TechUkrainian Forces Launch Precision Strike in Crimea with Advanced Storm Shadow Missiles

Ukrainian Forces Launch Precision Strike in Crimea with Advanced Storm Shadow Missiles

Targets in Sevastopol hit by Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG missiles.
Targets in Sevastopol hit by Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG missiles.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | OSINTtechnical
6:25 PM EDT, March 24, 2024
The Ukrainian Air Forces conducted a strike on Russian targets in Crimea, employing Storm Shadow cruise missiles for the operation. This article unveils the specifics of the attack and the technology behind these missiles.
In the wake of Russian missile strikes, Ukraine seeks to deliver a significant blow to Russian forces with the aid of the highly potent Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG cruise missiles, a collaboration between Britain and France.
This operation saw Ukrainian Su-24 bombers targeting two Ropucha-class landing ships, the Yamal and Azov, in addition to aircraft and personnel stationed at the Belbek airport. Although not the inaugural successful use of Storm Shadow missiles against the Black Sea Fleet, this strike stands out in its effectiveness. Given the damage inflicted on vessels by these missiles in the past, the Yamal and Azov are likely rendered inoperative, if not sunk.

Storm Shadow Missiles — A Stealthy Menace to Russian Forces

Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles, fabricated by the MBDA consortium since the early 21st century, underscore the prowess of UK and French military technology. The missiles boast a range of approximately 310 miles (500 km) for their inventors, which is reduced to 186 miles (300 km) for other users, adhering to the Missile Technology Control Regime's mandates.
The construction of Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG missiles incorporates stealth capabilities and a turbojet engine, achieving subsonic speeds (0.8-0.9 Mach). Launch platforms must accommodate the missile's weight of 2,866 pounds (about 1.3 tons), with 992 pounds (approximately 450 kg) dedicated to the BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented CHarge) warhead.
The innovative BROACH warhead features a dual-stage mechanism. Initially, a small shaped charge pierces through barriers like a bunker's outer layer. This is followed by the detonation of the main penetrating warhead, which can be timed to maximize impact.
Furthermore, the Multi-Application Fuze Initiation System (MAFIS) permits detonation delays up to 240 ms, which are manually adjusted according to target specifics. The warhead operates in various modes, enabling instant explosion, airbursting for wide-area coverage, or delayed detonation.
Precision delivery of the warhead is ensured by an advanced guidance system, which maintains accuracy even when satellite navigation is compromised. Beyond standard GPS and INS navigation, the Storm Shadow boasts a fourth-generation infrared sensor (IIR) that discerns the thermal outline of targets.
This infrared guidance, besides aiding in the missile's final approach, enables it to map the terrain and cross-reference it with pre-loaded maps, **guaranteeing remarkable precision regardless of conditions.**
The marriage of stealth technology and low-altitude flight capability allows the missile to elude Russian anti-aircraft radars effectively, posing a significant challenge for defense systems even at close ranges.
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