Updated: First use of the British StarStreak anti-aircraft system in Ukraine: Orlan-10 UAV shot down (video)

The paratroopers of the 95th separate air assault brigade reported on the first successful use of the Starstreak portable anti-aircraft missile system, transferred to the armed forces of Ukraine by the UK. As a result of the actions of the air defense unit in the Kharkiv region, a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle Orlan-10 was shot down. This is reported by official sources represented by the Command of the Airborne Assault Forces and the telegram channel of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

What is the Orlan-10 UAV

The Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicle was developed by the Russian enterprise Special Technology Center and is the main UAV of the Russian army used for aerial photography and artillery fire adjustment. UAVs of the Orlan series are a monoplane with a wingspan of 3.1 meters, equipped with a gasoline engine and launched from a catapult. With a takeoff weight of 14 kilograms, it is capable of carrying up to 5 kilograms of payload (this is not an attack drone, it cannot carry weapons, we are talking only about cameras for aerial photography). The maximum speed of such a device is 150 km / h, the range is from 50 to 120 km (with a flight range of 600 km). The drone can stay in the air for 10 to 16.5 hours at an altitude of up to 5,000 meters and lands by parachute. One combat crew can simultaneously control up to 4 drones, each of which is capable of flying along a route that includes up to 60 points on the map or in loitering mode.

How many such drones does Russia have?

It’s less than a month ago. Wikipedia reports more than 1000 issued copies, which are in service with Russia and Kazakhstan. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine speaks of 112 enemy tactical UAVs shot down to date. At the same time, as we know, not all of them are Orlan-10 models, there is information about newer models.

What is interesting about the British Starstreak MANPADS

The Starstreak man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) is also known as the Starstreak HVM (from the English abbreviation High Velocity Missile – high-speed missile) is produced by the British company Thales Air Defense, which rightly calls its missile the fastest rocket in its class. With a rocket mass of 14 kg and a length of 1.4 meters, it is capable of reaching speeds of Mach 3.5 (about 4200 km/h). The main feature of the Starstreak missile is the warhead consisting https://it.benq.com.ng/page-recensione-audio-jbl-horizon of three tungsten submunitions, each of which also has its own fragmentation part. All together, this greatly increases the chances of a missile hitting an air target.

Missile guidance works on the principle of SACLOS (Semi-automatic command to line of sight – semi-automatic target guidance within the line of sight), using not a thermal trace of the target, but guidance by a laser beam by the operator of the complex. In a similar way, for example, the Ukrainian anti-tank complex Stugna works, which has proven itself in this war not only to destroy tanks, but also attack helicopters (two cases are already known when Stugna was shot down by Ka-52 helicopters). Laser beam guidance allows you to bypass the target’s countermeasures (maneuvering, release of heat traps), but requires constant visual tracking of the target).


Probably, it was not Starstreak that was used, but a lighter LMM (Lightweight Multirole Missile) Martlet missile from the same manufacturer – Thales Air Defense. This is a rocket weighing 13 kg (warhead 3 kg) 1.3 meters long, capable of speeds of Mach 1.5 (approximately 1800 km / h). Its ground-to-air version was adopted in 2019 (a technological novelty already available to the Armed Forces) and was successfully tested against the Meggitt Banshee target drone.

The fact that Martlet was used, and not Starstreak, was tweeted by journalist Gabriele Molinelli, who specializes in the history of the military