Eli5 Can the javelin or NLAW be used as an anti air weapon?


So hear me out, weapons like this stinger use guidance tech to hit helicopters. Why cant weapons like the NLAW and javelin do the same, maybe with different software?

In: 1

Jav- yes, targeting helicopters and low, slow flying aircraft are in its stated capabilities. Its a fire-and-forget, medium range guided missile.

NLAW- no. It has much simpler “guidance”, much, much less range, warhead is designed for fly-over top attack (explodes and shoots downward on target), and would be completely wasted on trying to shoot an aircraft.

Some guided anti-armor weapons like hellfires can be used against helicopters because a moving helicopter isnt actually that difficult to track, theyre actually kinda slow and predictable. By their low-altitude and pop-up nature, the range at which to target them is within the range of long-range anti-tank weapons. But dedicated anti-air weapons intended to hit all types of aircraft need to fly fast, have very long range, and be maneuverable enough to track jets going 500-ish mph pulling 9g turns.

It would run out of fuel, they are designed to head towards the heat source and fly directly down into it.

Perhaps you could amend the software of the projectile but it would still have issues with distance and maneuvering.