What is Starstreak? Britains most advanced missile provides big win in Ukraine

Ukraine: Drone Footage appears to show attack on Russian forces

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The UK’s most advanced anti-aircraft missile has been used to take down a Russian helicopter in Ukraine. Video footage shows a Russian Mi-28N helicopter flying over the Luhansk region in the east of Ukraine being cut in two after it was struck by a Starstreak missile.

A Ministry of Defence source has confirmed it was a UK-supplied missile used against it.

Ukrainian media has also said their armed forces had shot down the Russian helicopter with “the help of the most modern British Starstreak”.

The British Government has been sending military aid to Ukraine since the war broke out in late February.

So far, around £400 million in aid has been supplied to forces fighting off the Russians.

READ MORE: Ukraine deploys ‘kamikaze drones’ to turn tables on Russian Army

What is Starstreak?

Starstreak is a “short-range, man-portable, air-defence system” used by British forces.

It is the fastest short-range surface to air missile in the world, capable of travelling at three times the speed of sound.

The missile is designed to take down fighter jets and helicopters.

It uses three projectiles to allow for multiple hits on a single target.

Starstreak can be fired from the shoulder, or from an armoured vehicle.

The missile locks onto the target, aiming for two laser beams “painted” on the aircraft by the launch unit.

Starstreak was first used in the Iraq War in 2003, and since then has been deployed on numerous missions by the UK and other global users.

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Multiple western countries have sent military aid to Ukraine, which has made significant gains in fighting off Russian forces in some areas over the past week.

The countries that have sent support are Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United States, according to the Commons Library.

The USA has sent some $350,000 million in aid, while the EU announced it would provide €450 million in lethal weapons.

Russian soldiers have begun withdrawing from areas around the capital Kyiv, but heavy fighting is still talking place in the south and east.

On Saturday Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak on Saturday called on the US and its allies to deliver heavier weaponry to Ukraine.

He said: “After the rapid retreat of the Russians from Kyiv and Chernihiv, it is clear that Russia has prioritized another tactic — to move east/south, to control large occupied territories (not only in Donetsk and Luhansk regions) and to gain a strong foothold there.”

The Russian military said the “first stage” of its invasion of Ukraine was complete and it began to withdraw troops from areas in the north.

The military is now focussing on areas in the south and the contested regions in the Donbas and Crimea.

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