How are the “Storm Shadow” missiles that the United Kingdom will send to Ukraine

The British government announced on Thursday the shipment of missiles Storm Shadow to Ukrainethus becoming the first country to provide long range weapons to kyiv.

The missiles were developed by France’s Matra and British Aerospace in the 1990s and are currently produced by the European missile manufacturing consortium MBDA.

It is a weapon deep attack “designed to meet the demanding requirements of pre-planned attacks against high-value fixed or stationary targets,” according to the manufacturer MBDA.

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This long-range air-to-surface missile, designed as “bunker buster”can also be used to penetrate underground facilities.

The missile first entered service in 2003 and the british air force (RAF) has previously described it as “possibly the most advanced weapon of its kind in the world”.

Technical specifications

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“Storm Shadow” is the name given to it by the British, in France it is called SCALP EG (French acronym for “General Purpose Long Range Autonomous Conventional Cruise System”).

The missile has a weight of 1,300 kg, a length of 5.1 meters and is used in the Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, Mirage 2000 and Rafale aircraft.

Can hit targets located between 250 and 500km, depending on the version. By comparison, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which are already available to the kyiv forces, can hit targets up to 80 kilometers away.

Storm Shadow long-range missiles
The missile has a weight of 1,300 kg and a length of 5.1 meters (Grosby)

Its long range is possible thanks to a turbojet capable of reaching Mach 0.8 speed. It carries a conventional 450 kg BROACH (Royal Ordnance Bomb Increased Charge) warhead.

How does it work

warhead BROACH has a initial penetrating charge to clear the ground or enter a bunker and then a variable delay fuze to control the detonation of the main warhead.

Storm Shadow long-range missiles
A Eurofighter Typhoon fitted with a Storm Shadow (Grosby) missile

It’s a missile “fire and forget”, scheduled before launch. Once launched, the missile cannot be controlled or ordered to self-destruct, and its target information cannot be changed. Mission planners program the missile with the target air defenses and target. The missile follows a trajectory semi-autonomously, in a low flight path guided by GPS and terrain mapping to the target area. Close to the target, the missile ascends and then penetrates the target.

Climbing to altitude is intended to achieve the best probability of target identification and penetration. During the final maneuver, the warhead is ejected to allow a high resolution thermal imaging camera (infrared) observe the target area. Next, the missile tries to locate its target based on your aiming information (DSMAC). If it can’t, and there is a high risk of collateral damage, the missile is able to fly to a point of collision rather than risk inaccuracy.

So are the Storm Shadow capture missiles
The missile carries a conventional 450 kg BROACH (Royal Ordnance Bomb Increased Payload) warhead.

Its intended use is to attack command, control and communications positions, airfields, ports, power plants, ammunition stores, surface ships and submarines in port as well as bridges and other high-value strategic targets.

The missile, which can work in extreme conditionshas been used by British and French forces in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya.

“Change of game”

The missile will be “a real game changer from a scope point of view,” he told the CNN a senior US military officer.

That is why the shipment was received with threats from Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov promised an “adequate response from the Russian army”, as is always the case when new Western materiel is supplied to the Kiev army.

So are the Storm Shadow capture missiles
The Storm Shadow is a “fire and forget” missile

On the other hand, the Secretary of Defense of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallaceafter announcing the delivery to kyiv, observed that “these systems are not even in the same league as Russian hypersonic missiles killjoy AS-24″, nor at the level of the “cruise missiles Calibr They have a range of 2,000 kilometers, about seven times more than the Storm Shadow.

“Russia must recognize that its actions have led to the provision of these systems to Ukraine,” said the British minister, concluding that it is “a calibrated and proportionate response to Russia’s escalations.”

He United Kingdom is the second largest provider of military aid to Ukrainedonating anti-tank missiles, artillery guns, air defense systems, armored fighting vehicles, anti-structure ammunition and three multiple launch rocket systems from long-range M270.

In January it announced a significant increase in its combat support, which included the supply of 14 main battle tanks. Challenger II.

The missile, which can work in extreme conditions, has been used by British and French forces in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya (REUTERS/HO/Cpl Mark Bailey) (Reuters Photographer/)

“As the conflict in Ukraine has evolved, so has the type of weaponry supplied,” states a House of Commons report on military aid since the Russian invasion.

“With a view to an expected spring offensive on both sides, attention has been focused on providing Ukraine, in the short space of time available, the ability both to defend its territory and to enable it to retake the ground currently under Russian control.” added the report.

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