Starburst (missile)


Sample of Starburst
TypeMan-portable air-defense system
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1990 to present[1]
Used bySee Operators
WarsGulf War
Production history
DesignerThales Air Defence Limited
ManufacturerThales Air Defence Limited
Produced1986 to 2001[1]
No. built13,389[1]
VariantsSee Variants

Effective firing range0.3 to 7 km
WarheadHigh Explosive fragmentation
Warhead weight2.74 kg

EngineSolid rocket motor
laser guidance beam riding

Starburst is a British man-portable surface-to-air missile produced by Shorts Missile Systems of Belfast (since 2002 known as Thales Air Defence Limited). It was used by the British Army (as Javelin S15), Malaysian Armed Forces, and in the Canadian Army as the Javelin until 2005. It can be fired from the shoulder or from a launcher known as Starburst LML – Lightweight Multiple Launcher.

It has been replaced in British service by the Starstreak missile.


A Malaysian Starburst MANPADS held by a soldier during an exhibition

The missile was a development of Javelin missile, retaining the Javelin missile body but replacing the radio command system with a laser guidance system similar to that used by the Starstreak missile that was already under development. This is much more difficult to jam than the radio based system used by Javelin.[2] It entered service in 1990, and was deployed to protect British troops during the 1991 Gulf War.[2] It replaced the Javelin by 1993. In 1992 the proximity fuze was improved.


  • Starburst LML (Lightweight multiple launcher)
  • Starburst VML (Vehicle multiple launcher)
  • Starburst NML (Naval multiple launcher)
  • Starburst starlite thermal imager
  • Starburst SR2000


Map with Starburst operators in blue
Kuwait Air Force[4]
Malaysian Army and Royal Malaysian Air Force: To be replaced by the Starstreak.[5][6]
 United Kingdom
British Army: Replaced by Starstreak.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Forecast International Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Starburst
  2. ^ a b Cullen & Foss 1992, p. 46
  3. ^ a b c d "Forecast International: Intelligence Center".
  4. ^ "Kuwait - Army Equipment".
  5. ^ "Malaysian defenders | News | Flight Global".
  6. ^ "Thales to provide Forceshield and Starstreak to Malaysia". Army Recognition. 2015-09-15. Archived from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  • Cullen, Tony; Foss, Christopher F., eds. (1992). Jane's Land-Based Air Defence 1992–93 (5th ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Data Division. ISBN 0-7106-0979-5.
  • Jane's Land-Based Air Defence 2005–2006, ISBN 0-7106-2697-5
  • "Javelin Surface to Air Missile UK".