javelin anti-tank missle test fire

The UK 45 Commando Royal Marines have successfully conducted live firing of the next-generation light anti tank weapon (NLAW) and Javelin missiles at Otterburn ranges, outside Newcastle.

Belonging to the Fire Support Group of Yankee Company, the marines tested three NLAWs and one Javelin as well as some machine-guns as part of Exercise Black Storm.

Marine Kev MacNeish said: "There was a gasp of shock when the missile left the launcher and started curving off to the left, only for a sigh of relief to hit as the missile curled back towards the target after taking a dogleg.

"The live firings were supposed to be carried out in the spring of this year, but were delayed as marines were deployed to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean."

"All the fire support group had been looking forward to getting some valuable trigger time. This was a hoofing week and everyone left with high morale."

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The live firings were supposed to be carried out in the spring of this year, but were delayed as the Arbroath-based marines were deployed with HMS Bulwark to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean.

The lighter, short-range, fire-and-forget NLAW system, which entered service in 2009 to replace the British Army’s existing Insys LAW-80 system, can hit tanks closer than 600m and can be fired directly into the target.

Javelin is a portable shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile system that is capable of destroying a target at a distance of around 2,500m.

Image: The Javelin shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile system. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.