Mach 4 Portable Missile Delivered to Ukrainian Army

Military experts believe footage of a Russian helicopter being blown out of the sky by a missile in Ukraine shows a British-made weapons system in action. In March, the UK government announced it may send Starstreak, a form of man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS), to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against the Russian invasion. UK defence minister Ben Wallace insisted the technology falls within the definition of defensive weapons, as he confirmed on March 16 to the BBC the UK was sending the weapon to Ukraine. A video circulating on social media shows a helicopter being hit by a missile, reportedly in the Luhansk region, in the east of Ukraine.


Starstreak is a highly portable, short-range air-defence system, manufactured in the UK. The manufacturer, the french company Thales, says the weapon is “optimised to provide defence against air threats including fixed-wing Fighter Ground Attack aircraft and late unmasking Attack Helicopters“. It can be moved by a person (in the MANPAD role) or mounted onto a vehicle, making it highly flexible and adaptable to different battlefield situations.

One of the standout features is the speed of the projectiles fired from the system. Thales says the missile is made up of three tungsten darts, which reach speeds in excess of Mach 3 (more than 3,700 km per hour). According to multiple sources including Defence News, this makes STARStreak the fastest short-range surface-to-air missile in the world.

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