The UK Ministry of Defense has contracted Thales UK for a further 200 STARStreak short-range surface-to-air missiles. Since its fielding in 1995 the Starstreak missile has been a key component of the UK’s Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) capability. The order has been placed to increase STARStreak stocks as part of the Government’s transformation agenda for the Armed Forces, Force 2020, to equip both the Regular and Reserve forces with the STARStreak systems. Thales said it is constantly improving its systems in response to evolving military requirements.
STARStreak is the world’s fastest very-short-range air defence (VSHORAD) missile. Its peak velocity of over Mach 3 means it can cover a kilometre in under a second. Targeting and full control of the three dart missiles is maintained by the operator via the use of a unique laser beam riding guidance system throughout the entire engagement, thus increasing positive target identification and significantly reducing the risk of fratricide.
The system can be deployed from a variety of vehicle platforms such as RAPIDRanger – a highly mobile lightweight platform with the options of both Early Warning, Slew to Cue and Command and Control interfaces – or from the tripod-based Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) that is easy to set up and which can provide a rapid deployment capability.
Cost of ownership is low as the missiles require no maintenance through life. They have a shelf life of 15 years and a proven record of high reliability. The missile complies with up-to-date Insensitive Munitions requirements.