British-made Storm Shadow missiles were recently used in a Ukrainian strike that damaged a Russian submarine and ship at a major naval port in Crimea.
About Storm Shadow Missile
- Storm Shadow/SCALP is a long-range cruise missile with stealth capabilities, jointly developed by the UK and France.
- The missile is intended to strike high-valued stationary assets such as airbases, radar installations, communications hubs and port facilities.
- Able to be operated in extreme conditions, the weapon offers operators a highly flexible, deep-strike capability based on a sophisticated mission planning system.
- The Storm Shadow is also in service with the air forces of Egypt, India, Italy, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Features of Storm Shadow Missile
- It is typically launched from the air.
- The missile weighs 1.3 tonnes and is just over 5m long.
- Powered by a turbo-jet engine, the missile travels at speeds of more than 600mph.
- It carries a 450kg conventional warhead to a range of up to 200 miles (300km).
- It is equipped with fire-and-forget technology and fully autonomous guidance.
- The missile is fitted with a passive imaging infrared seeker.
- The missile is programmed with every detail of the target and the path to be taken to reach the target prior to its launch.
- Once launched, the missile drops to a low altitude to avoid detection by enemy radar before latching onto its target with the infrared seeker.
Q1: What is a Cruise Missile?
Cruise missiles differ from ballistic missiles in that they fly towards their target at lower altitudes, remaining within the Earth’s atmosphere throughout their trajectory. Cruise missiles are defined as “an unmanned self-propelled guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path and whose primary mission is to place an ordnance or special payload on a target.”