Starburst (missile)

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Sample of Starburst
Type Manportable surface-to-air missile
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. MISSILE STARBURST DATA TEKNIK SISTEM MISSILE STARBURST DATA TEKNIK SISTEM 1. WEIGHT AIMING UNIT - 8.5 KG 2. TRAVERS HEAD - 15.5 KG 3. TRIPOD STAND - 14.7 KG 4. HEIGHT MAX LML - 6’3” 5. WEIGHT MISIL - 15.2KG 6. PANJANG MISIL - 1345 MM 7. LILITAN MISIL - 197 MM

SYSTEM CHARACTERISTIC - Supersonic weapon against short range and low level flying aircraft and system configured with shoulder launch and lightweight. - It is man portable and can engage approaching or RCEEEIDBG aircraft. - Operates on saclos ( system automatic command to line of sight ) principles where the target is tracked by operator manually and the missile is automatically guided to the target by the laser beam guidance system. - *Maximum missile speed - 1.4 mach *Impact range - 4.5 KM to 5.5 KM (depending on the type of target) *Maximum height -1250 to 2750M *Maximum elevation -3.5 Degree *Monocular sight - X6 magnification and 10° field of view (FOV) - Maximum detection range 11km (visual) and attacking aircraft can be visually recognized by employing visual observation post (VOPs)


  • 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]