In 2009, Britain was looking to cut the number of STARStreak portable air defense missiles in stock, even as it signed a through-life support contract that would last until 2020-2021. In 2013, they changed course, buying another 200 missiles in order to deploy it beyond Britain’s regular forces and into reserve formations.
The new missile will be delivered by June 2014, and the buy is good news for Thales’ Belfast, Northern Ireland facility. The missile itself is somewhat unusual.
Israel isn’t the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of naval exporters, but it has enjoyed success in one limited field: patrol craft. Its Dvora family, whose largest Mk.III boats are 90 feet long and just 70t, has been sold beyond Israel to Eritrea, Gambia, India, Paraguay, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. Taiwan fitted its boats with missiles, but otherwise, the Dvoras have been a gunboat class.
Israel’s frigate plans are in limbo, but the country needs to move fast in order to protect its recently-discovered offshore natural gas fields against stated threats from Turkey and Syria. They’ve just ordered another 3 Super Dvora Mk.IIIs to that end, while IAI reconsiders the class’ status as a mere gunboat…