TechRussia captures advanced storm shadow missile from Ukraine

Russia captures advanced storm shadow missile from Ukraine

Russians captured the British missile Storm Shadow
Russians captured the British missile Storm Shadow
Images source: © X, @wolski_jaros

2:54 PM EDT, March 31, 2024

The Russians have managed to capture a Storm Shadow missile, a sophisticated long-range weapon provided to the Ukrainian army as part of the support from the United Kingdom. This article revisits its features and explains why its capture is of exceptional value to Russia.

Photos and short videos showcasing the capture have surfaced on social media. Defence analyst Jarosław Wolski, on his X service profile, mentioned this is the first recorded instance where the invaders have seized a Storm Shadow missile, which appears to be "almost complete".

The Russians captured the Storm Shadow missile

Wolski suggests that although this capture might not seem significant in the short term, it holds potential long-term implications. Russian experts are expected to scrutinize the technology used in the British-made missile. This could enable them to incorporate similar technology into their arsenal or develop more effective countermeasures against the Storm Shadow.

This development is particularly noteworthy because the Storm Shadow missiles have been elusive to Russian defences. With their aid, the Ukrainians have executed several notable strikes, inflicting substantial damage on Russian naval assets in the Black Sea. In 2023, these missiles struck the Chonhar bridge. In early 2024, they hit the Belbek airport twice.

The Ukrainians' superweapon

Developed in collaboration between British and French engineers, Storm Shadow missiles are capable of long-range manoeuvres. Their reach extends up to about 310 miles, but export versions are limited to around 186 miles. Their stealth technology often confounds even the most advanced Russian anti-air systems.

Each missile is over 16 feet long and weighs approximately 2,866 pounds, with 992 pounds dedicated to the BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented CHarge) warhead. This warhead can operate in various modes, including delayed detonation, detonation upon impact, or airburst. Inertial navigation systems, satellite guidance, and a fourth-generation IR sensor (IIR) ensure precise targeting.

Originally designed as an air-to-ground missile, the Ukrainians have creatively modified their Su-24 aircraft to deploy these missiles, despite not yet having Western fighters capable of carrying them.

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