not in Russia, not among the peoples of Russia, and not even in Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. I am 100% sure that Putin does not know that he has problems according to the versions of journalists who write the same thing, and Russian troops are making progress every day.

    Now on the topic: Let’s estimate how many of these missiles will be destroyed at the reception and in warehouses, how many of them will fall into the hands of the people’s militia of Donbass and how many of them will be really serviceable. If it is 20-30%, then such a “delivery” will be a success.

  2. James

    March 30, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Alex you and your fellow russians are still trash. Every dead russian invader is laughed at. We piss on the bodies of the invaders and call their parents using the phones we find on the dead. We tell the mothers how we slaughter your kind and we laugh and laugh.

  3. L'amateur d'aéroplanes

    March 30, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    Yes, Putin’s troops had a big problem. Who is now afraid of the Russian army? We see in the Caucasus that it is IRAN which must protect Armenia against Azerbaijan because the Russian armed forces no longer impress anyone.

  4. Alex

    March 30, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    James (in fact, by the name of Zaperdolenko, a Bandera Nazi), I cannot say that I am happy with your words. But I sincerely support the fact that you are showing all the people in the world the face of Bandera Nazis. People should know about people like you and bring them to a merciless trial that will continue for you for eternity in hell.

    To know the real information about the battles in Ukraine, without false propaganda, I advise you to read the articles of the American journalist Scott Ritter. He truthfully talks about how Russian troops clean up cities, how Bandera retreats, talks about the real losses of the parties.

    To know the real information about the atrocities, torture of Bandera Nazis, I advise you to read Gonzalo Lear.
    Note that the American Gonzalo Lira lives and works in Ukraine. Now he is in besieged Kyiv and almost daily shares his impressions of what is happening.

    In the context of the version of events imposed by the collective West, Gonzalo Lira insists that all the information of the Russian Ministry of Defense is true.
    So, he previously stated the following: “Russians are incredibly disciplined when it comes to information management. The only information coming from the Russians is statements directly from the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Their information has been 100% accurate so far, which I think is a deliberate strategy. There was a lot of Ukrainian propaganda that turned out to be pure fantasy, but even after these stories turned out to be fake, people cling to them.”

    Dear German journalists from whom you can learn the truth are the famous Thomas Röper, who is on the Ukrainian front, a military expert from Germany, Thomas Gasta.

    Of course, it is not possible to mention the Ukrainian journalist who was forced to flee Ukraine – Anatoly Shariy.

    These people know what they are talking about, unlike the false propagandists here and, as you can see, the outright Nazis in the comments, who showed their true colors.

  5. Alex

    March 30, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Aircraft lover: I’m sure that your assessment and stupidity will make the entire Russian army cry 🙂

  6. Sez1

    March 30, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    @Alex, thanks for your spread of truthful information. Anyone who actually does their own thinking and research that what has happened in the conflict region has been registered by the international community….what “those” in Ukraine have done. Pictures and historical accounts are worth a lot.

    I find it ironic, aren’t the Ukraines the ones decrying war crimes and inhumane treatment by the Russians, but this person responding to you defines the atrocities that they’re accusing Russia of!? Hypocrite much?

    As for the US…..Iraq war, abandonment in Afghanistan to include drone striking civilians, trying to pass legislation approving the murder if 2 week old babies….and….trying to legalize pedophilia aka (minor attracted persons)… hypocrites all around.

    Yet….Russia bad?!?!? I don’t buy it.

  7. Alex

    March 30, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Sez1: Thanks to you as well, fellow readers. I’m sure there are more of us all over the world. Of course, the encouragement of outright Nazism is already the norm in Western society, because Europe is being prepared in the same way as Europe was being prepared in the 30s of the last century. Nowadays, you can find the truthful information much faster, so there are some bursts of aggression, but in general, people understand what they are trying to push. A simple example: a Nazi can write anything about Russians, even if the Nazi writes to a non-Russian, but the Nazi thought so and he will not be banned. But if the Russian writes the truth in response, but somewhat harshly, then the Nazi runs to complain that he was offended. The usual methods of Goebbels and his followers. Power is in the truth 🙂

  8. Tarrasik

    March 31, 2022 at 12:27 am

    They are highly impressive technology and will probably take out a few Russian tanks. However, most of the 30,000 will end up in the hands of the Russian military when the Ukraine surrenders. The only way that will not happen is if Russia concedes defeat and retreats. Everyone knows that Putin and Russia are not going to retreat, they cannot afford to.

  9. James

    March 31, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Alex and Sez1 are typical dirty alcoholic russian trolls. I can just imagine your shitty existance. Wake up still drunk from crappy russian garbage vodka, goes to work at troll farm, surrounded by stinking dirty russians, uses trashy computer to copy and paste the same shit on all articles. Goes home to an ugly fat whore wife. Kids are stupid as fuck. Eats some garbage for dinner that people in the west wouldnt even feed a stray dog. Gets drunk on garbage homemade vodka. And … repeat till they die from liver failure or killed in UKR. 😂

  10. Ernst Stavro

    April 1, 2022 at 4:22 am

    And Germany sends old East Germany Strela anti tank weapons which are 70 % junk.
    German army clean their storage Rooma?????

  11. Alex

    April 1, 2022 at 10:04 am

    It’s so funny when a Banderor Nazi troll is tearing his ass. So, you are being pressured very successfully. When you talk about the highly developed country of Russia, look out the window from your pigsty, you live worse than in the 16th century.
    Kadyrov demanded that the United States send more Javelin anti-tank systems to Ukraine.
    “We demand from Biden to increase the supply of Javelins! I am ready to personally reward the old man for his active assistance to the Russian special operation,” Kadyrov wrote in his Telegram channel.
    He noted that Chechen fighters are busy searching for and eliminating “Bandera and nationalist evil spirits” in Mariupol around the clock and seven days a week.
    “This task is greatly facilitated by Mr. Biden, who provides our fighters with modern American weapons. The guys especially fell in love with the Javelin ATGM, which has double the effectiveness. In order not to give up this valuable trophy, nationalists usually sacrifice 2-3 lives. Otherwise, our fighters will destroy a whole crew of Bandera from it, ”added the head of Chechnya.

  12. Christopher

    April 10, 2022 at 5:31 am

    Sending them to Ukraine is a handy way to get rid of all the old stock that is just taking up space, and the Stinger is now old and the US Army wants a replacement same probably with the Javelin.

  13. travelling sisters

    May 6, 2022 at 8:38 am

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