Javelin Medium Anti-armor Weapon System
Gary's U.S. Infantry Weapons Reference Guide

FM 3-22.37:  Javelin
Complete System
Alternative DesignationsAdvanced Antitank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M)
Country of OriginUSA
Date Of Introduction1996
Weight49.5 lb (22.5 kg)
M98A1 Command Launch Unit (CLU)
Weight14.16 lb (6.42 kg) - With battery, carrying bag, and cleaning kit
Dimensions (LxWxH)13.71 x 19.65 x 13.34 in (348.2 x 499.1 x 338.8 mm)
Daysight Magnification4X
Daysight Field-of-view (FOV)4.80° x 6.40°
Nightsight Wide Field-of-view (WFOV) Magnification4.2X
Nightsight WFOV4.58° x 6.11°
Nightsight Narrow Field-of-view (NFOV) Magnification9.2X
Nightsight NFOV2.00° x 3.00° (approximately)
Battery TypeLithium Sulfur Dioxide (LiSO2) BA-5590/U, nonrechargeable
Battery Life4.0 hrs below 120°F (49°C)
3.0 hrs between 50°F to 120°F (10°C to 49°C)
1.0 hrs between -20°F to 50°F (-49°C to 10°C)
0.5 hrs above 120°F (49°C)
Battery Weight2.2 lbs (1.00 kg)
Unit Cost$126,000 (2002)
Round - Launch tube assembly (LTA) with missile and BCU
Weight35.14 lb (15.97 kg)
Length47.60 in (1,209 mm)
Diameter With End Caps11.75 in (298.5 mm)
Inside Diameter5.52 in (140.2 mm)
Minimum RangeTop Attack: 164 yd (150 m)
Direct Attack: 71 yd (65 m)
Maximum Effective Range2,187 yd (2,000 m)
Flight TimeAbout 4.6 seconds at 1,000 meters
About 14.5 seconds at 2,000 meters
Guidance SystemImaging infrared (I²R), fire and forget
Unit Cost$78,000 (2002)
Battery Coolant Unit (BCU)
Weight2.91 lb (1.32 kg)
Dimensions (LxW)8.16 x 4.63 in (207.3 x 117.6 mm)
TypeLithium, nonrechargeable
Life4 min of BCU time
Coolant GasArgon


Javelin is the medium anti-tank system for infantry, scouts and combat engineers. These forces must have the capability to defeat armored forces during the day, at night, and during limited visibility conditions. The Javelin is operated by an individual soldier or in crews of two or three. The Javelin can be delivered by individual paratrooper, door bundle, tracked/wheeled vehicles, rail, ship, or air.

This system has a high kill rate against all known armor threats at extended ranges under day/night, adverse weather and multiple counter-measure conditions. The system's soft launch permits firing from a fighting position or an enclosure.

Javelin uses a modular design to allow the system to evolve to meet changing threats and requirements via both software and hardware upgrades. The system consists of a reusable Command Launch Unit (CLU) with a built-in-test (BIT), and a modular missile encased in a launch tube assembly (LTA). The system also includes training devices for tactical training, classroom training, and handling exercises.
FM 3-22.37: Javelin
Javelin's fire-and-forget technology allows the gunner to fire and immediately take cover, to move to another fighting position, or to reload. The Javelin provides enhanced lethality over the M47 Dragon through the use of a tandem warhead which will defeat all known armor threats. It is effective against both stationary and moving targets. The Javelin is capable of operating over 2.5 times the range of the M47 Dragon with a day/night integrated sight, capable of target acquisition in adverse weather and through battlefield obscurant conditions.

This system has a secondary mission of destroying bunkers and provides defensive capability against attacking/hovering helicopters. The CLU also has been used in a stand-alone mode for battlefield surveillance and target selection in recent conflicts.

The Javelin is a direct replacement for the M47 Dragon.


The M98A1 CLU is the reusable portion of the Javelin system. The CLU contains a daysight, night vision sight, controls, and indicators. The CLU components are a main housing, absorbers, handgrips, battery compartment, daysight, night vision sight, eyepiece, test connector, and round interface connector. The command launch unit attaches to the launch tube assembly (LTA).
FM 3-22.37: CLU, front


The round consists of the missile environmentally sealed in the launch tube assembly (LTA) and the battery coolant unit (BCU). The round has a 10-year shelf life. The only requirement for maintenance is for stockpile surveillance.

FM 3-22.37: LTA
The LTA serves as the launch platform and carrying container for the missile. It is a single-piece, composite graphite/epoxy design. The launch tube protects the missile from the environment before the missile is launched. All other LTA components mount externally on the tube. Once the missile is launched, the LTA is discarded.

