In addition to the programs managed by its Aviation Rockets and Missiles Project Office (included in the Aircraft section) and Precision Fires Project Offices (included in the Field Artillery and Mortars section), Program Executive Office (PEO), Tactical Missiles manages a range of close combat and non-line-of-sight systems supporting both Current Force warfighter needs and Future Force requirements.
Close combat weapons systems, for example, include the tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW) family of missile systems, the Javelin manportable antitank system, and the lme-ofsight antitank (LOSAT) kinetic energy missile system. The TOW and Javelin systems were major contributors to the successful outcome of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The LOSAT will be the Army's first fielded kinetic energy missile system and is providing the technological groundwork for future kinetic energy missile systems such as the compact kinetic energy missile (CKEM).
The Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) Missile System is a long-range heavy antitank system designed to attack and defeat armored vehicles and other targets, such as field fortifications. The battalion-level weapon system is mounted on various platforms including the Bradley fighting vehicle, the improved TOW vehicle, the Humvee and the AH-IF Cobra helicopter. In addition, it can be operated in a dismounted ground mode.
The TOW missile system consists of a tripod, traversing unit, missile guidance set, launch tube, optical sight, battery assembly and any of five missile variations. The TOW missile system also includes a thermal sight that provides a capability for operations at night, in reduced visibility and in a countermeasure environment. TOW missiles are all up-rounds encased in a disposable container.
The TOW weapon system entered its production and deployment phase with the basic TOW in 1970. Since then, multiple variations of the missile and the TOW subsystem have been fielded. Operation Desert Storm, for example, saw extensive use of the TOW 2A missile while OIF saw significant use of TOW 2B, with varying estimates indicating that somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 missiles were fired during the most recent conflict.
Two recent developments within the TOW missile family include the modification of several hundred missiles to a "bunker buster" warhead configuration (for use by the Stryker brigade combat teams before the fielding of their mobile gun system variants) and the introduction of the TOW 2B AERO, an extended range (four and one-half plus kilometer) version of the TOW missile.
The Javelin is a manportable antitank system developed for the Army and Marine Corps. It replaces the Dragon antiarmor missile system. Javelin provides a medium-range antitank capability to infantry, scouts and combat engineers. The system is lethal against tanks with conventional and reactive armor.
The Javelin has two major tactical components: a reusable command launch unit (CLU) and a missile sealed in a disposable launch tube assembly. The CLU incorporates an integrated day/night sight and provides target engagement capability in adverse weather and countermeasure environments. The CLU may also be used in the stand-alone mode for battlefield surveillance and target detection.
The Javelin system weighs 49 pounds, and its maximum range is more than 2,500 meters. The Javelin's key technical feature is the use of fire-and-forget technology that allows the gunner to fire and immediately take cover. …