What connects calculators to the Javelin FGM-148 Anti-tank guided missile? That might sound like an odd question but what links one of the most successful scientific calculator companies and one of the most widely fielded modern infantry anti-tank weapons is the company which developed them.
Texas Instruments is a household name, especially in the US, better know for its calculators than weapons of war but from the 1940s through to the 1990s they were leaders in defence electronics.
Javelin was developed by Texas Instruments in cooperation with Martin Marietta (now Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin). In the mid-1980s it beat off competition from Ford Aerospace and Hughes Aircraft to win the US Army’s AAWS-M (Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System—Medium) program to replace the M47 Dragon. So while the company’s calculator division was running television adverts featuring Dracula the Texas Instruments’ defence arm were developing a next generation anti-tank guided missile.
In June 1989, Texas Instruments and their partner company Martin Marietta were awarded the AAWS-M development contract and the Javelin was adopted as the FGM-148. Javelin continued development and testing throughout the 90s before entering service.
The infrared guided man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile has been in service with over a dozen countries for over 20 years and is still produced under the joint venture between Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Lockheed Martin.
Javelin wasn’t the only weapon Texas Instruments had a hand in developing, they also developed the AGM-88 Harm air-to-surface missile, AGM-123 Skipper anti-ship missile, the AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missile, the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon and the Paveway laser-guided bomb. Texas Instruments’ involvement in the defence industry ended in 1997, when they sold off their defence division to Raytheon in a deal worth $2.95 billion at the time.
This short video came from some ongoing research I’m doing at the moment for an upcoming video on another missile called Javelin! Stay tuned for that.
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