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Ukrainian Forces have already used UK-supplied Storm Shadow missiles to target Russian Army



Social media posts from 12th and 13th May 2023 indicate that Ukrainian forces have initiated the use of the Storm Shadow cruise missile, supplied by the United Kingdom, to target Russian military positions in the city of Luhansk. Pictures online display wreckages of the missile, corroborating its deployment in Ukraine.
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Armorers from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) based out of Royal Air Force Akrotiri loaded Tornado GR4 fast attack aircraft with Storm Shadow cruise missiles. (Picture source British MoD)


The UK has made history by being the first ally to provide Ukraine with Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles. On May 11, 2023, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that they were dispatching the requested long-range missiles to Ukraine for their struggle against the Russian invasion. This augments the existing array of long-range systems previously supplied, which includes HIMARS and Harpoon missiles, as well as Ukraine's own Neptune cruise missiles and other extended-range munitions.

The quantity of Storm Shadow missiles sent has not been disclosed by the British Defence Secretary. He seemed to affirm that the air-launched missiles would be deployed from Ukrainian aircraft, stating that evaluating the technical feasibility of such an operation had been a part of the UK's decision-making process.

In response to the UK's decision to supply Storm Shadow long-range missiles to Ukraine, Russia has expressed its strong disapproval through the media. The Russian Foreign Ministry labelled the move as "extremely hostile," stating, "We perceive this decision as an extremely aggressive act from London, intended to further infuse Ukraine with weapons and cause a serious escalation of the situation.


Ukrainian Forces have already used UK supplied Storm Shadow missiles to target Russian Army 925 002
Image Shows a British Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon aircraft armed with Storm Shadow Cruise missiles. (Picture source British MoD)


The Storm Shadow is a British, French, and Italian low-observable air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by MBDA. The missile is designed for long-range precision strikes against well-defended targets such as bunkers, airfields, and bridges that would be hard to hit with a conventional bomb.

The Storm Shadow is a British, French, and Italian low-observable air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by MBDA. The missile is designed for long-range precision strikes against well-defended targets such as bunkers, airfields, and bridges that would be hard to hit with a conventional bomb.

The Storm Shadow missile carries a two-stage warhead and has a range of approximately 500 kilometers, depending on the altitude of the launching aircraft. This allows the missile to be launched from a safe distance, out of range of most enemy air defenses, and ensures the effective destruction of hardened targets.

Once launched, the Storm Shadow uses its onboard navigational systems, which include GPS and terrain reference, to follow a pre-programmed flight path toward the target. It uses a low-level, stealthy approach to avoid radar detection, flying close to the ground to minimize visibility on enemy radar.

When it gets close to the target, the missile deploys a two-stage penetrating and blast/fragmentation warhead to destroy it. This makes it especially effective against hardened structures. and has a range of approximately 500 kilometers, depending on the altitude of the launching aircraft. This allows the missile to be launched from a safe distance, out of range of most enemy air defenses.

The first stage is a penetrator that breaches the target's outer protection, and the second stage is a blast/fragmentation warhead that detonates inside the target to cause maximum damage. The missile's warhead is reported to contain approximately 450 kg (992 lb) of explosives, contributing to its significant destructive capabilities.

The ability of the Storm Shadow to follow a pre-programmed flight path, coupled with its stealthy low-level approach and powerful warhead, makes it a formidable weapon for striking well-defended, high-value targets.

Once launched, the Storm Shadow uses its onboard navigational systems, which include GPS and terrain reference, to follow a pre-programmed flight path toward the target. It uses a low-level, stealthy approach to avoid radar detection, flying close to the ground to minimize visibility on enemy radar.

When it gets close to the target, the missile deploys a two-stage penetrating and blast/fragmentation warhead to destroy it. This makes it especially effective against hardened structures.

In conclusion, the Storm Shadow missile is a highly efficient, long-range precision strike weapon. Its notable capabilities include striking hardened targets from approximately 500 kilometers away, a stealthy low-level approach to evade radar detection, and a two-stage warhead for effective penetration and destruction of targets.


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