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LONDON, 19 Nov. 2012. Officials in the Royal Thai Army sought an air defense system to help modernize the air forces protecting the Kingdom of Thailand. They found their solution at Thales UK.

Under a new, multi-million-pound contract, Thales will supply its STARStreak air defense missile system, which includes STARStreak very-short-range air defense (VSHORAD) missiles and lightweight multiple launchers (LML).

The LML tripod-based system enables the fast deployment of STARStreak missiles in response to attacks from low-level fighter aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and attack helicopters.

The STARStreak and LML system served as a core element of the British Army’s air defense capability at the London 2012 Olympics.

The STARStreak VSHORAD system enables nations to protect key assets against emerging and established threats, says Alex Cresswell, vice president for Land Defence at Thales UK.

STARStreak’s peak velocity is over Mach 3, enabling it to cover a kilometer in less than one second. The operator maintains targeting and full control of the three dart missiles via a laser beam riding guidance throughout the entire engagement, increasing positive target identification and reducing the risk of collateral damage.

The system can be deployed from a variety of vehicle platforms, such as RAPIDRanger. RAPIDRanger is a mobile, lightweight platform with the options of command and control interfaces and early warning or from the tripod-based Lightweight Multiple Launcher.

The missiles require no maintenance, have a shelf life of 15 years, and meet strict qualification standards, including Insensitive Munitions compliance.

The system has been in service in U.K. since 1995 and is expected to remain in-service through 2025.

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