Starstreak HVM (High Velocity Missile) continues the development path of both Blowpipe and Javelin. It can be shoulder launched, fired from the Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) or vehicle borne on the Alvis Stormer APC which has an 8 round launcher (12 reload missiles can be carried inside the vehicle). Starstreak is designed to counter threats from very high performance low flying aircraft and fast pop-up type strikes by attack helicopters.
The missile is boosted to maximum velocity by a two-stage propulsion system at which point three darts, each with an impact fuze, are released and are guided on to the target by the operator. HVM offers a high kill probability against fixed- and rotary-wing targets including pop-up helicopters. While the SL and LML configurations provide great flexibility in terms of deployment options, the Army's highly mobile, armoured vehicle-based SP version has been specifically designed to provide close air defence of armored formations.
New missiles — the Thunderbolt and the Starstreak — were developed as replacements of the Blowpipe antiaircraft missile by order of the British defense ministry. These missiles were used with the existing sighting devices of the Javelin system. The Thunderbolt and Starstreak were unique because of their high flying speeds (Mach 4). They may be launched from a multiple launcher mounted on a terrestrial vehicle, or they may be transported by one person and shoulder-launched.
The portable shoulder-launched (single missile) Starstreak is assembled and ready to fire in a few seconds. Preparation for firing involves clipping an aiming unit on to the missile canister. The aiming unit includes an optical head consisting of a stabilisation system, an aiming mark injector and a monocular sight. The target is acquired and optically tracked using the monocular sight and aiming mark.
The lightweight multiple launcher (LML) had an automatic fire unit and can be carried on any light wheeled vehicle, such as a Land Rover.Starstreak mounted on a Stormer vehicle The multiple launcher employs three canister missiles together with clip-on equipment and a standard aiming unit. Three targets can be engaged in quick succession without the need for reloading. The Starstreak self-propelled high-velocity missile (SP HVM) system is mounted on a tracked Stormer vehicle. The system has eight rounds of Starstreak missiles ready to fire, with a further 12 missiles carried.
SP HVM is fitted with a roof-mounted air defence alerting device (ADAD). The ADAD's infrared scanner and processor provide target detection and prioritisation, and the system automatically slews the weapon sight on to the target. The Air Defence Alerting device is a passive air defence alerter designed to work in conjunction with the HVM missile system. Operating as an infra red search and tracking system in the 8 - 14 micron waveband, the alerter is designed to operate against low and fast moving fixed wing aircraft, as well as the latest generation of attack helicopters. The alerter can be ground mounted to support shoulder launched / LML HVM or vehicle mounted on the Stormer HVM vehicle.
The Starstreak high velocity missile system is part of the ground-based air defence measures which will provide security during the London Olympics. The Government confirmed 03 July 2012 that ground-based air defence systems would be deployed at six sites in and around London for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games. As part of the Ministry of Defence's wide-ranging support to the police-led Olympics security effort, the systems – including Rapier and Starstreak high velocity missile systems - will be in place by mid-July, along with other Defence equipment including Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, moored in the River Thames, Royal Air Force Typhoon jets, temporarily stationed at RAF Northolt, and Puma helicopters at a Territorial Army centre in Ilford.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "Whilst there is no reported threat to the London Olympics, the public expects that we put in place a range of measures aimed at ensuring the safety and security of this once-in-a-generation event. Ground-based air defence [GBAD] systems will form just one part of a comprehensive, multi-layered air security plan which, I believe, will provide both reassurance and a powerful deterrent.”
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|