KUALA LUMPUR, -- The Malaysian Armed Forces carried out a live firing exercise on March 28 with the Thales Starstreak missile as part of its preparation for the 2018 service entry of the Starstreak Lightweight Multiple Launcher - Next Generation (LML-NG).
The firing took place at the Tanjung Logok Ground to Air Firing Range located in Peninsular Malaysia on the east coast of the southern state of Johor, with a total of three missiles fired by composite teams drawn from the Malaysian Army's 32nd Royal Artillery Regiment, the Royal Malaysian Navy's Base Air Defence Unit, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force's 401 GBAD (Ground Base Air Defence) Squadron. The missiles were fired at a Meggitt BTT-3 Banshee target drone, with two firings declared as hits. A fourth launch was called off due to time constraints.
The live missiles had only arrived in Malaysia on 25 March and no live firing practice had been carried out prior to the event. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who was observing the exercise, told a media conference there that the live missiles formed part of the GBP100 million (USD142 million) Starstreak contract that Malaysia formally ratified on 15 September last year at the DSEI exhibition in London. Under the contract Malaysia's stock of phased-out Starburst missiles were exchanged for Starstreak rounds for the Malaysian armed forces to use for practice firings. The minister did not disclose the number of missiles exchanged.
The last of Malaysia's Starburst systems, operated by all three services, were phased out from the RMAF's two GBAD squadrons in 2013.
During a briefing held prior to the firing, it was stated that a total of 26 personnel had so far been trained on the Starstreak system at a Thales facility in the United Kingdom. Additional Starstreak firings are scheduled for October at Tanjung Logok.
Malaysia's Starstreak contract, which covers an undisclosed number of launchers, also includes the Starstreak/Rapid Ranger system and the LML-NG system's integration onto a Global Komited Toyota-based 4x4 GKM1 light utility vehicle.
The Global Komited GKM1 Starstreak LML-NG carrier prototype on static display at the Tanjung Logok Ground to Air Firing Range during Starstreak missile firings on 28 March.