The decision pertaining acquisition of the Javelin system was made during a meeting of the Czech government on 2nd December 2015. It was then publicly announced couple of days later. This is not going to be the first time, when the Czechs acquired this type of weapon systems. As early as in 2004, the Czech Republic signed a Letter of Understanding with the United States of America Department of Defence, covering the potential procurement of this type of armament. Three launchers, several missiles – all have been acquired for the Special Forces, in connection with their Afghan deployment.
The new systems are to provide combat readiness for the Czech Army elements involved in the foreign deployments, as it was stated by Petr Medek, spokesman for the Czech Ministry of Defence. Due to the fact that the procurement is a part of the FMS programme, we cannot rule out a situation in which the number of acquired systems remains unknown, and only the value of the deal is released to the public. In case of total value of USD 10.22 million, the acquisition is going to be relatively limited, up to several launchers and couple dozen missiles. For the sake of comparison, we should mention that Estonia acquired several hundred missiles and 80 launchers, however the value of the deal was five times higher.
Javelin ATGM system is manufactured in the United States by a consortium formed by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. This light and relatively inexpensive anti tank weapon weighs 18 kilograms, with the missile ready to shoot. The range of the latest variant reaches 4.75 km. The weapon may be operated by a single soldier. The missiles may be launched from the interior of the buildings or shelters. Besides the US Armed Forces, Javelin missiles are also being used by at least 12 countries, including Ireland, New Zeeland or Jordan. Lately, Lithuania and Estonia have also decided to acquire the Javelin ATGM systems.
The Czech Army additionally used the Spike-LR ATGM systems, fitted onto the unmanned Samson RCWS-30 turrets, which constitute the armament of the Pandur II wheeled armoured personnel carriers.