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The FV4333 Stormer HVM is a rank VII British self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle with a battle rating of 9.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy".
Survivability and armour
This tank uses the chassis of Scorpion, which you might be familiar with since Striker. As before, it can only take punishment from the front and it's best to avoid anything more serious than autocannon armed light tanks or KPz-70, since most 9.0+ tanks have at least 100 mm gun along with their coaxial weapons. It is easy to "hull break" the hull by hitting it with 105 mm chemicals, artillery direct hits and 120 mm kinetic shells.
The launcher on the back was replaced with a turret carrying Starstreak HVM and search optics. The usually small camera next to commander cupola now has heavy optics and is much bigger as a result. The turret is much higher than the old launcher and is very hard to hide.
The missiles do not have any protection this time around and you should avoid being bombed and shot by artillery at any cost. Even a 7.62 mm machine gun can ignite missiles on a good hit. Even close artillery or HE miss might set off Starstreaks and cause your entire rack to explode, annihilating your carrier and probably taking your allies nearby with you in process.
The missile carrier has very short burnout time, so even if it survived a strafe run from a gunship while just being set on fire, it will burn fast and explode in about 8 seconds.
As such, you should avoid fighting anything directly, if possible. To ensure not a single aircraft knows about your presence, an IRST system is used instead of radar - not even best helicopters around can detect you. In arcade mode, they can still see the Stormer, but you can be assured that optronic system will allow you to destroy them before they have even a chance to aim at it.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
As with Striker, the Stormer HVM is capable of driving both forward and backwards relatively fast even with no upgrades. The ability to drive forward and turn around at same time still relies on driver being maxed out, so your crew must be very high level.
The more you upgrade the chassis and engine, the more obscure position you can climb and take over in order to avoid being spotted and destroyed by other tanks.
Main article: Starstreak HVM
Stormer HVM is using surface-to-air Starstreak HVM missiles and their unique properties make it hard to use them for anything else. There are 8 of them mounted on the turret and there are 8 more spares in the back of the tank.
|Be aware, that while Stormer HVM itself is nigh undetectable in RB, it still uses laser pointer to guide missiles. Some modern helicopters and some tanks have Laser Warning System and will receive attack alert on launch, and probably will try to dodge. Do not expect every static target to never move.|
General missile behavior and ground targets:
- First Launch
The carrier missile drags the actual missiles away from Stormer at a speed of about 800 m/s and unleashes them at about ~580 m range. Until that point, the missile can be used as a weak form of HE ATGM and if it hits enemy light tank or SPG weak spot or suspension wheel it can do catastrophic damage.
Carrier missile does shrapnel-like damage and it will deteriorate after hitting any obstacles, so it is necessary for an explosion to hit the target directly, almost like with HESH. The explosion range also seems to be halved compared to HE. Anything, including simplest forms of side skirts, will block SAM from destroying an enemy tank. Most of BR 9-10 medium tanks have not just side skirts but either ERA or NERA screens all over them and will not take any damage from single missile and hitting those randomly is going to only damage machine guns and the screens.
The only weak spots on medium tanks that always seem to work are a bottom of the tank, suspension wheels on the bottom of the chassis, sometimes the engine decks. Since many tanks have side skirts, it is best to just aim at inner sides of the tracks (fire under the tank itself to hit the track from below it), as this allows explosion not just to explode next to their weak spot, but also to bypass the tracks, which would otherwise reduce damage taken. Luckily, at 400-550 m range, you can use your X40 optics to aim even at the smallest dents on hostile tanks, so all the operator needs to do is to forget about luck and focus on attacking the chassis wheels until it gives in.
To destroy an unprotected medium tank, like KPz-70 in down-tier, simply firing at suspension wheel is enough. Be aware, that the very first and the very last suspension wheels will absorb the missile, so only the wheels that touch the ground count. Sometimes in full down-tier there are still tanks with exposed non-sealed optics, which can be exploited to destroy the tank, but they are too hard to hit in time.
Overall, firing multiple missiles into medium tank weak spots might take too much time and attracts their attention, resulting in inevitable Stormer HVM destruction. For this reason, fighting medium tanks of proper BR shouldn't be your priority even with this knowledge.
At short ranges other SPAA, SPG and light tanks are fair game and you should try to destroy them via hull break if they try to attack Stormer HVM, as simply running away from them is rather difficult.
