A StarStreak high velocity missile system is manned by members of the British Royal Artillery. (AFP)
LONDON — Britain’s Defense Ministry has signed a deal with Thales UK to purchase a new batch of StarStreak short-range surface-to-air missiles, the Northern Ireland-based company has announced.
The contract for 200 missiles will boost weapon stockpiles available to the regular and reserve units that already use the Mach 3 velocity missile, which can travel at more than 1 kilometer per second.
No value for the deal has been disclosed by the company or the customer. The MoD did say, though, that the weapons will be delivered by June 2014.
David Beatty , the Thales managing director in Belfast, said the contract will “sustain jobs at our facilities in Northern Ireland and also demonstrate very clearly to our export customers the ongoing importance and trust that the MoD places in the StarStreak system and our design manufacturing and support facilities.”
The British deploy the weapons on tracked vehicles, as well as from lightweight firing posts.
Aside from the British military, the ground-based air defense system has also been purchased by South Africa and most recently Thailand.
A military team from Thailand has been in Northern Ireland recently for training ahead of delivery of the main production consignment, scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.