Wednesday, June 7, 2023

What Are Storm Shadow Missiles? What Makes Them So Deadly?

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Storm Shadow is an English low-observable, long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed since 1994 by Matra and British Aerospace, and now manufactured by MBDA.

The missile is based on the French-developed Apache antirunway cruise missile, but differs in that it carries a unitary warhead instead of cluster munitions.

Why Are They So Deadly?

The missile weighs about 1,300 kilograms (2,900 lb), with a conventional warhead of 450 kilograms (990 lb). It has a maximum body diameter of 48 centimetres (19 in) 

The weapon can be launched from a number of different aircraft—, and the Panavia Tornado both the Italian Tornado IDS and formerly the British Tornado GR4 (now retired).

The Storm Shadow’s BROACH Warhead features an initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter a bunker, then a variable delay fuze to control detonation of the main warhead. Intended targets are command, control and communications centres; airfields; ports and power stations; ammunition management and storage facilities; surface ships and submarines in port; bridges and other high value strategic targets.

The missile is fire and forget, programmed before launch. Once launched, it cannot be controlled or commanded to self-destroy and its target information cannot be changed. Mission planners program the weapon with details of the target and its air-defences. The missile follows a path semi-autonomously, on a low flight path guided by GPS and terrain mapping to the target area. Close to the target, the missile climbs and never dives into the target.

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Photo Credit: Getty 

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