- After ~580 m
Three missiles disassemble from carrier missile and start increasing their speed to the extreme, easily reaching 1400 m/s. To not lose control over their movement due to speed, they constantly spiral. Despite spiralling, they are extremely agile and will instantly react to any scope movements, so aim them using sniper mode. Be quick and precise, if possible. Each one of them can be approximately counted as 105 mm HE with reduced shrapnel amount.
They have minimal penetration and, mostly due to their spiralling nature, aiming them at ground forces is practically pointless, unless you try to disintegrate tanks which have little to no armour, like Object 685 - in the case of such tanks, if you somehow hit their weak spot, they still can hull break even from smaller missiles.
Against medium tanks, they may achieve a penetration only at a completely flat angle side shot. If the tank is angled more than 5-7 degrees it's not worth risking your SPAA. One missile will be likely absorbed by ERA screen, and many more may miss due to missile spinning nature, but a volley aimed like this might actually penetrate tanks like T-64B, as long as the target does not move.
Against air targets:
To helicopters, the missiles usually are fatal, as they are almost bound to get hit by at least one of Starstreaks, and explosion either tears off the tail or knocks out the pilot. However, even in the case of this missile, there are cases when Support helicopters somehow survived a direct hit, so you might want to launch another one if you aren't sure that they are done for.
To use the missiles against moving aircraft (mainly, planes) properly, you need to lock on to an aerial target. The IRST system cannot tell you where the targets really are, just the direction they're in. Instead of wasting time while looking for them manually, simply lock onto any target on your "radar" display via hotkeys like with Chieftain Marksman and turret will near instantaneously turn towards them by itself.
As could be seen on the screenshots, in full IRST mode sniper crosshair tries to imitate the drag of missile as it tracks the aircraft, and by keeping sniper crosshairs on plane or helicopter you can guide your missiles towards an aircraft. Keeping an actual missile on target is more important, however, as system accuracy is generally far from stellar and it shouldn't be trusted too much.
|"Targeting" and "leadership" on your crew should be maxed out. This SPAA cannot track targets properly without it and should not be used by a level 1 crew. You have been warned.|
Do note, that a plane approaching at a sharp angle will mess with turret automatic guidance, due to it passing by too fast.
Stormer HVM has huge gaps in optics: 10-40X optics, which can be manually adjusted during AA duty, simply hitting "maximum zoom" will probably result in a miss at some angles of attack.
Since it is extremely inconvenient to toggle zoom level every time, one can remain in sniper seat and use radar display to lock-on to targets around. Quickly spin turret into the direction of the hostile plane, as seen on the radar display, and press lock-on as soon as your turret pointer hits them. Targeting device should be able to do the rest for you.
Optics and night vision
|Stormer HVM Optics|
|Type of optic||Magnification||Night Vision Devices|
|Gunner's Sight||X10 - X40||N/A||N/A||N/A||1200X800||Only useable with tier 3 upgrade|
|Commander's View||X6||1600X1200||?||High||Not fitted||Only useable with tier 3 upgrade|
|Driver's View||X1 / 3PV||800X600||?||High||Not fitted||Only useable with tier 3 upgrade|
- Zoom specified in X-ray. Strongest optics in the game so far.
Optics are pivotal for this tank's gameplay. Current zoom level affects the tracking quality of the turret. The player's role in this is to find optimal zoom levels for tracking the current target and to check if the sensor system is keeping the missile on target properly. If it does not, just correct missiles yourself.
In case of the enemy plane escaping your system's grasp, you still can hit the "maximum zoom" button and try to chase it with missiles manually.
Due to half-manual aim of the tank, unlocking Night Vision Devices is a priority - If you cannot see your target during the night, it will be extremely hard for you to compensate for system errors.
In case of <600 m tank duels, maximum zoom can be exploited to aim missile straight into the enemy tank weak spot. Do not shake the scope after the missile launch, or it will miss, as missiles respond to your actions almost instantly.
Stormer HMV uses special infrared search devices to detect targets. While they have a significantly shorter range than radar and cannot tell the range towards target until specifically locked onto it, they can tell which targets are friendly and do not target them, or at least specifically mark them as "friendly". They also scan Stormer HVM surroundings approximately 6 times a second even when locked on, which makes bypassing it next to impossible.
Infrared detectors are invisible to "radar detectors" and will not alert helicopters or sonic jets of your presence. There is no benefit in powering it down as of now.
Trees can completely block IRST system - if you cannot see your opponent yourself through thick forest, neither will the system.
|Thales ADAD - Passive Infared Search|
|Thales ADAD - Passive Infared Track|
Usage in battles
It is best to hide from sight of others when using this SPAA - move around battlefield and use terrain and caves as a hiding spot for yourself. Exploit mobility upgrades to stand on mountain edges, if necessary.
