Donegal soldiers are set to play an important role in a new overseas “Javelin Platoon”, specialising in Anti Armour Defence as well as surveillance and target acquisition.
The Javelin Platoon is made up of personnel originating from the 28th Infantry Battalion, based in Finner Camp near Bundoran.
It is Commanded by Lieutenant Liam McDonnell, a native of Dundalk, Co. Louth. Second in Command is Sergeant Garry Friel who is from Castlefin, Co. Donegal. Within the Javelin Platoon, there are three Detachment Commanders, Cpl Michael Murphy and, Cpl Simon Ward both from Lifford, Co. Donegal and Cpl JP McManus, from Charlestown, Co. Mayo. Each Javelin Detachment is operated by two Private Gunners.
This is the first overseas deployment of an independent Javelin Platoon for the Defence Forces, and forms one of three platoons in Recce Company.
The Javelin Platoon has two roles in the operational environment; its primary role is Anti Armour Defence, while is secondary role is surveillance and target acquisition.
The Javelin consists of two main components, the Command Launch Unit, and the Missile. In order for the Missile to successfully engage its target, the Gunner must identify the target by using the Thermal Imaging sights to view heat sources.
The Thermal Imaging sights can detect vehicles at 10km, and personnel at 4km, allowing the commander more time to counter attack. Once the Gunner has locked the missile onto the target, he launches the missile. Once fired the missile requires no further input from the operator. The missile flies by a two stage propulsion sequence giving it a soft launch signature. The first stage of the launch allows the missile to clear the tube at a distance of two meters, when the second launch motor enables, it propels the missile along its flight path.