NLAW Missile: Ukraine’s Primary Tank Buster Fighting Russia

When Russia started its “particular navy operation” into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, quite a few Western international locations pledged to assist the latter with quite a lot of weapons. Among the many least costly however simplest was a British contribution generally often called the NLAW, representing its standing as a “Subsequent Technology Gentle Anti-Tank Weapon.”

Twenty first-Century Antitank weapon

In 1999, the British Defence Procurement Company issued a specification for a substitute for the obsolescent LAW 80, and in October 2002 it accepted the design proposed by the Swedish SAAB Bofors Dynamics. Sweden’s mechanized infantry lacked up-to-date tanks and antitank weapons on the time, so Bofors had already been at work creating what the Swedish military would settle for because the Robotic 57 or RB 57, whereas the British put it into manufacturing by 14 subcontractors because the MBT LAW.


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Whichever its terminology, the NLAW incorporates firepower and fire-and-forget electronics in a compact, light-weight disposable bundle, being 3 toes, 4 inches lengthy with a 150 mm warhead and an general weight of 28 kilos (in comparison with the 49-pound weight of the FGM-148 Javelin when it entered service with the People in 1996).

As with the Javelin, the NLAW makes use of a soft-launch guided system guided by predictable line-of-sight. Upon firing, a comparatively delicate propellent initially drives the spherical at 40 meters (130 toes) per second, producing little backblast, then ignites the principle propellent to achieve a pace of 200 meters (600 toes) per second to an efficient vary of 800 meters (2,625 toes) and a most vary of 1,000 meters (3,300 toes).

After preserving his sights on the goal for the primary two or three seconds after firing, the consumer, geared up with a 2.5-power telescopic sight with nightvision, can abandon his final firing place whereas the weapon is guided to the goal based mostly on these final coordinates.

NLAW Versus Javelin

The NLAW is lighter and handier than the Javelin and might penetrate as much as 20 inches of armor, although its 4-pound formed cost warhead doesn’t have the Javelin’s tandem fuze setup and thus may be foiled by lively armor. The NLAW consumer, nonetheless, has the choice of finishing up an overfly prime assault on the less-heavily armored higher surfaces of tanks with a proximity fuze, or assault an unarmored targets or static enemy positions utilizing a direct contact explosive spherical.

Getting into manufacturing on December 2008, the NLAW entered British service in mid-2009. Additional overseas orders for the weapon got here from Switzerland, Luxembourg, Malaysia and Indonesia. A complete of 10,000 have been manufactured to date, and of that quantity Britain acknowledged on March 9, 2022, that it had delivered 2,000 NLAWs to Ukraine previous to the Russian invasion, with an extra 1,615 thereafter. On March 24, Britain pledged to provide one other 6,000, whereas Luxembourg had despatched over 100 from its arsenal.

Though the Javelin has figured extra prominently prior to now few months, its $176,000 price limits manufacturing in comparison with the NLAW’s $30,000-to-$40,000 price ticket. It’s at present essentially the most quite a few high-tech infantry weapon in Ukraine and reportedly liable for 30 to 40 p.c of Russian tank losses, making it, in keeping with at the very least one senior officer, the “weapon of selection” for the Ukrainian infantry.

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