Starburst (missile)

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Sample of Starburst
Type Man-portable air-defense system
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1989 to present[1]
Used by See Operators
Wars Gulf War
Production history
Designer Thales Air Defence Limited
Manufacturer Thales Air Defence Limited
Produced 1986 to 2001[1]
No. built 13,389[1]
Variants See Variants
Crew 1

Effective firing range 0.3 to 7 km
Warhead High Explosive fragmentation
Warhead weight 2.74 kg

Engine Solid 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 Army, 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.


The missile was a development of Javelin missile, retaining the Javelin missile body but replacing the radio command system with a laser guidance system. This is much more difficult to jam than the radio based system. It entered service in 1990 and replaced the Javelin by 1993. In 1992 the proximity fuze was improved. Starburst was first used in combat in the 1991 Gulf War.


  • 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
A Malaysian Starburst MANPADS held by a soldier during an exhibition.
Kuwait Air Force[3]
Malaysian Army: To be replaced by the Starstreak.[4]
 United Kingdom
British Army: Replaced by Starstreak.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Forecast International Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. Starburst
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^
  4. ^ "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.