The UK is giving powerful NLAW missiles to aid Ukraine's military efforts

This could seriously beef-up its arsenal.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Last week stories surfaced of the Javelin and how it may help Ukrainian forces beat the Russians.

Now, on Monday, Insider reported on another powerful weapon that could level the playing field: the Next Generation Light Antitank Weapon (NLAW).

What does it do and why is it so important?

An anti-tank missile

French multinational company Thales describes the new weapon as "a low cost, lightweight, precision strike, missile, which has been designed to be fired from tactical platforms including fixed or rotary winged UAV s and surface platforms. The system is designed to provide a rapid reaction to a wide range of the surface threats from wheeled or tracked vehicles, towed artillery or static installations; naval threats from small ships and fast inshore attack craft and an air threat from light aircraft."

2,000 NLAWs were given by the British to Ukrainian forces on January 19 before the war even started. As such, they have been widely distributed amongst Ukraine's military personnel and have been making their impact felt.

The weapons have been particularly well-received with Ukrainian officers singing their praises. 

According to the Daily Mail, Kyiv, Lt. Col. Ihor Bezogluk had the following to say:

"Thank you to Great Britain for giving us the NLAWs — anything that can help us to defend our country is very well-received. These missiles have changed the war for us. It means we can fight the Russians and it doesn't matter how many of them there are now that we have a way of stopping their armor. The Russians cannot scare us with numbers anymore."

He also exclaimed: "God save the Queen!"

Like the Javelin

NLAWs work somewhat similarly to Javelins. They aim for the top of a tank's turret where the armor is usually at its weakest and if shot properly obliterate it. 

They do have one drawback however and that is that they are "one shot one kill." Once the missile has left the weapon, the tube is disposable.

That's why Ukraine will need foreign nations to keep seeing more and at $40,000 a unit they are not cheap. But with Russia using thermobaric weapons and other dodgy devices, Ukrainians need all the help they can get.

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And according to Saab, NLAWs are providing that help. "The NLAW gives the enemy something to think about – they can no longer employ traditional tactics when faced with NLAW weapons. Their change in behavior will force them onto the backfoot and put the odds in your favor. It is best in class for dismounted troops in all environments and terrain, providing the power when you need it," says the firm's website. 

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