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Javelin missiles help bolster Taiwan's asymmetric warfare capabilities

Javelin missiles can easily wipe out armored vehicles from above

Taiwanese soldier carrying Javelin launcher.

Taiwanese soldier carrying Javelin launcher. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s new javelin missiles will boost asymmetric warfare capabilities, Institute for National Defense and Security Research Director Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said on Friday (March 31).

The military revealed on Friday that the U.S. will ship 400 Javelin missiles to Taiwan in 2023 and 2024, and 42 Javelin launchers were delivered to the army at the end of last year, per CNA.

U.S. President Donald Trump greenlit the sale of the Javelin missiles and TOW 2B RF missiles to Taiwan in 2019, CNA cited Su as saying. The Javelin missile is a ‘fire-and-forget’ weapon that can pierce armor 800 mm thick and autonomously guide itself to the target, he said.

Su added that the missile can explode from above a target, enabling greater lethality. The missile is most effective in preventing an amphibious landing, he said.

The military’s choice of weapons reveals its “innovative thinking,” the director said. He pointed out that the army is considering using a large number of anti-armor missiles as near-shore weapons to create a strategic advantage.

A battalion-sized landing force needs about 25 to 30 landing craft to seize a beach, Su said. These uncovered landing craft and lightly armored amphibious vehicles will just be targets for the Javelin missile.

Additionally, the new 2B TOW missile has wireless guidance technology, which allows it to be fired near bodies of water, Su said. Older TOW missile variants still guided by wires often failed to hit their targets, especially during previous Han Kuang exercises, he said.