Russian Air Defense Can Intercept British 'Storm Shadow,' Ukraine's Longest Range Missile

  • Bureau
  • 05:07 AM, May 12, 2023
  • 2059
Russian Air Defense Can Intercept British 'Storm Shadow,' Ukraine's Longest Range Missile

British Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles that have been transferred to Ukraine, have been destroyed by Russian missile systems in Syria in the past.

Editor of the Arsenal Otechestva magazine Alexey Leonkov told TASS on Thursday that Storm Shadow are not difficult targets for Russian systems. Earlier that day, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace announced Britain delivered multiple Storm Shadow missiles to Kyiv, making it the first country to send long-range cruise missiles to the battle-ravaged country.

Kyiv welcomed the UK’s missile delivery. Yuriy Sak,, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister said, “Our partners know very well why we need them: to be able to reduce the enemy’s offensive potential by destroying their ammunition depots, command and control centres and logistics chains on the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory.”

Leonkov pointed out that the Storm Shadow was an anti-ship missile also capable of hitting ground targets. It was developed as an Anglo-French alternative to the U.S.-made Tomahawk.

"Our missile systems first faced them during an attack on Damascus on April 14, 2018. Those missiles were downed then," the expert noted. "The technology that the missile is based on is called ‘fire-and-forget:’ it follows the route that is laid for it. The route cannot be changed, nor can the missile be programmed to self-destruct. It reaches its target and hits it. However, our Buk and Tor systems deployed in Syria detected and downed it," Leonkov said.

At the same time, the expert emphasized that the missile was capable of reaching speeds of up to 800kmph and conducting stealth and low-altitude flights, for example, along the edge of a forest. "I think that the flights of all Ukrainian drones that managed to reach the Kaluga and Ryazan regions, those which we shot down, were aimed at testing the routes. If this missile is fired along the same route, the threat will grow significantly," the expert explained, stressing that "missile systems aren’t all-powerful and cannot scan forests and surrounding areas."

The Storm Shadow/ SCALP is a stealthy long-range, air-launched cruise missile, jointly developed by the UK and France. These missiles have a firing range in excess of 250km, just short of U.S.’ surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), that Ukraine has long asked for.

Storm Shadow / SCALP has been put into operations with the Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in 2003 and was used in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya. It is operated from Tornado, Rafale, Mirage 2000 and in the future from Eurofighter Typhoon.

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