UK delivers 200 Starstreak man-portable missiles to Ukraine after Russia’s mass missile blitz

The UK has previously sent Ukraine Starstreak missiles, which travel at three times the speed of sound. Britain will send some 200 air defence missiles to Ukraine to help protect the war-torn country from Russian drones and bombing. The British Ministry of Defence confirmed the massive shipment this afternoon.

The announcement came as Russia unleashed a sickening barrage of missiles on Ukraine, which killed 28 people, according to the Ukrainian government and reported by the BBC.

MANPADS are short-range portable air defense systems which use surface-to-air missiles guided with infrared location technology to detect and attack targets. Being effective at an altitude between 3,000 and 4,800 meters, they pose a great threat to low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters.

Its speed makes it unlikely that enemy planes will have enough time to react once the missile is launched. In addition, they cannot be interfered with by infrared or radar/radio countermeasures or eliminated by anti-radar missiles.

In what is believed to be the biggest aerial attack on Ukraine since the beginning of the bloody war, a total of 158 missiles and countless drone strikes hit homes, a maternity hospital, and a shopping mall.

The assault, which reportedly left 130 civilians wounded, is said to have been launched in revenge for Ukraine’s Boxing Day missile strike in Crimea.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on X this afternoon: “The UK is moving rapidly to bolster Ukraine’s air defence, in the wake of Putin’s murderous air strikes.

“Hundreds of British made air defence missiles are being sent to ensure @Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself from Putin’s barbaric bombardment.”

He added: “Putin’s latest wave of murderous airstrikes are a desperate and futile attempt to regain momentum after the catastrophic loss of hundreds of thousands of conscripts and ahead of the humiliation of his three-day war entering a third calendar year.

“We continue to stand by Ukraine’s defence. Which is why today we are sending hundreds of air defence missiles to restock British gifted air defence systems capable of striking down Russian drones and missiles with incredible accuracy.

“Putin is testing Ukraine’s defences and the West’s resolve, hoping that he can clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. But he is wrong.

“Now is the time for the free world to come together and redouble our efforts to get Ukraine what they need to win.”

Mr Shapps said the air defence package “sends an undeniable message in the face of Russian barbarity that the UK remains absolutely committed to supporting Ukraine”.

It is not yet clear what kind of missile the UK will send Ukraine, but the country has previously sent Starstreak missiles.

The powerful British-made weapon was seen earlier this year annihilating a Russian helicopter.

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top commanders onboard the Ka-52 was killed in July when the aircraft plummeted in Ukraine, defence sources claimed.

Gripping footage showed the downing of the Russian war chopper after the surface-to-air missile directly struck it.

The Ka-52 Alligator was engulfed in flames and descended rapidly through a thick plume of smoke before smashing into the ground.

Starstreak high-velocity missiles can hit objects the size of a tennis ball at three times the speed of sound, splitting into three warhead darts mid-air to increase the chance of collision.

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