Soldiers fire FGM-148 Javelin, an American man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile system during an anti-tank training in Sirgala, northeastern Estonia on March 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Sergei Stepanov)
KIEV, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian army will start to train operators of the Javelin anti-tank missile system next week, local media reported on Friday.
The advanced fire-and-forget portable anti-tank missile system can attack tanks from above. It also has the ability to attack low-attitude helicopters and fortifications. It was first deployed by U.S. Army units in 1996.
The training will start with an English language course on Jan. 15 in the base of the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Army Academy in Lviv city in western Ukraine, a statement published by online media portal Ukrainian Military Pages said.
Subsequently, select personnel will be sent abroad to receive training in the combat use of the anti-tank system, the statement said.
Last month, the U.S. State Department announced the sale of advanced weapons to Ukraine to update the latter's defense capabilities. The arsenal sale was reportedly to include Javelin anti-tank missiles, which Kiev had long desired.
Washington's move angered Russia, which said it would lead to "new bloodshed" in Ukraine, whose eastern Donbas region remains in the grip of an armed conflict for almost four years.
Ukraine launched a military operation in Donbas in April 2014 after armed groups seized cities and towns in the region and declared independence.
The confrontation has claimed more than 10,000 lives and left about 24,000 people injured.