Avoid participating in direct combat with medium tanks at any cost, as you definitely will not help in winning the fight directly and they might use the gigantic ammo rack as a way to destroy your allies. The only logical exception is if you are supporting allied ATGM tank by removing hostile tank ERA and turning their attention towards you, then immediately retreat. Any attempts to do sneaky shots on medium tanks should only be done if you are sure it's worth it.
In case if you managed to spot hostile SAM, you can try to remove them by igniting their missiles to help your team achieve air superiority. Remember, you cannot fire on move, so if they will also notice you and have actual guns, the tables will turn immediately. At long range you can fire at least three times before missiles of most other SAM tanks would reach you.
Using forests as cover is less reliable than just using terrain, as IRST will likely fail to detect your opponents through trees, unlike radar which only get its signal halved in power.
In case if you have nothing better to do at the moment or spotted an enemy tank and don't want to deal with it yourself, you can scout it from a remote location. Do not try this if enemy team is actively searching for you.
|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Smoke grenade||NVD|
|IV||Transmission||Engine||Artillery Support||Improved optics|
Pros and cons
- Invisible to anti-radar - helicopters do not receive 'radar' alert from it in RB, greatly reducing the chances of it being detected and targeted with rockets or missiles
- Unique anti-air missiles - triple missile with one of the highest speeds in-game
- While triple missiles only explode on contact, they also move at mach speed, maneuver very fast and always spiral, all of which allows them to bypass rocket walls, Vulcan gun fire and other countermeasures. Proximity missile attack from ADATS, ZPRK 2S6 and other such SAM SPAA in same circumstances would fail due to their missiles getting a false positive and exploding without reaching the target (which subsequently results in their user being hit by a rocket rain)
- Missile acts as a form of HE ATGM at up to about 600 m range, can be used as a last resort to attack enemy light tanks, medium tank weak spots and chassis, or to create a huge dust cloud in RB
- Good speed of chassis
- X10-40 optics and powerful thermal scope allow it to track enemy until the very end
- Can scout as well, when isn't busy
- High profile of ammo rack, which is also a weak spot, which can be ignited even by 7.62 machine guns or close artillery miss. Any damage to the missiles causes entire vehicle to explode, unlike with Striker
- On top of high profile, ammo racks visually remind players of ADATS and will likely make ground forces drop everything and immediately attack it - stealth approach is required at all times
- Hull defences are inadequate against tanks and aircraft with weapons bigger than 20 mm autocannon, even if your ammo rack happened to be empty
- While technically invisible, Stormer HVM will still trigger laser Warning Systems on launch, potentially spooking away targets which have LWS (though they only get about a second to react and dodge a shot, unless at max range)
- Lock-on does not provide a 100% accurate targeting solution - turret and the optical system sometimes fail to track planes properly, relying on the crew and operator skills to compensate, especially noticeable when the inappropriate zoom level is used
- Lock-on can become unstable around trees and immediately breaks if visual contact is lost
- Due to a huge gap in optics zoom levels, the operator is often required to manually adjust scope, instead of just hitting "maximum zoom" button, and to lock on different aircraft without leaving the sniper seat
- After dispersing, triple missiles constantly spiral, making precise long-range aiming at ground forces pointless, not to mention that most tanks in its natural battle rating range are immune to triple missile attack unless hit at a perfectly flat angle and they can only hull break light tanks or other SPAA when to hit them in a weak spot
In the mid-1980’s it became clear that supersonic aircraft and strike helicopters proved to be dangerous against ground troops. To counter these threats back in 1986, the British Ministry of Defence began development of the “Starstreak HVM” (High-Velocity Missile) anti-aircraft missile system. The production was done by the Shorts Missile Systems company. On the 1st of September in 1997, the famous Starstreak anti-aircraft missile system had been put into service by the British Army. Initially, it was developed in 3 different variants: portable, stationary and mobile, although later they additionally developed an air version but it didn’t find a practical application.
The armoured personnel carrier Stormer was created by using the propulsion system, the transmission and chassis of the light scouting FV101 Scorpion tank for the mobile version of the system. In 1975 on the base of this armoured personnel carrier, the self-propelled anti-tank missile system FV102 Striker was created. Since the vehicle proved itself well, it was decided to additionally create the self-propelled anti-aircraft system Alvis Stormer HVM on its platform.
- From Devblog
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|Britain anti-aircraft vehicles|