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New Equipment Boosts Army's Arsenal

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

28 June 2006

New Equipment Boosts Army’s Arsenal

The New Zealand Army continues to boost its world-class equipment with the delivery of 24 Javelin medium range anti-armoured weapons. The new arrivals are the result of a $26 million project approved by Government in 2001 as part of the Army’s modernisation programme.

The Javelin system comes complete with both indoor and outdoor simulators which provide a layered approach to realistic training. This approach to training has been highly successful overseas with 92% of operators trained achieving a first time hit with live ammunition.

The Javelin is a technologically advanced anti-armoured weapon effective in destroying armoured vehicles out to a range of 2500m. It will assist in providing a protective envelope for Army’s soldiers, vehicles and equipment. Its versatility also means the Javelin’s optics and thermal image provides the Army with additional surveillance and target acquisition capability.

Major General Lou Gardiner, the Chief of Army, says: “The Javelin system will provide a new level of protection for our soldiers who work in diverse and often difficult Areas of Operation.

To put it simply, the Javelin will help us do our jobs better, soldiers will be able to operate more confidently, and we strengthen our position as a technologically advanced Army.”

The Javelin medium range anti-armoured weapons arrived in Auckland on 22 June and have been moved to Waiouru where the initial training on the new weapon system will take place between July and December 2006.


For further information please contact Captain Rachel Riley, Army Public Relations, on (04) 496 0296 or 021 478 980.

There will be an opportunity for media to view the new Javelin system and the simulation suite on an upcoming training course to be held in Waiouru Military Camp in late July. Further details on this opportunity will be issued once dates are confirmed.

Image available on request.


Javelin is a shoulder launched anti-armour weapon that can defeat any main battle tank in the world today. It is carried by a crew of two, and its ‘fire and forget’ capability allows operators to reload or move to another position while the missile is still in flight.

Javelin provides the capability to destroy armoured vehicles out to an effective range of 2500m providing enhanced protection to deployed forces by both day and night. Javelin’s ‘top attack’ capability means the missile climbs above its target and then strikes the weaker armour on top of the tank’s turret.

The Javelin will provide the New Zealand Army with additional surveillance and target acquisition capability and improve tactical situational awareness.


Range 2.5 kms
Weight 22.3kg total carry weight comprised of:
Command Launch Unit: 6.4 kg
Launch Tube Assembly (including the missile): 15.9 kgs
Guidance Operator locates and locks on the target using an integrated day/thermal sight.
Missile is self-guiding once fired.
Sight magnification Day sight = 4 x magnification
Thermal sight = 4 and 9 x magnification

What has the project cost?

The project has been completed within the $26 million budget approved by Cabinet. The Javelin purchase includes indoor and outdoor simulation equipment, which allow realistic training to a 92% accuracy rate.
The Javelin project, part of the Army’s modernisation programme, will see the following components introduced into service with the New Zealand Army:

24 Command Launch Units (US$125,000 ea)
10 Indoor trainers (Computer based simulation equipment at US$70,000 ea)
10 Outdoor trainers (Laser based simulation equipment at US$120,000 ea)
10 Laser Simulator Target Kits (NZ$500,000 for all 10 kits)

The Javelin project also includes the purchase of a number of missiles (US$85,000 ea); spare parts, manuals, and covers the cost of initial training for operators, maintainers and ammunition technicians.

Is the Javelin replacing equipment currently in service with the Army?

The New Zealand Army currently has two types of Anti-Armoured weapon in service, the short range M72 shoulder fired rocket and the 84mm Karl Gustav. The Javelin has a significantly longer range than either of these systems providing a much greater capability. There are no plans to withdraw either the M72 or the 84mm Karl Gustav from service.

Why does the NZ Army need a medium range anti-armoured weapon?

The New Zealand Army does not currently operate an anti-armoured weapon that can be fired effectively from beyond the weapon range of tanks and other armoured vehicles in use throughout the world. This lack of anti-armour capability carries a significant risk to deployed forces leaving them vulnerable to armoured vehicle fire and increasing the possibility of sustaining casualties.

Javelin addresses this deficiency in anti-armour capability and provides immediate protection from armoured vehicles. This is an important contribution to the overall force protection system.

How will the Javelin be employed?

Javelin’s versatility means it is effective against armoured vehicles, bunkers, buildings, small boats and slow moving helicopters. In addition to its ability to defeat armour, Javelin provides a significant surveillance and target acquisition capability through its optics and thermal imager.

What units will receive the Javelin?

Both Infantry Battalions (Linton based 1 RNZIR and Burnham based 2/1 RNZIR), the SAS and Combat School will receive Javelin.

What training will troops receive before being qualified to fire Javelin?

Javelin training is designed to provide the NZ Army with highly proficient teams that are able to employ all the capabilities that the system provides to add to the protection of operationally deployed forces. Troops will be trained to maximise the effects of the surveillance and target acquisition devices and, where appropriate, to effectively engage identified threats within range.
Javelin training will be based around a layered approach using both indoor and outdoor simulation systems.

The indoor simulators will be used to initiate training and prepare soldiers for more demanding training in field environments. The indoor simulators are key to the maintenance of skill levels after initial training is complete. These simulators will be located wherever Javelin teams are stationed. The simulator utilises equipment almost identical to the live Javelin linked to a computer which provides simulated targets and engagement data.

The outdoor simulators will be used to develop and fine-tune the soldier’s use of the Javelin in a field environment. They utilise a combination of lasers at the Javelin end and laser sensors at the target end to replicate live engagements. These simulators are almost identical to live systems and allow for training in all of the environments where the Javelin may be deployed. The advantage of such a system is that it allows multiple training engagements without live firing. The outdoor simulators will be located with all Javelin equipped units so as to ensure a continuous high standard of proficiency.

There is limited requirement to fire live missiles during training due primarily to the effectiveness of the simulation systems to confirm live fire ability.

Any live firing will be conducted in specifically templated areas within the Waiouru live fire zones.

Is this a capability that is likely to be deployed overseas?

The immediate focus is to ensure Javelin’s effective introduction into service and this includes the training of operators and maintainers on the system.

Once the introduction in to service is complete (May 2007), there is a broad range of roles the Javelin could be employed in. Its missile capability provides inherent protection to people, equipment and vehicles, by day and night, and its optics provide an enhanced surveillance and target acquisition capability.

Who else uses Javelin and is it a proven capability?

Javelin’s lethality is unmatched by other known systems and is one of the world’s premier shoulder fired anti-armour systems. It is already in use with most of New Zealand’s friends and allies including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It has been proven in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Who has the Javelin been purchased from?

Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, two American firms, have formed a Joint Venture to produce the Javelin

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