Three Javelin missiles were shot in a demonstration at the central military training area near Tapa on Tuesday - with both the Defense Minister and the Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces watching - ahead of a deal for Estonia to buy 80 such systems.
“We have began negotiations with our allies the United States to purchase the Javelin anti-tank missile system, which was on show today,” Defense Minister Sven Mikser said, adding that he hopes to reach a deal this year.
Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Riho Terras, said conscripts and Defense League members will also be trained with the new weapons: “Battle capability has risen significantly in the past 10 years we have practiced the use of the second-generation Milan system.”
The Javelin system weighs 22 kilograms, meaning it does not need a vehicle and can be successfully operated with a team of two or three soldiers. Each missile costs around 60,000 euros. Three were fired at the range yesterday, all hitting their intended targets.
Javelin is a shoulder-fired fire-and-forget missile which lock-ons to its target before launch and guides itself to the target. It can also be installed on tracked, wheeled or amphibious vehicles.
The system takes top-down flight profile against armored vehicles (attacking the top armor, which is generally thinner), but can also take a direct-attack mode for use against buildings.
This missile also has the ability to engage helicopters in the direct attack mode, and can hit targets at an altitude of 150 m. It was first deployed in 1996.