The information about the transfer of such missiles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces was confirmed by British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who also explained the purpose of this type of missile in Russia's war against Ukraine: "The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces that are based on Ukrainian sovereign territory. Following the UK, President Macron announced in an interview with TF1 that France would also provide Ukraine with missiles whose range "allows Ukraine to resist".

The British Defence Secretary also noted that the transfer of these cruise missiles will strengthen Ukraine's defense, especially in matters of protecting critical infrastructure:

" The donation of these weapon systems gives Ukraine the best chance to defend themselves against Russia’s continued brutality. Especially, the deliberate targeting of Ukrainian Civilian Infrastructure, which is against International Law.

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The Stom Shadow missile, also known as SCALP EG, is one of the most advanced cruise missiles in the world. The missile was co-developed by the French company MBDA and the British company British Aerospace (BAE Systems). The Storm Shadow was adopted by these countries in 2002. In addition to the operating countries, Italy, Egypt, Greece, India, Qatar, Oman, and others have purchased such cruise missiles. Now Ukraine has Storm Shadow in its arsenal as well.

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Storm Shadow missiles come in two versions: an export version with a range of up to 290 kilometers and a version used by the United Kingdom and France's own armies with a range of up to 560 kilometers. There is also information that Storm Shadow can be used at much longer distances. Informal reports from the manufacturer indicate that, depending on the ratio of fuel and warhead, the range can reach 900 km.

It is currently unknown which version of Storm Shadow missiles Ukraine received. However, even if it is an export model, it is still the longest-range weapon that Western allies have provided to Ukraine. 

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This range will help Ukraine fight enemy tactical aircraft right at the airfields of its base. The entire Crimean peninsula and dozens of large military bases in Russia are in the crosshairs of Storm Shadow. In addition to airfields, these missiles can successfully destroy command posts and enemy ammunition depots.

Storm Shadow missiles can also be used to destroy Black Sea Fleet ships that carry Kalibr missiles. Ukraine will now be able to respond more effectively to criminal attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities. Thanks to the high accuracy and penetrating power of Storm Shadow missiles, Ukrainian forces will be able to effectively combat Russian cruise missile carriers and reduce the threat to civilians.

The Storm Shadow cruise missile has a unique feature - its tandem charge, which allows for successful attacks on ammunition depots, heavy defences and warships. As the missile approaches the target, an auxiliary explosive charge is released. This high explosive charge hits the target first and penetrates the object's defences, whether it is armour, concrete or soil. After that, the missile flies freely into the resulting hole and explodes inside the target.

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During the 2000 tests, the Storm Shadow missile successfully hit a target at a distance of 300 kilometres, remaining completely invisible to short-, medium- and long-range air defences. The missile flew to the target at an altitude of only 30 metres and had a deviation of a mere 0.5 metres. Thanks to this design and high accuracy, the likelihood of an enemy target remaining intact is very low.

Due to the special design and materials of the cruise missile, it can remain invisible to air defense radars throughout its entire flight. The approach tactic for subsonic cruise missiles is standard: the missile performs a climb (altitude gain) as it approaches the target and then rapidly flies downwards directly at the target. The dive angle can be adjusted depending on the characteristics of the target. In the final phase, the missile activates the infrared homing system, which has a built-in target recognition function.  Thanks to the use of a quasi-ballistic trajectory during flight, the missile becomes a difficult target to intercept. This is also achieved by flying at an altitude of only 30-40 meters above ground level, which was made possible by the use of a GPS tracking system and an altimeter installed in the missile. The missile is also equipped with special sensors that detect the terrain, allowing it to fly as low as possible. The missile is equipped with a subsonic turbojet engine, which allows it to reach a speed of about 1000 km/h.

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One of the main advantages of the Storm Shadow missile is its universality in terms of launch platforms. It can be launched both from the air (from combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale) and from sea vessels, and it can also be optimized for launch from ground positions if desired. However, when launched from the ground, the range of the missile will be much shorter.

We should also not dismiss the possibility that by working together we will be able to adapt the "Western" missile to our Su-24M type bombers. Poland has already announced its intention to upgrade Ukrainian Su-24M bombers to allow them to use these missiles. There is a potential possibility of adapting Su-27 heavy fighters to be used as a launch platform, as their mounts can support the weight of this missile. The missile itself has a very good feature that will also facilitate the integration process: the target coordinates are entered into the Storm Shadow guidance system before take-off, and there is no need for data exchange between the aircraft and the missile during the flight. The pilot only needs to give the launch command, and the missile will do the rest. In this case, the bomber or fighter jet functions as a "flying platform" that simply accelerates and launches the missile. And it returns to the base after the launch.

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The Storm Shadow and SCALP tactical cruise missiles were used during the fighting in Iraq. In addition, the SCALP missile was used in 2018 to strike Damascus (Syria), where out of 12 missiles launched, not a single one was shot down by Syrian air defence systems.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the information about the transfer of Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine caused a real hysteria in the Russian media.

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