State-of-the-art Starstreak air defence system part of new package to make sure ‘no barbaric Russian act goes unanswered’

MORE sophisticated missile systems operated by soldiers from across the Portsmouth area are being shipped to Ukraine as part of a fresh £100m boost of military aid to the embattled country as it continues its fight against ‘barbaric’ Russian invaders.

By Tom Cotterill
Saturday, 9th April 2022, 3:55 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th April 2022, 3:56 pm

The state-of-the-art Starstreak air defence system is used by soldiers from 12 Regiment, Royal Artillery, on Thorney Island, and reservist gunners at 295 Battery, based at the Army Reserve Centre, in Hilsea.An initial shipment of the supersonic missiles has already been delivered to Ukraine - and has assisted Ukrainian troops in shooting down Russian attack helicopters.The latest wave of support by Britain, announced last night, will see more than 800 NLAW anti-tank missiles be shipped out alongside additional Javelin anti-tank systems, extra loitering munitions and more ballistic helmets, body armour and night vision goggles.

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The deal follows urgent discussions between British officials and Ukrainian defence chiefs over what support is desperately needed to help Ukraine resist Russian president, Vladimir Putin’s bloody invasion.Speaking yesterday, prime minister Boris Johnson said: ‘Putin has steeled our resolve, sharpened our focus and forced Europe to begin to rearm to guarantee our shared security.‘Alongside our allies, this military support will bolster Ukraine’s efforts to ensure Russia’s barbaric invasion fails.’The package builds on the £350m of military aid and around £400m of economic and humanitarian support that the UK has already provided.Defence secretary Ben Wallace added: ‘The UK government is resolute in our support for Ukraine and determined that no barbaric Russian act goes unanswered.‘Another 800 NLAWs will not only support the Ukrainian defence, but show Putin that his brutality only stiffens our resolve.’No British troops are being sent to Ukraine as part of the latest package of defensive aid.

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A Gunner from 170 Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery stands with the High Velocity Missile (HVM) Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) during a demonstration held at Baker Barracks on Thorney Island. Picture: UK MOD © Crown

However, it’s understood a small number of soldiers have been providing training on the weapons systems for Ukraine from neighbouring countries.As previously reported, about 200 soldiers from the Royal Artillery have already been deployed from Baker Barracks, on Thorney Island, to Poland, in a bid to bolster Nato’s eastern flank.The mission will see gunners from 16 Regiment, Royal Artillery, fielding their new supersonic Sky Sabre missile defence system.The weapons platform can destroy everything from attack jets and helicopters to hypersonic missiles and is reportedly so accurate, it can hit a tennis ball-sized object travelling the speed of sound.Supporting this deployment was a detachment of soldiers from 12 Regiment, who were equipped with the smaller, more nimble Starstreak system, which can be fired from the shoulder of an individual soldier.