U.K. to Provide Ukraine with Storm Shadow Cruise Missiles

May 11, 2023

The United Kingdom has supplied Ukraine with multiple Storm Shadow cruise missiles ahead of its anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Typically launched from the air, the Storm Shadow missiles have long-range strike and stealth capabilities. They were jointly developed by the UK and France and have a firing range in excess of 155 miles—just short of the 185-mile range capacity of the United States’ Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which Ukraine has long been asking for.

The Storm Shadow missiles have the potential to strike deep into Russian-held territory in Eastern Ukraine and feature an advanced navigation system to ensure accuracy.

They’re arriving as Kyiv’s front lines are rumbling with vehicle movements and artillery strikes that are reported to be hitting vital Russian targets in the gear-up for Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued assurances that the counteroffensive “will happen,” though he hasn’t specified a start date.

Contradicting Ukrainian officials who say they need more time and arms before beginning, the chief of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is insisting the Ukrainian counteroffensive is already being undertaken in the besieged town Bakhmut.

Overnight Wednesday, Ukrainian forces did, in fact, drive back Russia’s military from key positions in Bakhmut, giving Ukraine its first significant gains there in months.

According to the Storm Shadow’s manufacturer, MBDA Missile Systems, the “deep strike weapon” is capable of “being operated day and night in all weathers.” 

“After launch, the weapon descends to terrain hugging altitude to avoid detection,” MBDA’s website states. “On approaching the target, its onboard infrared seeker matches the target image with the stored picture to ensure a precision strike and minimal collateral damage.”

PHOTO: Storm Shadow missiles under RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft 

Source: Geoff Lee

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