Italy is considering moving Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine

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Italy is considering sending Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine as part of a new military support package, according to the Fatto Quotidiano newspaper. The delivery could potentially occur by the end of this month. 

Photo credit: Sputnik News

The report indicates that this decision aligns with a broader initiative to support Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia. An insider from the Italian government mentioned that a final decision will be made in the coming weeks, following discussions with NATO allies and consultations with Ukrainian officials. This proposal will also be evaluated within the broader strategy of European countries to back Ukraine.

The Storm Shadow missile is a long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed by France and the United Kingdom. It is designed to target high-value, well-defended infrastructure such as airbases, radar installations, communications hubs, and other strategic assets. The missile is known for its precision and ability to evade enemy defenses, making it a critical component in modern warfare. 

Photo credit: MBDA

In terms of dimensions, the Storm Shadow missile measures approximately 5.1 meters [16.7 feet] in length and has a wingspan of about 3 meters [9.8 feet]. It weighs around 1,300 kilograms [2,866 pounds], making it a substantial payload for the aircraft that carry it. 

The propulsion system of the Storm Shadow missile is a turbojet engine, which allows it to maintain subsonic speeds while traveling long distances. This engine is designed to provide a balance between speed and fuel efficiency, enabling the missile to reach its targets with precision. 

Technical characteristics of the Storm Shadow include advanced navigation systems such as GPS and terrain reference navigation, which allow it to fly at low altitudes and avoid detection by enemy radar. The missile also features a sophisticated guidance system that includes an inertial navigation system [INS] and an imaging infrared [IIR] seeker for terminal guidance.

Photo credit: MBDA

The Storm Shadow missile is equipped with a variety of warheads, most commonly a BROACH [Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented Charge] warhead. This warhead is designed to penetrate hardened targets and deliver a powerful explosive payload. The BROACH warhead consists of a precursor charge to create an initial breach, followed by a main charge to maximize damage within the target.

The operational range of the Storm Shadow missile is approximately 560 kilometers [about 350 miles], allowing it to strike targets deep within enemy territory while keeping the launching aircraft at a safe distance from enemy defenses. This range makes it a strategic asset for air forces looking to conduct precision strikes without exposing their aircraft to undue risk. Shadow missile. These include the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale, and the Panavia Tornado. Additionally, the missile can be integrated with other compatible platforms, making it a versatile weapon in the arsenals of various air forces.

Western nations are providing Ukraine with advanced weapon systems, yet Russian GPS jamming presents a significant hurdle. In late May, Ukrainian officials highlighted this challenge. Interestingly, the American GBU-39 small-diameter bomb demonstrated resilience against Russian jammers, with nearly 90% of shots hitting their intended targets. 

Photo credit: Twitter

On the other hand, improved land-based versions of the GLSDB [ground-launched small-diameter bomb] have shown decreased effectiveness. British Storm Shadow missiles have fared better against Russian interference. These missiles boast multiple navigation systems, including an internal map that aligns with the terrain of their flight path, as well as GPS. 

Despite these advancements, Russian forces successfully intercepted a few of these missiles. Russia has heavily invested in electronic warfare systems, which prove highly effective in disrupting Ukrainian weapons systems and operations.

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