SHAH ALAM: More Starstreak Firings. It appears that Grup Artileri Pertahanan Udara or GAPU has undertaken more firings of the Starstreak short range air defence missiles. Of interest is that it appears that GAPU had fired the missiles using the New Generation Lightweight Multiple Launcher (NG-LML) and Rapid Ranger turrets. For the record Malaysia is the launch customer for the NG-LML
It is also likely that GAPU had taken delivery of the Thales Ground Master 200 radar and weapons coordination system which is part of the Forceshield IAD system we purchased in 2015. I am saying likely as there is no official announcement on the deliveries of the launcher, turrets and radar apart from postings on Twitter that GAPU undertook firings of the Starstreak missiles on Oct. 25. That said I have been told about the deliveries from several sources. The missile firings were undertaken under GAPU-led Ex Panah Jaguh, at the Tanjong Logok firing range on the east coast of Johor.
RMN Twitter post on the Starstreak firings on Oct. 25.
As you are aware the Ranger Rover fitted Uro Vamtac was already in country in April as one example was displayed at Weststar booth at DSA 2018. However the NG LML was not displayed at the same booth.
Vamtac with the Rapid Ranger turret at DSA 2018
I was told then that the Ground Master 200 radar will be delivered by July. And work to integrate the radar with the Rapid Rover vehicles would be completed by this month. The test firings at Tanjung Logok confirmed that.
Rapid Rover with the New Generation Light Weight Multiple Launcher. RMN
One of the picture from the posting showed a missile firing likely from an NG-LML though a single Rapid Ranger vehicle could be seen on the firing line.
A Starstreak on its way to its target during the test firing. Note the Rapid Ranger vehicle on the far right.
There was no picture of the Ground Master 200 radar in the postings but we can infer that the truck mounted system could be parked nearby providing cues to the operators on the firing line.
A close up view of the NG LML, it has two Starstreak missiles in its sealed canister compared to three on the old launcher.
The postings also showed that the NG-LML had already been integrated on the Weststar GK-MK1 pick-up. It is likely that GAPU preferred that the Starstreak launcher be mounted on vehicles so it can be easily move around instead needing to break into several parts if its used on the ground on its tripod mount like the British Army used them.
The Starstreak old LML used at the firing trials in 2016.
The LML could be taken off Rapid Rover for firing though it could also fire the missiles from it. For the test firing it appears that they put the LML on the ground.
The Starstreak gunners with the launcher prior to the firing in 2016. Note the old firing sight and three missile tubes. Markas ATM – Pool picture.
AFAIK the media was not invited to the test firings and only the Deputy Navy chief and several top Defence Ministry officials were present unlike the circus in 2016. I was told that the gunners involved prefer it that way, their stress levels tend to go too high whenever VVIPs and media are invited for such test firing events.
On The Way…the Starstreak seconds after it was fired at the firing trials at Tanjung Logok, Johor, in March, 2016. year. According to Thales, the missile will fired 7-8 milliseconds after the trigger is depressed.
As the test firings are conducted to collect data for operational and contractual reasons, I must say I am ok with it though it will be great if they could come up with an official release on such events.
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Nobody likes to do exercises while being watched at by others. But as a force that must be held accountable to what it does to the people of malaysia, the least that they could do is as you said, to release an official statement, not just a tweet or a post on fb.
Meaning Thales paid for the firing of these missiles?
They wont get paid if the Army feels the performance was not up to what was contracted for. Whether or not the cost of the missiles or anything to do with the test firings is beyond me. It is likely in the fine print of the contract.
Tweeting or FB postings is the new official press release. Just look at Trump, Macron, Trudeau, et al…. issuing their respective government policies via social media.
Looks like Malaysia still has a long way to go having medium and/or long range, land-based or self-propelled SAM launchers.
At present there is zero requirement for a long range system but GAPU has had a longstanding requirement for a medium strange system. Buying a long range system brings with it its own set of problem/challenges. One needs short and medium range systems to complement the long range system [look at what the Russians have in place to operate alongside their S300s in Syria and what the Indians are getting for their S300s]; as well as gap filler radars and other stuff to complement the long range system’s sensors.
Confirmation of the sighting of the ground master 200 radar