Starstreak Missile System

Quick Facts


Starstreak Mark II

Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML)


Self-Propelled, High Velocity Missile (SP HVM)

Starstreak Avenger

Thor/Multi-Mission System (MMS)

Role and Mobility Short-Range Air Defense; Man-Portable or Vehicle-Mounted
Interceptors and Range

Starstreak Missile

Range: 0.3-7 km

Speed: Mach 4


Starstreak Mark II Missile

Range: 7+ km

Speed: Mach 4

Sensors CONTROLMaster 200 Radar
Targets Fast Moving Aircraft
Status/Exports Operational; United Kingdom, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia
Designer/Producer Thales Air Defence


The Starstreak missile was designed in the United Kingdom to supplement the Rapier missile system in 1984. It is a short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) and is originally man-portable. Traveling at speeds greater than Mach 4, it is the world’s fastest short-range SAM.

There are several variations of the Starstreak Missile System:

Starstreak: The original missile system

Starstreak Mark II: Upgraded version of the Starstreak with increased range, coverage, altitude, and improved guidance precision against small targets[i]

LML: Lightweight multiple launcher, capable of being mounted on any light-wheeled vehicle, can engage three targets without reloading[ii]

Seastreak: Two versions of the Starstreak missile system designed to be mounted on a naval ship[iii]

SP HVM: 12 Starstreak missiles mounted on a tracked Stormer vehicle, roof-mounted air defense alerting device with infrared scanner for target detection and prioritization, automatically slews weapon sight on target[iv]

Starstreak Avenger: Starstreak variant designed for US Army’s Boeing Avenger[v]

THOR/Multi-Mission System: A four-missile turret mounted on a 6X6 Pinzgauer vehicle[vi]

Strategic Implications

As the fastest short-range surface-to-air missile, traveling at Mach 4, the Starstreak can intercept targets quicker than any other system. This can be valuable at short -range, where there is less time to act and speed becomes critical. The six variations of the Starstreak missile provide countries the ability to choose whatever system best fits their needs.


January 2014: Indonesian Ministry of Defence awarded a contract to Thales UK for Starstreak missiles

September 2007: Development of Starstreak Mark II[vii]

2005: THOR/MMS variant unveiled

December 2002: South Africa ordered eight Starstreak LMLs for its Army[viii]

2000: LML and man-portable types of Starstreak HVM are made operational[ix]

November 1998: successful first test firing of ATASK while airborne[x]

September 1997: The Starstreak is put into service by the UK

1984: Development of the Starstreak Missile System begins

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