Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, in their partnership as the Javelin Joint Venture, are preparing to start producing Javelin anti-tank missile systems in Poland, under the direction of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa. PGZ is a state-owned holding company of defense manufacturing businesses.
The “memo of understanding” signed by PGZ and the JJV foresees establishment of a final assembly center and component production capabilities in Poland, though the financial terms, location, and production schedule have not been detailed.
“With growing demand for Javelin, these new industry partners can play a vital role in supporting the production and delivery of this combat-proven, fire-and-forget weapon system to the global Javelin community,” stated Andy Amaro, president of the JJV and Raytheon’s Javelin program director.
The Javelin is a shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile system that uses infrared guidance, allowing the operator to launch a weapon and seek cover. The “high-explosive anti-tank” (HEAT) warhead is effective against tanks as well as fortifications, and while it has become a less prominent part of U.S. defense weapons program, Javelin reportedly has been highly effective for Ukrainian forces combating Russian tanks in the ongoing conflict there.
Two years ago Poland’s Territorial Defence Forces completed Javelin Operator Training and were certified to maintain and operate Javelin systems, and to conduct their own operator training.
“Poland views the Javelin Joint Venture as a key strategic partner, and this agreement further strengthens our relationship with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin,” stated PGZ president Sebastian Chwalek. “The strategic joint discussions and decisions leading to this agreement demonstrate the potential for fruitful long-term cooperation.”
Javelin weapons have been produced by the Javelin Joint Venture since 1994 – by Raytheon in Tucson, Ariz., and by Lockheed in Orlando, Fla. According to Lockheed the system will remain in the U.S. weapon arsenal until 2050, subject to upgrades to support changing operational needs. However, much of the current output of the JV is being delivered to allied nations through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales arm.