The Irish Government has signed a letter of agreement with the US Government to acquire military technology for approximately US$12.5m from a joint venture between electronics giant Raytheon and armaments manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
The Javelin Anti-tank Guided Weapon System has reportedly been previously deployed in the ground war in Iraq. The acquisition of the system marks the first sale of the Javelin system by the Raytheon-Lockheed Martin joint venture to a neutral nation.
The Javelin medium-range anti-tank missile system is the world’s first transportable and employable “fire-and-forget” anti-armour missile system. The system saw extensive use by US Army soldiers, marines and special forces in Iraq. It is understood to have been approved for international sales through the US Army’s Foreign Military Sales system as a next-generation anti-armour weapon system.
“The United States Government is extremely pleased that the Irish Department of Defence selected Javelin after conducting its extensive and thorough assessment of all candidate systems,” said Colonel Lloyd McDaniels, US Army Close Combat Weapon Systems project manager.
Michael Crisp, president of the Javelin Joint Venture, added: “Javelin provides the Irish Defence Forces with a highly effective means of deterrence for its soldiers in front-line peacekeeping missions.”
It is understood that the decision to buy the weapons system came following a detailed evaluation by the Irish Defence Forces of whole-life costs and worldwide supportability for the system.
Under the terms of the deal, Raytheon will provide the Irish army with system engineering management and support for the new system while Lockheed Martin will provide missile engineering and production support.
By John Kennedy