U.S. Has Given A Third Of Its Javelin Missiles To Ukraine
WASHINGTON - The United States has depleted about a third of its Javelin missiles due to donations of its stock of missiles to Ukraine to aid in its war with Russia, leaving lawmakers concerned that it leaves the United States vulnerable.
Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed stated this week, "We have a significant usage rate for the Stingers that we’re moving over there ― Javelins, also ― and we have to not only be able to help the Ukrainians, we have to maintain our stocks".
Senator Richard Blumenthal stated during a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing Tuesday, "The United States military has probably sent about one-third of its Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine — one-third of our supply given to them".
Blumenthal also said that it will take around 32 months (over 2 and a half years) for the U.S. military to replenish its supply of Javelin missiles to the point where they were at before Russia's invasion on Ukraine began and is calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to speed up manufacturing for the missiles.
Ellen Lord, who is a former undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment made a statement saying that it could take even longer to replenish the U.S. stockpile of the missile than Blumenthal had stated.
Lord said, "Even with the Javelin, which we do have a hot production line right now, we are still five years out to, probably, developing all the munitions we need" and also supported Blumenthal in invoking the Defense Production Act.
One of the concerns that arise from the depletion of the U.S. missile stockpiles is the risk that China may follow Russia's example in its invasion of Ukraine by carrying out an invasion of Taiwan.
U.S. Representative Michael McCaul spoke to Axios and said, "We are facing a three-year backlog on delivering weapons to Taiwan, and our current arsenal is being depleted to provide vitally needed support for Ukraine and other allies and partners in Eastern Europe".
Raytheon, the manufacturer of the Javelin missile said that increasing their production of the missile "is going to take us a little bit of time. We’re going to ramp up production this year, but I expect this is going to be ‘23-’24 where we actually see orders come in for the larger replenishments, both on Stinger as well as on Javelin, which has also been very successful in theater."
We are actively trying to source some of the material, but unfortunately, DoD hasn’t bought a Stinger in 18 years. As far as the Stingers, we should keep in mind we are currently producing Stingers for an international customer, but we have a very limited stock of material for Stinger production", Hayes said.