A video clip shared on social media this week shows a Ukrainian soldier easily firing an FGM-148 Javelin missile from over the shoulder and destroying a Russian armored personnel carrier in the process. The video demonstrates the ease of use of the FGM-148 Javelin missiles.
The footage shows a single soldier sitting on the ground with a Javelin missile launcher positioned on his shoulder. The missile is quickly fired, and additional footage recorded from a drone shows the missile quickly finding its target, a BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.
In the secondary footage, the impact can be seen very clearly. It strikes the Russian military vehicle, setting it on fire and creating large plumes of black smoke.
“A Russian BTR-80 armored personnel carrier didn’t not [sic] withstand a meeting with a Ukrainian FGM-148 Javelin missile, reportedly in #Kherson Oblast,” English-language Ukraine war tracking Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes.
The FGM-148 Javelin was one of the earliest weapons donated to Ukraine by NATO countries. Built by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, this advanced anti-tank missile system has been in use since 1996 and has seen several upgrades since. Developed for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, the missile is designed to be extremely simple to operate. The system uses a reusable Command Launch Unit and a missile sealed inside of a disposable Launch Tube Assembly.
Javelins use fire-and-forget technology, meaning that the operator of the missile launcher can launch the missile and then take cover. The missile then uses infrared technology to find its target and strike.
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) July 24, 2022
Ukrainian Soldier Fires Javelin Missile at Russian Outpost
Similar footage shared online this month shows a Ukrainian soldier using the Javelin missile to strike a Russian outpost from what looks like a balcony in an abandoned building.
In the clip, which you can view here, the soldier can be seen crouching on a balcony before he launched the missile at a building in the distance. Once launched, the soldier stands up and watches the rocket head towards the target. Close-up video footage then shows the building in the distance being destroyed by the rocket.
Javelin missiles continue to prove effective in the war, providing short-range missile capabilities to the Ukrainian military. While the Javelin missiles are effective for short-range strikes, Ukrainian troops have become increasingly reliant on the recently-supplied long-range HIMARS to launch strikes at greater distances.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.