United Kingdom Self-propelled Stormer Starstreak HVM

Current interest in the UK supply of Starstreak HVM systems to Ukraine prompted us to delve into our image libraries for Stormer photos, writes Bob Morrison.

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First of all, we must point out that in an attempt to preserve OpSec (Operational Security) in the current unfolding situation in Ukraine and the Russian Federation’s invasion of their southern neighbor- west, this article does not go into detail on the Stormer Self-Powered Starstreak HVM Air Defense System and the following block of information is republished directly from a widely available official British Army source.

  • The Stormer Tracked Vehicle provides a mobile platform for the Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) system offering detachment protection and excellent mobility with eight ready-to-fire missiles and another nine stowed internally.
  • The HVM system is a low level close air defense system with a rapid engagement capability optimized to counter the threat of attack helicopters. This highly flexible system is also capable of being fired using the light multiple launcher or from the shoulder. The missile uses a system of three dart-like projectiles that can deliver multiple hits to the target. Each of these darts has an explosive warhead.
  • The system is equipped with a roof-mounted air defense warning device, allowing detection and prioritization of targets. A panoramic weapon sight is located at the front of the vehicle.

Following the UK Government’s Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR 2010) in 2010 and the ensuing ARMY 2020 restructuring plan, it looked as if much of the Stormer SP HVM fleet could soon to be retired with only three regular army batteries, plus related reserves. , being retained. However, in light of Russia’s capture of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and the ensuing SDSR 2015, which led to the ARMY 2020 Refine plan, Ground Based Air Defense or GBAD found itself at the fashion.

A troop reconnaissance vehicle leads two high-velocity self-propelled missile systems during Exercise MEDICINE MAN 5-2007 at BATUS in Canada [© Carl Schulze]

In a British Army press article published in September 2021, it was stated: “The current Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) system in use by the Royal Artillery is the High Velocity Missile (HVM) system optimized for defeat aerial threats including fast jets and helicopters. in seconds. It can be fired from mounted and dismounted launchers: a shoulder-mounted launcher for a single shot, a lightweight multiple launcher capable of firing three missiles via a tripod, and a self-propelled launcher capable of firing up to eight missiles from a Stormer armored vehicle. ”

The Alvis Stormer is a derivative of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) or CVR(T) family, which includes the Scimitar and Spartan etc., but its aluminum armor body is approximately 500mm longer and more large. Besides the multi-launch turret, not found on the Stormer Troop scout vehicle or the TRV variant which is similar to the Spartan profile, the simplest quick scout feature of Stormer is the additional (sixth) road wheel on each side. The British MoD gives the Stormer HVM a combat weight of 13.5 tonnes and its maximum road speed of 80 km/h: unlike the rest of the CVR(T) family, Stormer is too heavy to be lifted by a CH helicopter -47 Chinook, but it can be shipped inside the C-130 Hercules and larger transport aircraft.

A Starstreak is launched at BATUS by an SP HVM system ~ Starstreak has an operational range of up to 5,500 m and can engage targets to a ceiling of at least 1,000 m [© Carl Schulze]

In September 2007, Carl spent several days in the field with the 9 (Plassey) Battery of the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery, during exercise MEDICINE MAN 5 at BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) in Canada where he was able to photograph Stormers firing Starstreak. This battery provided the HVM troop of the Scots Dragoon Guards Battle Group and its mission was to provide close air defense (CAD) in the forward combat area allowing the other elements of the all arms armored battle group freedom of maneuver and enabling them to fight the ground battle.

At this time, HVM Troop vehicles included four High Velocity Self-Propelled Missile Systems (SP HVMs), two Stormer Troop Reconnaissance Vehicles (TRVs), and an FV432 Mk2 armored personnel carrier used as a fire control center . Since 2017, as part of Operation CABRIT, at least one HVM troop with rotating personnel drawn from the 12th RA Regiment has provided close air defense support to the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group led by the United Kingdom. The accompanying Stormer photos that were not taken by Carl at BATUS in 2007 were taken in Estonia in 2017, 2019 and 2021 during the KEVADTOM/SPRING STORM multinational brigade-level exercises.

Although the UK Government and Ministry of Defense have officially confirmed that hundreds of Starstreak HWM missiles have been donated to Ukraine, along with at least 120 armored vehicles, at the time of writing it is unclear exactly how many of Stormer SP HVM launcher systems are included in these figures.

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Shielder VLSMS on static display during a firepower demonstration on Salisbury Plain in 2009 [© Bob Morrison]

A very small number of Stormer High Mobility Load Carriers or HMLCs, a design the builder called the Alvis Streaker, were produced for the British Army just before the 1991 Gulf War. An example of mounting the French mine thrower system Minotaur, bearing registration 12KK35 and what appeared to be Op DESERT SABER markings, was exhibited at Eurosatory 1992 in Paris. This suit was designated Stormer VLSMS or Vehicle Launched Scatterable Mine System. A similar version with a simpler mine scattering system, including two banks of 40 tubes at the forward end of the loading deck and two banks of 20 tubes at the rear that can be rotated rearward to cover an arc of 180°, later entered service as the VLSMS shield.

[images © Carl Schulze or Bob Morrison as noted]

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Chester T. Johnson