What is an anti-aircraft missile ?
A missile that can strike any air targets such as aircrafts, helicopters, UAV etc.., Missiles may be heat seekers or normal rocket bombs… Missiles can be launched from a handheld launcher or any vehicle fitted with this launcher. These missiles can also be laser guided.
The Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) system is a close range surface to air missile (SAM), which has the capability to engage lightly armored land vehicles although the missile's main strengths is when combating air targets. The Starstreak HVM system has been in use with the British Army ever since 1997. After launch, the missile increases speed to roughly Mach 3.5, upon which it starts on three laser beam riding sub-munitions. The use of three sub-munitions adds to the probability of a definite hit on the target.
The Starstreak launching sequence is more complex than other anti-aircraft missiles. The missile is sealed in its canister with a protective cap, which dispatches during launch. From the 2 stage rocket motor, the first stage motor ejects the missile from its canister. At a safe distance from the launcher ,the second stage rocket motor ignites and accelerates the missile up to more than 3 times the speed of sound in a fraction of a second. At the end of the burn ,the 3 darts separate from the second stage rocket motor and are individually guided to the target.
LML: Fired from a Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) which holds three missiles ready for firing and can be used as either a stationary launch unit or mounted on a light vehicle such as a HMMWV (Humvee). THOR/Multi Mission System (MMS): A four missile turret mounted on a High Mobility All-Terrain vehicle. The U.S. Army is considering the system for use as an air-to-air missile mounted on AH-64 Apache helicopters.
Thor comprises a four-missile turret with an integral stabilized sighting system, TV camera and thermal viewer and integrated auto-tracker. The launcher weighs about 500 kg and can be integrated onto a range of wheeled or tracked vehicles. It can be operated by a single person and it is simple to use. Thermal imaging is able to track even the faintest of heat signatures in day or at night or even in heavy clouds.
THOR TRACKING SYSTEM
Thor projects an invisible grid of low intensive laser beams, undetectable by the enemy. The center of this grid is locked on to the target by the tracking system. The 3 dart sub-munitions adjusts itself towards the center of the grid at astonishing speeds. They gain enough kinetic force to pierce through even the toughest armor. The Tungsten warhead has a delay effect ,which accurately damages the inside of the target.
STARSTREAK II is successfully demonstrated in 2008. It has range of over 7kms and it can accelerate up to 4 times the speed of sound. The altitude range has also been improved. The upgraded launcher and missile is planned to enter service at the end of 2010. Once the missile is launched, it can’t be stopped or diverted. This makes the STARSTREAK II as the most advanced short range weaponry in the world.