The UK has announced that it will be providing Ukraine with Storm Shadow cruise missiles to assist in their fight against Russian forces. The donation was confirmed by
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who stated that the missiles would give Ukraine the best chance to defend themselves against Russian aggression.
Storm Shadow missiles are long-range, conventional-only, precision-strike weapons that are launched from aircraft. They have a range of more than 155 miles, which is significantly greater than the US-supplied Himars missiles currently used by Ukraine, which have a range of around 50 miles. The missiles are powered by a turbo-jet engine and can travel at speeds of over 600mph.
The missiles are equipped with their own navigation system and descend to a low altitude after launch to avoid detection before locking on to their target using an infra-red seeker. On final approach, the missile climbs to a higher altitude to maximize the chances of hitting the target. Upon impact, the missile penetrates the target before a delayed fuse detonates the main warhead.
The Storm Shadow missiles will allow Ukrainian pilots to remain further from the front lines, providing a significant advantage in their fight against Russian forces. The donation of these weapons systems is part of the UK's ongoing support for Ukraine in their struggle against Russian aggression. Photo by Corrado Baldassi, Wikimedia commons.