The US-made FGM-148 Javelin and the British-made NLAW anti-tank missiles supplied by the West to Kiev forces had performed poorly on the battlefield, a captured Ukrainian service member said in a video released by Russia’s Defense Ministry on May 5.
“US military aid, to my mind, has been overhyped because the much-touted anti-tank weapon systems and grenade launchers, their Javelins and NLAWs that were heavily promoted, failed to prove their worth in practice. They suffered setbacks, with normally one out of four weapons firing and instances of duds or blasts 50 meters away from the target,” the Ukrainian prisoner of war said.
The Javelin, which is guided by infrared homing, has a maximum range of 2,500 meters and can penetrate up to 600 mm of rolled homogeneous armour behind reactive armour. The missile has top-attack as well as fire-and-forget capabilities.
The NLAW is guided by PLOS [predicted line of sight] with top-attack as well as fire-and-forget capability. The missile has a range of 1,000 meters only and can penetrate more than 500 mm of rolled homogeneous armour.
According to the Ukrainian POW, some weapon batches contained anti-armor systems whose service life had expired and spent storage batteries.
“Some weapons had storage batteries with an expired service life while most batches indicated years past expiration dates,” the POW said.
So far, the West has delivered 60,000 anti-tank weapons, including more than 5,000 Javelins and 4,000 NLAWs, to Kyiv forces. The delivers of some of these weapons began before the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
The Russian military and the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) have already captured or destroyed loads of Western-supplied anti-tank weapons.
The West has been dumping its weapon stockpiles into Ukraine on the hopes of prolonging the war and weakening the Russian military.