Malaysia is buying STARstreak air defense missiles and ForceSHIELD integrated air defense systems, with Ministers from the United Kingdom and Malaysia signing
official support for the deal at DSEI. The signing gives the official nod to a deal reported in July
between Thales UK and Malaysian partner Global Komited. The deal, valuing over $154 million, includes
radar control systems, mobile weapons systems and communications systems.The Royal Thai Army has also placed a multi-million dollar order
for STARstreak missiles, following an original order in November 2012
. Aside from Thailand and now Malaysa, Indonesia is another regional customer for the STARstreak, ordering the system in January 2014
In 1997, Britain introduced a unique entry to the world of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Its dual-stage Starstreak High Velocity Missile flies at Mach 4+, uses advanced laser-guidance to home in on fast-flying aircraft, pop-up helicopters, or UAVs, then uses a system of 3 individually-guided dart-like projectiles and warheads to shred any target they hit. Starstreak HVMs can be carried by Army and Royal Marines troops, fired from helicopters (ATASK), or fired from Stormer armored vehicles that mount multiple launchers (SP HVM).
The Starstreak HVM’s combination of extreme speed, guidance approach, and kill method is a significant advance over peer systems like the American Stinger, French Mistral, and Russian SA-18. The difference is that those peer systems were fielded many years earlier during the Cold War, and so entered widespread service around the world. A handful of Starstreaks were ordered by South Africa in 2002, but Britain remains the system’s only large-scale operator. In July 2004, the UK MoD announced that the number of Starstreak HVM units in the British Army would be reduced from 156 to 84 fire units. Those units will still need to be maintained.