Military expert on Storm Shadow’s capabilities
Storm Shadow / SCALP is an air-launched long-range strike missile offered by the French company MBDA Systems mainly for the armed forces of Great Britain and France (Photo:airforce-technology.com)
The United Kingdom has already provided Ukraine with several Storm Shadow cruise missiles pending the much-anticipated counteroffensive, Valerii Riabykh, military expert and editor at Defense Express, told NV Radio on May 11.
According to him, Storm Shadow, with its range of up to 300 km, is quite an effective weapon London has at its disposal.
First media reports about Ukraine potentially getting these missiles appeared in late 2022. Adapting this missile to Soviet-era aircraft did not seem insurmountable, since a Storm Shadow missile is actually programmed on the ground. It then simply needs to be lifted in the air and lunched vaguely towards the target – the Anglo-French missile will do the rest.
Riabykh explained that the missile can confidently bypass the enemy’s anti-air defenses by flying at low altitudes, practically skimming the ground. It’s also shielded against various electronic countermeasures.
Unlike the “partially blind” Russian cruise missiles, Storm Shadow is a precision weapon, he added.
The missile is generally guided via GPS and an inertial guidance system. During the final approach to the target, its nosecone pops off, exposing an optical sensor head, which then directly identifies the intended target and ensures pin-point accuracy.
Therefore, according to Riabykh, Putin’s prized Crimea Bridge, linking the occupied Ukrainian peninsula and mainland Russia, could become a target for Storm Shadow. The missile’s unitary warhead can carry up to 450 kg of explosives. A payload like that allows to destroy even some of the more protected enemy targets.
“Let’s see how and in what form certain long-range missiles may appear on the battlefield,” Riabykh said.
“However, we note that we’re already seeing the appearance of many Ukrainian long-range weapons, ranging from UAVs of various types and purposes, to Ukrainian operational and tactical missiles, such as Hrim-2.”
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