Armor: October 12, 1999


The Marines have received their first Javelin anti-tank missiles, replacing the Dragons in the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines Regiment. Because Javelin is more effective than Dragon, each battalion will receive only eight Javelin launchers to replace the 12 Dragon launchers. The missile in its launcher is four feet long and weighs 50 pounds; it is operated by a two-man crew. Due to the high cost of the missile, most gunners will never fire one in practice, using only electronic simulators. The last of the Marine reserve battalions will have their Javelins in Oct 2003.--Stephen V Cole

The US Army is investing $125 million to develop a new hypervelocity missile able to defeat any known or anticipated tank. The Compact Kinetic Energy Missile will be 4m long and weigh about 50 pounds. Traveling at Mach 6.5+, the missile would be too fast for Russian-designed anti-missile systems to stop it. The missile will have a range of 5km, but this will be extended to 8km in future models.--Stephen V Cole


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