The Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia) Eastern Fleet has divested its holding of the Starstreak vehicle mounted surface-to-air missile system. The Eastern Fleet stated that the Royal Malaysian Navy Air Defence Unit was disbanded six years after it was stood up due to current operational needs. Malaysian Defence reported that Royal Malaysian Navy Air Defence Unit were equipped with at least four light weight multiple launchers (LML) launchers. Two of the LML were mounted on the Weststar GKMK-1 Rapid Rover vehicles. It is likely that the Starstreak VSHORAD from the Royal Malaysian Navy Air Defence unit are now in service with a Malaysian Army Air Defence unit in Fifth Division in Sabah.
Starstreak is a British short-range surface to air missile that can be used as a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) or in heavier systems, it is manufactured by Thales Air Defence (formerly Shorts Missile Systems), in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is also known as Starstreak HVM (High Velocity Missile). After launch, the missile accelerates to more than Mach 4, making it the fastest short-range surface-to-air missile in existence. It then launches three laser beam-riding submunitions, increasing the likelihood of a successful hit on the target. Starstreak has been in service with the British Army since 1997. In 2012 Thales relaunched the system as ForceSHIELD.
In 2015, Thales it has signed a contract with Global Komited, a company within The Weststar Group, to supply the Malaysian Armed Forces with ForceSHIELD, the Thales integrated Advanced Air Defence system. In addition to the STARStreak missiles, the system comprises CONTROLMaster 200 radar and weapon coordination systems, RAPIDRanger and RAPIDRover mobile weapon systems and the Next Generation Lightweight Multiple Launcher, as well as associated communications. Ordered an undisclosed number of LML and vehicle-based variants. The purchase of ForceSHIELD will enable the Malaysian Armed Forces to replace and enhance the previously commissioned Thales STARBurst missile system, which has been in service since the mid 1990’s.
When used in the light or MANPADS role, the Starstreak missile is transported in a sealed launch tube. This tube is attached to an aiming unit for firing. The missile then fires the first-stage rocket motor; this launches the missile from the tube but burns out before leaving the tube to protect the operator. Four metres (thirteen feet) away from the operator, when the missile is at a safe distance, the second stage fires. This rapidly accelerates the missile to a burn-out velocity exceeding Mach 4. As the second stage burns out, three dart sub-munitions are released. The dart housing is made from a tungsten alloy. Each dart consists of a rotating fore-body, with two canard fins, attached to a non-rotating rear assembly with four fins. The rear assembly of each dart also houses the guidance electronics including a rearwards facing sensor.