LONDON, UK — After Britain was the first to announce the delivery of tanks, it is now again the first in its intentions. The British Prime Minister, Mr. Rushi Sunak, promised that his country would be the first to deliver a long-range weapon. He expressed his intentions during the Munich security conference held a few days ago.
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This statement caused military experts to speculate as to what this weapon would be. A very large part of them believes that Mr. Sunak has either decided or will be advised to provide Ukraine with Storm Shadow – the Anglo-French low-observable, long-range, air-launched cruise missile.
Storm Shadow has a different range depending on its version. Which of the two [domestic and export] versions can be delivered to Ukraine remains to be seen. If London chooses to send the Storm Shadow export version that means a maximum operational range of between 250km and 300km.
The rocket for indoor use works on a different principle. She is characterized by a Lo-Lo profile. This is the abbreviated name for the high-low-low-high profile of the racket. I.e. a conventional, non-stealth attack aircraft launches the missile from a high altitude. In this way, the range of the missile is almost doubled, saving fuel. Also, the carrier [aircraft] avoids the enemy’s air defenses.
Experts suggest that if such a delivery is reached, the missile will be the export version. The speed of the rocket is 1,000 km/h. However, this depends on the height from which it was fired. I.e. in addition to the increased operational range, a Storm Shadow missile with a Lo-Lo profile can also increase its speed.
The question remains who would be Storm Shadow’s integrator for Ukrainian aircraft. The name of Poland is most often speculated. First, Poland indicated as early as last year that it had managed to integrate the US anti-radiation missile HARM. There are currently rumors and speculations that Poland has successfully integrated the Storm Shadow into the Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-24M.
It is very important not to overlook one financial indicator – the price of one Storm Shadow missile varies by around 1.4 million USD. I.e. costs will also play a determining role not only in the quantity to be delivered but also in the number of carriers that will have the honor of launching this rocket. It is assumed that Ukraine will most likely be allowed to fly a specific Su-24 fighter bomber to perform a mission with this missile.
Storm Shadow features some impressive features. For example, before it is launched, the missile can be programmed. I.e. this would save the avionics as the pilot would simply launch the missile after it was programmed and immediately maneuver back to base.
Storm Shadow can aim semi-auto. This is achieved by the rocket’s use of satellite navigation and mapping at every moment of flight. Separately, it has an inertial navigation system. The missile can be deployed against enemy command and control centers, airfields, ports, and power plants.
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