Thales to supply STARStreak to Royal Thai Army
Thales UK will supply the STARStreak air defence missile system to the Royal Thai Army under a contract announced on 15 November. According to the company, the multi-million pound deal was welcomed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, during his meeting with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra.
The system is comprised of STARStreak missiles – a very-short-range air defence (VSHORAD) missile – and Lightweight Multiple Launchers (LML). The LML tripod-based system allows swift deployment of STARStreak missiles to deal with attacks from low level fighter aircraft, Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) and attack helicopters. Thailand is acquiring the system as part of an ongoing programme to modernise its air defence forces.
The system’s peak velocity of over Mach 3 means it can cover a kilometre in under a second. Targeting and full control of the three dart missiles is maintained by the operator, via the use of a laser beam riding guidance, throughout the entire engagement thus increasing positive target identification and significantly reducing the risk of collateral damage. The system can be deployed from a variety of vehicle platforms such as RAPIDRanger – a highly mobile lightweight platform with the options of both Command and control interfaces and early warning or from the LML.
According to Thales, the STARStreak and LML systems were successfully deployed the London 2012 Olympics, where it formed a core element of the British Army’s air defence capability. The high-profile role of STARStreak in the air security plan for London 2012 has led to increased interest in the system around the world.
Alex Cresswell, vice president for land defence, Thales UK, said: ‘STARStreak is the leading VSHORAD system in the world today, enabling nations to protect key assets against both emerging and established threats. We are delighted by the selection of this system by the Royal Thai Army and will work with our customer to ensure a smooth delivery into-service and through life support.’
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