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Estonia-donated Javelin anti-tank missiles arrive in Ukraine

Javelin.
Javelin. Source: Ardi Hallismaa, Estonian Defense Forces (EDF)

A consignment of FGM-148 Javelin missiles gifted by Estonia has arrived in-country in Ukraine.

In December, Estonia made the decision to provide the weaponry to Ukraine, while the military aid package which followed also included machine guns, small arms ammunition, various vehicles and also diving and other maritime-related equipment.

For security reasons, the precise quantities, types, arrival times and destinations cannot be disclosed.

The news crowns a week in which Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) announced that the Estonian state would be contributing to an EU-wide pledge to provide one million artillery shells to Ukraine – referring to large-caliber projectiles.

While this project will have missed its March deadline, EU defense ministers doubled down on the goal overall, while the overall number of projectiles is likely to exceed a million in total.

While contributing states again opted not to disclose the precise details of the donations, Estonia's component is known to include projectiles numbering in the thousands.

The EU this week also signed off on a €50-billion military aid package to Ukraine.

Since 2022, Estonia has provided Ukraine with military aid worth a total of nearly €500 million, or around 1.4 percent of the country's annual GDP.

In addition to Javelin systems and the missiles to go with them, Estonia has in the two years since the invasion began donated to Ukraine artillery munitions, anti-tank mines, anti-armor weapons, mortars, vehicles, communications equipment, field hospitals, ration packs, personal protective equipment and medical supplies.

The FGM-148 Javelin has been in service for 20 years but has become particularly prominent following its extensive use against and success in countering Russian armored vehicles in the full-scale invasion, which began on February 24, 2022.

It is a fire-and-forget weapon, allowing a user to seek cover immediately after launch, while Javelin's high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead can neutralize tanks by hitting them from above at the point at which armor is usually thinnest.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

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