Lost and Found: Does HAMAS Use Javelin Sent to Ukraine?
By Özgür Ekşi
According to a watchdog report released Thursday, the Pentagon did not correctly track $1 billion of military equipment sent to Ukraine. The report from the Pentagon Inspector General says that while the Defence Department has improved its ability to track military aid sent to Ukraine, it “did not fully comply” with requirements, and much of the equipment sent is “delinquent,” meaning it’s not possible to complete an inventory of everything sent.
Among the items designated for enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM) are weapons like Javelin ATGM and Stinger MANPADS missiles, night-vision goggles, AIM-9X Air-to-Air missiles, and AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles. According to the I.G. report, roughly $1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion of equipment subject to end-use monitoring was not inventoried as of June 2023.
The lack of tracking brings the next question. Where did they go? Looking at the HAMAS’ attacks on Israel’s Merkavas. There might be one answer.
We know that HAMAS has various tactics to attack Israel’s Land Forces on the battlefield.
HAMAS uses PG-7VR rounds with ‘tandem warhead’ designs dropped from UAVs on the top of Merkava Mark lV Main Battle tanks. These Russian-made rounds are specialised high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rockets designed to counter explosive reactive armour. HAMAS also has standard ATGMs, although Merkava Mark lV’s Trophy Active-Protection System (APS) should be able to deal with them. HAMAS also has various ATGMs, including the Russian-made Konkurs, Korner, and North Korean Bulsae-2. However, none of these have the ‘top-attack’ mode, in which the ATGM climbs up after leaving the launcher and dives down upon the tank at the last moment, striking the top of the turret, the weakest point. However, Javelin ATGM does. Using an arching top-attack profile, the Javelin soars above its target to gain visibility before striking where the armour is weakest.
The next question would be whether Javelin ATGM’s serial numbers match with those HAMAS used to attack Merkava Mark lVs.