Poland’s Territorial Defense Forces (WOT) reserve brigades now have access to Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, announced Polish Minister of Defense, Deputy PM Mariusz Błaszczak. The Javelin system is a U.S.-made anti-armor “fire-and-forget” guided missile that can be used by a single soldier, with the missile using a built-in thermal imaging header to lock-in on targets.
Territorial Defense Forces (WOT) use the FGM-148F version of the missile that allows striking armored targets located up to 4 kilometers away. The launcher is operated by a team consisting of two soldiers.
Javelins delivered to Ukrainian forces by Western countries gained popularity in the first phase of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when it proved to be a very efficient weapon against Russian armored and mechanized forces.
In Poland, Javelin missiles have been distributed to WOT soldiers. The first batches of the weapon were delivered in June 2021. Minister Mariusz Błaszczak stated at the time that the next missiles would be given mainly to WOT brigades deployed in the eastern parts of the country.
The Territorial Defense Forces (WOT) is the fifth branch of Poland’s Armed Forces, alongside the land force, air forces, the navy and the special forces. They constitute a complementary part of Poland’s defense capability that serves as a reserve component of the Polish army. Formed in 2016, it reached the size of about 50,000 by 2021.
All Polish citizen over the age of 18 and below the age of 55 (63 for non-commissioned officers and officers) can voluntarily enlist in the Territorial Defense Forces, provided they were not previously convicted or do not currently serve in the military.