FM 3-22.37: BCU
The BCU has the battery section and a compressed-gas coolant section. The battery section powers the missile electronics before missile launch. The coolant section cools the missile seeker to its operating temperature before missile launch. The BCU is a single-use unit with 4 minutes of operating time and is not rechargeable. Once the missile has been fired, the spent BCU is discarded with the LTA.


FM 3-22.37: Missile
The missile contains the guidance section, mid-body section, warhead section, propulsion section and control actuator section.
FM 3-22.37: Guidance
The guidance section provides target tracking and flight control signals. It is the forward section of the missile and includes the seeker head section and the guidance electronics unit.
FM 3-22.37: Mid-body
The mid-body section includes the missile skin, electronic safe arm and fire unit (ESAF), wings, and the main charge of the warhead.
FM 3-22.37: Warhead
The Javelin missile uses a dual charged warhead. The warhead has a precursor charge and main charge.
FM 3-22.37: Propulsion
The propulsion section consists of the launch and flight motors.
FM 3-22.37: Control Actuator
The control actuator section maneuvers the missile during flight and provides internal electrical power. The control actuator section consists of four control fins, four thrust vector control vanes, and a thermal battery.


FM 3-22.37: Sitting
FM 3-22.37: Kneeling
FM 3-22.37: Prone Supported
Prone Supported (on forward end cap)
FM 3-22.37: Correct Prone Body Position
Correct Prone Body Position


The missile has two gunner-selectable attack modes: top or direct. Each mode has its own flight path or profile for reaching the target.

FM 3-22.37: Top Attack
The top attack is the default mode when the missile seeker is first activated. In the top attack mode, the missile approaches from above to impact and detonate on the top of the target. This capacity allows the gunner to attack a vehicle from the front, rear, or the side and greatly increases the probability of a kill. Armored vehicles usually have less protective armor on top. Top attack also prevents an enemy target from protecting itself by moving behind frontal cover. The minimum engagement distance is 150 meters.
FM 3-22.37: Top Attack
The exact profile of the missile flight path depends on the range to the target and is determined automatically by the missile's onboard software). When firing at a 2,000-meter target, the missile reaches a height of about 160 meters above the battlefield. If the target is under a protective structure, using the top attack mode will cause the missile to detonate on the structure instead of on the target. The gunner can select the direct-attack mode to counter targets hiding under protective cover.
FM 3-22.37: Direct Attack
The direct attack mode can be selected only after seeker cooldown and before lock-on. The gunner pushes the attack select (ATTK SEL) switch on the right handgrip to change attack modes. In the direct attack mode, the missile flies on a more direct path to the target. The missile impacts and detonates on the side (front, rear, or flank) of the target. The minimum engagement distance is 65 meters.
FM 3-22.37: Direct Attack
The exact profile of the missile flight path (shown in a general configuration above) depends on the range to the target and is determined automatically by the missile's onboard software. With a 2,000-meter target, the missile reaches a height of about 60 meters above the battlefield. This path allows the missile to reach a target under a protective structure.


The backblast of the Javelin comes from the firing of the launch motor and the flight motor. The Javelin has little recoil because the propellant gases escape to the rear of the weapon. This backblast can damage equipment or seriously injure personnel who are too close to the rear of the launch tube at time of firing.

FM 3-22.37:  Javelin back blast area
The Javelin backblast area extends 100 meters to the rear and up to 25 meters to the sides of the launcher and forms a 60° danger area. It is divided into a primary danger zone and two caution areas.


FM 3-22.37:  Javelin, tactical carry
FM 3-22.37:  Javelin, short-distance carry
FM 3-22.37:  Javelin, long-distance carry
Urban Combat:


Original production model.
Javelin Missile Simulation Round (MSR)
The MSR is a field handling round with a simulated launch tube. It replicates the weight and balance of the actual round. The MSR contains no instruments or circuitry and is used to train gunners on how to maintain, handle, and carry the round.
FM 3-22.37: Javelin MSR
Javelin Block I
The upgrade provides decreased time to target, increases detection, recognition, and identification range, and extends missile range (3-4KM). It maintains both top attack and direct fire capability.

Javelin Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

Defenselink: Javelin
Javelin test firing
U.S. Army Photo
750x576, 48K, JPEG
Defenselink: Javelin
Javelin test firing
U.S. Army Photo
750x576, 43K, JPEG
Defenselink: Javelin
U.S. Marines of 2d Battalion, 6th Marines
Blair Airfield, Iraq
May 2, 2003
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mauricio Campino
1024x768, 163K, JPEG
Defenselink: Javelin
U.S. Marines of 2d Battalion, 6th Marines
Blair Airfield, Iraq
May 2, 2003
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mauricio Campino
1024x768, 201K, JPEG