Ukraine gets British long-range missiles ahead of counteroffensive

Andrew Chuter – Defense News May 11, 2023

Britain has donated Storm Shadow cruise missiles to the Ukrainian air force in a move widely seen as a game changer in Kyiv’s ability to mount long-range strikes against invading Russian forces.

The decision to hand over a quantity of the MBDA-built cruise missiles was announced by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace in a May 11 statement to lawmakers here.

“Storm Shadow is a long-range, conventional, precision-strike capability,” he said. “It compliments the long-range systems already gifted, including HIMARS and Harpoon missiles, as well as Ukraine’s own Neptune cruise missiles and longer-range munitions already gifted.”

The Anglo-French-developed Storm Shadow missile, known in France as Scalp-EG, has a range in excess of 250 kilometers, or 155 miles, and is particularly effective against hardened and buried targets, according to the manufacturer.

The donation of Storm Shadow missiles, many of which are already in Ukraine, means the British are the first nation to supply Kyiv with long range weapons.

Wallace described the government’s decision as a “calibrated, proportionate response to Russian’s escalation” in its invasion of Ukraine.

“These systems are not in the same league as the Russian AS-24 Killjoy hypersonic missile or Shahed Iranian one-way attack drones, or their Kalibr cruise missile with a range of over 2,000 km, roughly 7 times that of the Storm Shadow missile,” Wallace said. “Russia must recognize that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided to Ukraine.”

Wallace said technical hurdles integrating the weapon onto Ukraine’s Soviet-era combat jets had been successfully overcome.

“Having technically cleared the hurdles, and as everyone talks about an expected counter-offense, now is the right time to gift these to Ukraine, and they [Storm Shadows] are now going into or are in the country,” he said.

The British have been signaling for months their intention to donate the long-range weapon to the Ukrainians, and confirmation of the move comes ahead of a long expected offensive by Kyiv against Russian forces occupying parts of the country.

It’s part of a wider Western effort to strengthen Ukraine’s deep-strike capabilities which has recently seen a British-led effort to procure missiles or rockets with a range of 100-300km and payloads between 20kg and 490kg as part of an international funding arrangement.

The Storm Shadow weapon provides the Ukrainian air force with a substantial step up in capability, according to Douglas Barrie, senior air analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank in London.

“It really provides Ukraine with a long-range strike capability it doesn’t have,” he said. “It’s in a different league compared with other weapons in Kyiv’s arsenal.”

Storm Shadow has been used extensively by the Royal Air Force, first on Tornado strike jets and more recently the Typhoon combat jet.

The weapon was rushed into operational use against Iraq in 2003 even though it was not officially in service at the time. Since then it has been used in the Middle East and Libya.

Storm Shadow is the second sophisticated Western air-to-ground weapon known to have been supplied to Ukraine since the Russian invasion got underway in late February 2022.

Last year the U.S. integrated HARM AGM-88 missiles on Ukrainian MiG-29 and Su-27 warplanes in a matter of weeks to be able to strike Russian air defenses located in Ukraine.


My Source


9 Responses to “Ukraine gets British long-range missiles ahead of counteroffensive”

  1. danceaway says:

    Alexander Mercouris has remarked that the. US is quite happy for the UK to do this as they can claim no involvement/responsibility . Also that the UK took this step in the hope that is would put pressure on the US to do the same, but this has not occurred, so the UK stands alone.

    Alexander also has several military specialists who contact him privately about these matters and these weapons, their strengths and weaknesses, and one conclusion drawn is that they are not as effective as claimed, and they Russian air defence can deal with most of them.

  2. danceaway says:

    Time stamps for Mercouris link above:

    – Bakhmut 00:00
    – (wait for it…) Prigozhin 08:30
    – 72nd brigade and Ukraine attack discussion 12:36
    – Prigozhin ammo shortage legit? 20:15
    – Elensky BBC interview: Offensive postponed 25:40
    – Danilow: Pressure from West for negotiations 31:21
    – Zaluzhni be AWOL – NATO meeting 34:25
    – Syrskyi be AWOL too 36:50
    – UK provides long range missiles – discussion 40:00
    – Effects of delaying the not-Spring offensive 49:50
    – Growing pressure to negotiate 59:10
    – Pawel: This is your last chance 1:00:00
    – Successor to Milley:This war is a distraction 1:01:50
    – Slovak elections coming up 01:05:05
    – Offensive still might come 01:08:05

  3. sovereigntea says:

    Of particular note is how Quisling Sunak and Quisling Wallace presented the supply of missiles to parliament as a fait accompli.

    A decision purely mad by the Quisling executive with no debate !

    Do note how these traitors have “gifted” these and many other weapons to the Kiev US/Nazi regime. Thus leaving UK weapons stocks denuded leaving the UK less well defended as a direct result.

    A single Storm Shadow costs (in 2016) €850,000.

    Partial transcript of US puppet Ben Wallace dictating the wishes of the US govt to parliament ……

    “We have seen what Ukrainians can do when they have the right capabilities,” stressing how drones and cruise missiles had been shot down.

    “That is why the Prime Minister and I have now taken the decision to provide longer range capabilities.

    “Today I can confirm that the UK is donating Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine.

    “Storm Shadow is a long range, conventional-only, precision-strike capability.

    “It complements the long range systems already gifted including HIMARs (light multiple rocket launcher) and Harpoon missiles, as well as Ukraine’s own Neptune cruise missile….”

    Mr Wallace explained further: “The donation of these weapon systems gives Ukraine the best chance to defend themselves against Russia’s continued brutality, especially the deliberate targeting of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure which is against international law.


    • sovereigntea says:

      Wallace also seems to think that we should trust his pompously superior judgement.

      “It is my judgment as Defence Secretary that this is a calibrated and proportionate response to Russia’s escalations.”

      Yet only the village idiot or a liar would conclude this ….

      UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says that 97% of the Russian army is now estimated to be in Ukraine – source BBC 14 February 2023

  4. Tapestry says:

    Paul Marsden MP Labour for Shrewsbury spoke against the war in Afghanistan and was shocked to be bashed into and so on in the corridors of Westminster. He switched to the Lib Dems and found them no different and quit politics. John Smith, Labour Party leader, had had a ‘heart attack’ after refusing to pursue a war agenda. Robin Cooke was poisoned. Michael Meacher died suddenly of ‘unknown causes’ so the Labour Party could be taken over and kept in line by warmakers – Campbell, Blair and others. That was (apart from Meacher) in the 1990s. If one MP today stood against the war complex he knows what to expect. They know the safest place to be is not in the Chamber whatever their views. Like doctors and nurses they know they are paid very well to remain silent.

  5. danceaway says:

    Such a good reminder, TAP.

    For any who may not be sociopaths/psychopaths, they must carry such guilt for their behaviour. Presumably they rationalise it, but an element of guilt may remain.

    • ian says:

      I’d love to think that they have a conscience D’, but I feel that they may be selected for their lack of it. Horrible people.