Javelin is a British, man-portable surface-to-air missile, formerly used by the British Army and Canadian Army. It can be fired from the shoulder, or from a dedicated launcher known as Javelin LML—Lightweight Multiple Launcher. Capable of being vehicle mounted, the LML carries three rounds.
It was replaced in front line British service by the Javelin S-15, sold commercially as the Starburst surface-to-air missile in 1993 (radio frequency guided Javelin was retained for some time thereafter for training purposes), and later by the Starstreak starting around 1997. The Canadian Forces have retired it without replacement.
The missile was developed as a replacement for the Blowpipe missile, which had proven largely ineffective in the Falklands War although it was used by both sides. Only two hits were recorded out of more than 100 launches: a British Harrier GR3 (XZ972) attacked by Argentine Army special forces (Commandos Company), and an Argentine Aermacchi MB-339 (0766 (4-A-114)) during the Battle of Goose Green.
Similar in overall appearance to the Manual Command Line of Sight (MCLOS), radio frequency guided Blowpipe, Javelin is slightly more compact, uses Semiautomatic Command Line of Sight (SACLOS) radio frequency guidance and is fitted with Semi and improved warhead. The operator is equipped with a 6× magnification sight and a long range T.V. camera to locate targets. Although the Javelin's accuracy is somewhat susceptible to smoke, fog, or clouds, it is claimed to be virtually impossible to decoy it away from a target with flares. It has been alleged that some were supplied to the Mujahideen by the United States during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
- ^ Freedman, Sir Lawrence, The Official History of the Falklands Campaign (Abingdon, 2005). Volume II, pp. 732–735