The Starstreak High Velocity Missile stands out by taking a different design approach compared to other contemporary missiles by among others utilizing semi-automatic line-of-sight laser beam riding.
It is very different from designs developed by other countries such as the United States, Russia and China. Notable differences include:
- With a maximum speed of Mach 3.5, the Starstreak is almost twice as fast as its competitors which usually travel below Mach 2.
- Starstreak missiles are laser-beam riders, unlike others that often rely on a infrared seeker for guidance.
- The Starstreak uses submunitions with three darts, unlike other missiles with unitary warheads.
The laser of the Starstreak can be detected and is vulnerable to counter-attack, while infrared guidance allows the launcher to disengage shortly afterward. On the other hand, the much faster Starstreak can engage the target faster and gives it less time for counter-measures.
The Starstreak comes in both vehicle mounted version or as a shoulder-launched Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS). Specifications of the Starstreak are listed as:
- Length of 1.39 m
- Diameter of 0.13 m
- Weight of 17 kg
- Speed of Mach 3.5
- Effective range of 5500 m
- Maximum range of 7000 m