Thales’s Starstreak high-velocity missile (HVM) is on display at SITDEF, Peru, for the first time. Successfully proven in the UK and South Africa, Starstreak II is an evolution of the inservice Starstreak HVM.
Thales has addressed the needs of military users around the world and introduced major improvements to provide increased range beyond 7km, increased coverage and altitude and improved guidance precision against small targets.
Starstreak II offers the latest technology in very short-range air-defence systems. Its laser-guidance technology encompasses a greater ability to deal with emerging targets, providing increased coverage, but with less manpower required to operate the systems.
The Starstreak II configuration remains based on the proven Starstreak principles of high velocity to defeat targets with short unmasking times. The three dart payload maximises effectiveness and accurate line-of-sight; laser beam-riding guidance enables engagement of the smallest signature targets, which are extremely difficult to defeat and lock onto by traditional fire and forget missiles.
In November 2010 the South African Air Defence Artillery Formation conducted a Starstreak firing camp to allow their trained operators to develop experience in firing live missiles. They took the opportunity to conduct day and night firings, introducing their new Starstreak thermal imager to provide a full 24-hour air defence capability. The firing camp confirmed there is no hiding place from Starstreak, day or night and Starstreak is now a key element of the South Africa’s frontline ground-based air defence.
David Beatty, Managing Director of Thales UK’s Belfast facility, where Starstreak is designed and manufactured, says: “Following the release of Starstreak II, the UK contract award for the multiyear ADAPT programme for Starstreak and the hugely successful South African firing camp, customers worldwide are showing a great deal of interest in the system.” A full-scale model of the Starstreak II HVM can be seen at SITDEF on the Thales Stand (number 128A).
Thales has a long association with air defence missiles, such as Javelin and Starburst.