TechBritish missiles to be used by Ukraine in defense, Starmer confirms

British missiles to be used by Ukraine in defense, Starmer confirms

Tornado GR4 with Storm Shadow missiles, illustrative photo
Tornado GR4 with Storm Shadow missiles, illustrative photo
Images source: © Open Government Licence version 1.0, Wikimedia Commons | Crown Copyright, MoD, RAF

10:16 AM EDT, July 10, 2024

Ukrainians may use the weapons received from the United Kingdom to attack targets on Russian territory. This also applies to Storm Shadow cruise missiles, which pose a significant threat to the invaders, and the ongoing war has shown that sometimes they have no defense against them. Here, we explain the capabilities of this weapon.

Keir Starmer, the new British Prime Minister, confirmed the long-awaited information for Ukrainians. A few days ago, it became clear that the United Kingdom would not cease supporting Ukraine and is already preparing additional aid packages. However, it was unclear whether the supplied weapons could also be used outside the borders of the attacked country.

Storm shadow will fall on Russians

In an interview with Bloomberg, Keir Starmer stated that it should be expected that the missiles will be used by international humanitarian law. He recalled that Storm Shadow cruise missiles, like other British weapons, were provided for defensive purposes, but it was up to the Ukrainians to decide how to use them for that defense.

Storm Shadow is a long-range weapon, a cruise missile capable of attacking targets as far as 310 miles (186 miles in selected export versions). Ukrainians have already proven that with this weapon, they can easily hit objects located, for example, in occupied Crimea.

Each missile is over 16 feet long and weighs 2,866 pounds, with 992 pounds being the weight of the BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented Charge) warhead itself. Depending on the attacking side's needs, it can operate in one of several modes and explode upon impact, with a delay, or in the air, creating a shower of deadly fragments over the given area.

A weapon difficult to detect

British missiles are carried by compatible aircraft (Ukrainians have adapted their Su-24s for this purpose), and after launch, they reach subsonic speeds (0.8-0.9 Ma).

In addition to commonly used GPS and INS navigation, they also use a fourth-generation infrared sensor that sees the thermal image of the target. These are cruise missiles with low-flight capabilities, making them difficult to detect.

Social media has already featured recordings showing the effects of using Storm Shadow (in the form of wrecked Russian ships or vehicles) and proving the problems they cause for Russian air defense. British missiles are not even shot down by the Pantsir-S1, one of the newest Russian air defense systems currently in use.

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