Stormer: the Royal Artillery's close air defence weapons platform

Bombardier Ryan White, 137 (Java) Battery, 12th Regiment Royal Artillery talks through the Stormer's key features.

The Stormer is the British Army's mobile air defence platform that mounts a short-range, laser-guided, surface-to-air missile system to neutralise the threat of attack helicopters and low-flying enemy aircraft.

The armoured vehicle provides a highly mobile platform for the Starstreak High-Velocity Missile system - giving the crew the ability to fire up to eight missiles from the launcher, with a further nine stowed inside.

The British Army has now tasked a Royal Artillery battery with operating the Stormer as it deploys to Estonia.

137 (Java) Battery, 12th Regiment Royal Artillery, was welcomed back in a ceremony at Baker Barracks on Thorney Island in West Sussex having been re-formed after eight years.

The Stormer is a tracked vehicle derived from the CVR(T) Scorpion/Scimitar chassis. Its normal load-out is the Starstreak High-Velocity Missile, but it can also be outfitted with the Martlet Lightweight Multi-role Missile.

The Starstreak HVM is designed to counter threats from high-performance, low-flying aircraft and attack helicopters.

The missile can travel at more than three times the speed of sound and uses three dart-like projectiles, allowing multiple strikes on a target. Each of these darts has an explosive warhead.

A roof-mounted air defence alerting device is fitted to the platform, while the front of the vehicle houses a panoramic weapon sight.


Watch: 137 Java Battery re-form at new home in Sussex after eight years.

The Starstreak system is highly flexible, with the missile also capable of being fired from a lightweight tripod device or from the shoulder in addition to the eight-round launcher that is mounted on top of the Stormer.

Manufacturer Thales Air Defence has introduced improvements to the Starstreak to increase its range beyond 7km, and it now has a laser guidance system that ensures that smaller targets that are normally difficult to acquire can be hit from distance.

The Stormer's alternative weapon system is the Martlet Lightweight Multirole Missile.

The Martlet is also employed in the ground-based close air defence role, but can also be fitted to the Wildcat helicopter as well Royal Navy vessels which use it to counter terrorist threats such as Fast Inshore Attack Craft, RIBs or even jet skis.

Last year, six Stormer armoured vehicles arrived on the frontline in Ukraine, one of which was reported to have been hit by a Lancet drone on the southern front earlier this year.

The vehicle, which has a lengthened chassis to accommodate one more roadwheel than the original CVR(T), has a maximum speed of 50mph and a range of 400 miles.

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