Game-changing STARStreak missiles ‘dismembered’ Russian Mi-28H helo

KYIV, ($1=29.45 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — The STARStreak Portable Air Defense System [MANNPADS], supplied by the UK to Ukraine, was actively used for the first time and shot down a Russian helicopter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing several sources, including savunmasanayist.com.

Ukraine gets Starstreak HVM - Mach 4, laser beam ammo, impact delay
Photo credit: Wikipedia

According to the special news in the British newspaper The Times, it is thought that STARStreak MANPADS was used in the downing of the Russian Mi-28N attack helicopter, which was spread on social media yesterday. The Russian helicopter was shot down by Ukrainian forces in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine.

According to a source at the British Ministry of Defense, the system used in the video is STARStreak. As we reported last month the system was shipped to Ukraine. According to defense industry sources, the system used in the video stands out as STARStreak.

The STARStreak MANPADS system was sent to Ukraine in addition to the NLAW anti-tank guns. The system can be fired easily from the shoulder and its range is around 7 kilometers.

Britain sent its best STARStreak operators

The STARStreak operator must have experience in the use of the weapon. In fact, in STARStreak training, a soldier must perform at least 1,000 successful shots in the simulator to achieve the status of a “useable” weapon.

Taking this need into account, the British Ministry of Defense secretly shipped the best STARStreak operators and simulators in the country to a neighboring country of Ukraine. British soldiers trained the Ukrainian soldiers here. The training was expected to take 2-3 weeks, but it is thought to be completed in about 1-2 weeks.

The system, produced by Thales Air Defense, is also known as the world’s fastest surface-to-air missile with a short-range. The British defense industry resource describes the system as follows: “It’s really a game-changer in Ukrainian capability, as its range is much greater. It’s absolutely lethal and you can shoot down anything from a MiG fighter jet to attack helicopters. And you can achieve that with incredible precision.”

Ukraine gets Starstreak HVM - Mach 4, laser beam ammo, impact delay
Photo credit: GOV.uk

STARStreak MANPADS

Starstreak is a British short-range man-portable air-defense system [MANPADS], which is a product of Thales Air Defense. The system began production in 1997 until today and is in service in several countries, which are: Britain, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia.

The missiles in the system are called “darts” – Three explosive sub-munitions. After the soldier targets the target with the help of the electro-optical device, he produces a shot that activates three stages of operation. The first stage drives an engine that launches the rocket from the launch tube, thus ending its activity. The second stage follows, in which a booster is activated, which allows the rocket to reach a speed of Mach 4. When the second stage is over, the third is activated, which releases three dart sub-munitions.

The darts do not home in laser energy reflected from the target but instead, the aiming unit projects two laser beams which paint a two-dimensional matrix upon the target. The lasers are modulated and by examining these modulations the sub-ammunition’s sensor can determine the dart’s location within the matrix. The dart is then steered to keep it in the center of the matrix.

The sub-munitions steer by briefly decelerating the rotating fore-body with a clutch. The front wings then steer the missile in the appropriate direction. The three sub-munitions fly in a formation about 1.5 meters in radius and have enough kinetic energy to maneuver to meet a target evading at 9 g at 7,000 meters.

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