Russian media reported that NATO is planning to equip the Scalp EG/Storm Shadow cruise missile developed by Britain/France for the Su-24M Ukraine front-line attack jets. Currently, Kiev has not commented on this information.
According to recent reports published by Russian Media sites, the supply of cruise missiles with a range of up to 500 kilometers to Ukraine is a violation of the “red lines”.
NATO’s plans to supply Ukraine with air-launched tactical cruise missiles are in direct violation of the “red lines” drawn by Russia. The consequences of such actions on the part of the West may turn out to be extremely unpredictable, since in this way the military bloc creates an immediate danger of using tactical strikes on the territory of Russian cities, including Moscow.
According to information previously announced by the Rybar Telegram channel, the UK and France are considering the possibility of installing SCALP and Storm Shadow tactical cruise missiles on Ukrainian Su-24M front-line bombers. The study of the possibility of integrating missiles should take place in the coming days, for which Ukrainian bombers will be sent to Poland. Given the range of these missiles up to 500 kilometers, this is an extremely serious threat.
Earlier, Russia announced that it would consider the transfer of weapons to Ukraine with a range greater than that currently available to the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a violation of the established “red lines”.
The Storm Shadow is an Anglo-French low-observable, long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed since 1994 by Matra and British Aerospace, and now manufactured by MBDA. Storm Shadow is the weapon’s British appellation.
In French service, it is called SCALP-EG. The missile is based on the French-developed Apache anti-runway cruise missile. They differ in that the Storm Shadow carries a warhead instead of submunitions.
The missile has a range of approximately 560 km (300 nmi; 350 mi), is powered by a turbojet at Mach 0.8 and can be carried by the now retired RAF Tornado GR4, Italian Tornado IDS, Saab Gripen, Dassault Mirage 2000 and Dassault Rafale aircraft.
Storm Shadow was integrated with the Eurofighter Typhoon as part of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) in 2015, but will not be fitted to the F-35 Lightning II. The BROACH warhead features an initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter a bunker, then a variable delay fuze to control detonation of the main warhead.
The missile weighs about 1,300 kilograms (2,900 lb), has a maximum body diameter of 48 centimetres (19 in) and a wingspan of 3 metres (120 in).
Intended targets are command, control and communications; airfields; ports and power stations; AMS/ammunition storage; surface ships and submarines in port; bridges and other high value strategic targets.
It is a fire and forget missile, programmed before launch. Once launched, the missile cannot be controlled or commanded to self-destroy and its target information cannot be changed. Mission planners programme the missile with the target air defences and target.
The missile follows a path semi-autonomously, on a low flight path guided by GPS and terrain mapping to the target area. Close to the target, the missile climbs and then bunts into a dive. Climbing to altitude is intended to achieve the best probability of target identification and penetration.
During the bunt, the nose cone is jettisoned to allow a high resolution thermographic camera (Infrared homing) to observe the target area. The missile then tries to locate its target based upon its targeting information (DSMAC).
If it can not, and there is a high risk of collateral damage, it will fly to a crash point instead of risking inaccuracy.
Recent enhancements include the capability to relay target information just before impact, usage of one-way (link back) data link, to relay battle damage assessment information back to the host aircraft.
This upgrade is already under development under a French DGA contract. Another feature planned for insertion into the weapon is in-flight re-targeting capability, using a two-way data link.
Storm Shadow will be refurbished under the Selective Precision Effects At Range 4 (SPEAR 4) missile project.