The US State Department has cleared the potential sale of high-powered Javelin missiles to Brazil for an estimated cost of $74 million.
According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the South American nation requested up to 222 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 33 Javelin command launch units.
The request includes missile simulation rounds, Enhanced Producibility Basic Skills Trainers, and other associated equipment and support services.
The DSCA assured that the country will have no difficulty absorbing the weapons into its armed forces and that the potential sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
A joint venture of Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin will serve as the prime contractor for the anti-tank missiles.
According to a report by Reuters, Brazil’s planned acquisition of Javelins was initially requested when former US President Donald Trump was in the White House.
Trump was a known ally of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Although the US State Department gave its preliminary approval last year, the request was held up for a confidential review by two Democratic chairs and two Republican members of Congress.
Sources said that Senator Bob Menendez and Representative Gregory Meeks had made a number of inquiries to the State Department regarding the proposed sale.
However, the senior lawmakers finally approved the request.
The announcement approving the possible sale of Javelins to Brazil comes as the US plans to increase its production of such missile systems after their apparent success against Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
A shoulder-fired anti-armor weapon, the Javelin automatically guides a round to the target.
Its fire-and-forget capability provides “superior survivability” to soldiers, allowing them to move immediately to take cover and avoid counterfire.
The Javelin can defeat all known and projected armor on the battlefield, including main battle tanks.
“To fire, the gunner places a cursor over the selected target. The Javelin command launch unit then sends a lock-on-before-launch signal to the missile. With its soft launch design, Javelin can be safely fired from inside buildings or bunkers,” Lockheed Martin states on its website.