Help From the Brits
Great Britain is preparing to send armored missile launchers to Ukraine now that Russia has begun an all-out war to seize control of the country’s east.
Representatives from the UK Ministry of Defence demonstrated their Stormer High-Velocity Missile (HVM) launcher to Ukrainian officials at their Salisbury Plain training area about two weeks ago, according to sources in the English press. The Ukrainians were informed that, if desired, the 13-ton vehicles could be flown to the war zone on C-17 transport aircraft in a matter of days.
Video footage courtesy of YouTube and KBAL_Thom News
Stormers are armored vehicles capable of firing salvos of 17 Starstreak anti-aircraft rockets to take out enemy fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. They are manufactured by BAE (British Aerospace) Systems and require just three people to operate.
This news comes as Ukrainian President Zelensky informs the world that a “significant part of the Russian army” is concentrated in an offensive in the Donbas. In this primarily Russian-speaking part of the country, Moscow-backed separatists have declared two independent republics that have been recognized by the Kremlin.
The Fastest Short-Range Surface-To-Air System in the World
It’s not news that Mr. Zelensky has been pleading with Western powers for more military aid. The US is busy sending a second $800 million round of assistance. Boris Johnson said on April 7th that he was “certainly looking at what more military assistance we can give.”
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced last month that he was thinking of sending the Stormer and Starstreak system to Ukraine. The missiles can either be shoulder-mounted or placed on the turret of the Stormer. They break into three separate projectiles after being fired. This allows them to have multiple impacts on multiple targets simultaneously.
They are reportedly the fastest short-range surface-to-air system in the world, traveling at speeds of more than 2,000 mph, around three times the speed of sound, and are well suited to taking down low-flying fighter aircraft.
Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, told reporters: “The Stormer/Starstreak combination will be a huge boost to Ukraine’s fighting capability.”
As with most military equipment, the Stormer, aka the Alvis Stormer, comes in several variants. Listed below are statistics that apply to most if not all of those:
- Crew: 3
- Armament: 1 x 7.62 mm machine gun standard (but depends upon version)
- Engine: Perkins T6.3544 six-cylinder diesel
- Length: 5.27 m (17 ft 3 in)
- Width: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
- Height: 2.27 m (7 ft 5 in)
- Max speed: 80 km/h
- Range: 650 km
Interesting Pop Culture Fact:
- Lucasfilm used a flatbed Stormer to serve as the basis for the fictional TX-225 GAVw “Occupier” combat assault tank seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
What the Future May Hold
The White House has reported that in an attempt to procure even more aid for Mr. Zelensky, President Biden will convene a secure video call with allies today to discuss further support and efforts to hold Putin accountable for the bloodshed in Ukraine.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis has recently said: “We will be sending out further defensive arms to Ukraine.”
“We’re seeing a further push, it seems, from Putin’s regime, so we will continue to do all we can to support Ukraine,” he commented further to BBC Breakfast.
Check back frequently to SOFREP for the latest developing situations in the ongoing war in Ukraine.