WATCH: British government uncertain whether Stormers loaded with Starstreak missiles built in Northern Ireland have been engaged in Ukrainian war zone
Vehicles are known Stormers, and they are essentially shielded mobile launching pads for Starstreak missiles.
The Starstreak is a three-pronged device that flies faster than the speed of sound and is primarily designed to shoot down planes, drones, and helicopters.
They are built by the French arms company Thales, at its base in south-east Belfast.
There had previously been talk of the UK supplying bazooka-style Starstreak missile launchers to Ukrainian fighters, to bolster their arsenal alongside existing shipments of NLAW anti-tank missiles – which also happen to be built in Belfast.
But in recent days there have been a number of reports that London has already committed to sending Stormers into the war zone – which would massively boost the Ukrainian’s ability to use Starstreaks.
For example, Charlie Parker of the London Times reported on Tuesday: “Britain gives Ukraine anti-aircraft armored vehicles [Stormers] armed with high-precision missiles capable of destroying jets and helicopters, of course.
“So far, Ukraine has only been able to fire the missiles from shoulder launchers or man-portable mounts, which are harder to aim. Stormers are easier to use and can clear Ukrainian skies Russian planes wherever they are stationed, analysts say.
Mr. Wallace was asked by reporters about the Stormers today during an appearance he made to the Invictus Games for wounded servicemen.
He said: “I’m not going to comment on operational details. I will make a statement to Parliament next week, but we said we would commit to deliver armored vehicles.
He added that “we have also spoken publicly about delivering high-velocity anti-aircraft missiles” and that, without being specific, “we will continue to give them the air defense they need”.
On March 9, the government said it had “made the decision to explore the Starstreak donation at high speed portable anti-aircraft missiles” to Ukraine (newsletter italics).
He also said at the time that some 3615 NLAW had been delivered to the Ukrainians and the United Kingdom “would continue to deliver more.”
The NLAW were decisive for the Ukrainians, who faced massive convoys of Russian tanks; according to some media, at the end of March, the NLAW accounted for about 40% of the tanks destroyed in combat by the Ukrainian forces.