The State Department notified Congress it has approved a potential $75 million sale of more than 410 Javelin missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp., the world's largest defense contractor, and Raytheon Co., the world's biggest missile-maker, according to a statement Monday from the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The sale calls for 410 Javelin missiles; 72 Javelin command launch units with spares; 10 basic skills trainers; and up to 70 simulated rounds; as well as U.S. government and contractor technical assistance, transportation and other related elements of logistics and program support.
"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Georgia," the announcement states. "The Javelin system will provide Georgia with increased capacity to meet its national defense requirements. Georgia will have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces."
It goes on to say, "These missiles are being provided from U.S. Army stock and the CLUs will be obtained from on-hand Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF)-purchased stock."
The Javelin is a portable, anti-tank system developed for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, according to the Military.com equipment guide. Highly lethal against tanks with conventional and reactive armor, the weapon provides a medium anti-tank capability to infantry soldiers, scouts and combat engineers, the guide states.
The Army requested funding to buy another 794 of the shoulder-fired munition in fiscal 2018, though the service identified a shortfall of 373, so lawmakers in Congress agreed to purchase a total of 1,167 for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, according to information released by the House Armed Services Committee.
After the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the U.S. recognized the independence of Georgia, according to a 2014 report from the Congressional Research Service. Georgia went to war with Russia for five days in 2008 over the Russian-backed states South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where thousands of Russian troops remain, according to CRS.