France has announced it will deliver a new batch of around 40 SCALP long-range cruise missiles as well as hundreds of bombs to Ukraine, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

Macron told reporters at a news conference that Europe's priority must be to “not let Russia win,” announcing he would make a new visit to the Ukrainian capital in February.

“Letting Russia win would mean accepting that international law is not respected,” he said.

Macron said that France was working on a new bilateral security agreement with Ukraine – along the lines of a pact agreed between Kyiv and London – that would be announced during his February visit, AFP reports.

The SCALP is capable of striking targets far into the country's Russian-occupied east, well behind front lines that have remained relatively fixed for months.

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He said "some forty" more SCALP missies would be delivered along with "several hundreds" of bombs.

Here’s what they can do…

The SCALP was developed in the 1990s by MBDA, a joint venture between British and French defense companies.

Britain has also supplied Ukraine with the French variant known as the Storm Shadow.

In July, Russian media claimed a Storm Shadow was used to strike a hotel in occupied Berdyansk and killed a high-ranking general. The same month, Russian air defense allegedly shot down a Storm Shadow in Zaporizhzhia in central Ukraine.

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A video published by the Ukrainian Air Force on Facebook showed that a Storm Shadow and a SCALP missile, deployed using a Su-24 jet, were used in an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol that destroyed the Rostov-on-Don submarine and Minsk landing ship.

Developed jointly by the two NATO allies, Storm Shadow/SCALP is a 1,300-kilogramme (2,870 pounds) missile armed with conventional explosives, usually launched from aircraft such as the Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon or French Rafale.

Military commentators believe that Ukraine used decommissioned pylons from the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4 fighters to equip its Su-24Ms and Su-24MRs bombers with the missiles.

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There is also speculation that coordinates were entered pre-flight due to the incompatibility.

The missile is powered by a turbojet engine with a range exceeding 250 km, according to the MBDA website.

It is a fire-and-forget missile aided by a combination of GPS, terrain-referenced navigation (TRN), and internal inertial navigation systems (INS) that allow it to follow the path semi-autonomously, where it would then gain altitude and switch to an infrared (IR) camera to match the target stored image upon final impact.

It is capable of striking targets far into the country’s Russian-occupied east, well behind front lines that have remained relatively fixed for months.

Such capability is “critical for Ukraine’s forces to disrupt Russian logistics and command and control,” said Ivan Klyszcz, a researcher at the Estonia based International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS).

SCALP strikes could help “with Ukraine’s current approach to operations... namely to advance slowly so as to protect its forces and reduce its own casualties as much as possible,” he added.

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“With these weapons, a few jets operating within the safe space of their own air defences can make a difference,” said Dylan Lehrke of UK-based private intelligence firm Janes.

“Russian forces can deny Ukrainian aircraft the use of airspace above territory they control, but they have been unable to defend against deep strikes,” he added.

Manufacturer MBDA says on its website that the SCALP is “designed to meet the demanding requirements of pre-planned attacks against high-value fixed or stationary targets such as hardened bunkers and key infrastructure”.

It has been used in previous conflicts including in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The missile uses inertial navigation, GPS and terrain referencing to chart a low-altitude course to its target to avoid detection.

It uses an infrared camera to match images of the target to a stored picture “to ensure a precision strike and minimal collateral damage,” MBDA says.

The warhead can be programmed to detonate above the target (airburst), on impact or following penetration.

Russian-installed officials said last month that a British-supplied Storm Shadow had hit a bridge at Chongar, which links the annexed Crimean peninsula to southern Ukraine.

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The bridge was “unusable” following the strike and would be closed for around 20 days, Moscow’s governor for southern Ukrainian region Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, said at the time.

As with many Western arms supplied to Ukraine, France’s stocks of the SCALP are not bottomless.

Trade magazine Defense et Securite Internationale has reported that Paris has “fewer than 400" of the missiles.

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