Visually on the art of “cotton delivery” on objects with Storm Shadow and the effect of hits
The British Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile deserves, in fact, an immeasurable amount of reviews. Because if you summarize all the known data from open sources about the use of this missile in real conditions, it turns out to be somewhat even unfair that the Storm Shadow “remained in the shadow” of more “famous” samples, such as the Tomahawk, although it is logical, given the quantitative indicators: for example, if in 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US fired about 800 Tomahawk missiles, then only 27 Storm Shadow missiles were fired, and that was more likely to “run-in” the product, which at that time had not yet been officially adopted armament.
Therefore, here we want to pay attention to the “political” and “technical” aspects of the use of this missile in real conditions because there are really interesting moments there.
Let’s start with the “political”: did the British previously sell their Storm Shadow for export – yes, they did. However, Great Britain did this mostly in private to avoid the sharp reaction of its partners.
That is why, for example, we have such an interesting paradox: approximately in 2016, Saudi Arabia used Storm Shadow missiles received from the British to attack Houthi military facilities in Yemen; and the first data on the possible sale to Riyadh of such and such KR “leaked” back in 2011, after the fact of many years of negotiations that began back in the 2000s.
In open sources, there is neither the number of transferred KR nor the effectiveness of their use; there is only a mention that the carriers of these missiles were Tornado strike fighters from the Saudi Air Force. And it is possible that such secrecy took place precisely at the request of the British side.
When it comes to the general calculation of the number of exporting countries operating specifically British Storm Shadow missiles, some caution should be exercised here because it is customary to put an equal sign between the British Storm Shadow and the French air-based SCALP, as if they are the same product sold by the same government. Although these two missiles differ, at least in warhead equipment: the British Storm Shadow has a penetrating BROACH, and the French SCALP has a cluster warhead.
But taking into account even this confusion with open sources, we can say for sure that Great Britain also sold its Storm Shadow for export to Egypt and Qatar, although even here, the details remain secret, it seems – precisely at the request of London.
After various sources have already listed all the possible episodes of the use of the British Storm Shadow, it is quite possible that readers would like to see the results of the “cotton” that this missile is capable of delivering in real combat conditions. But unfortunately, there are very few such images in the public domain.
We can only cite the results of the massive missile attack, which was carried out by the USA, Great Britain and France on April 13, 2018, against the facilities of the chemical arsenal of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. In that strike, the Allies used a total of 105 cruise missiles, including eight British Storm Shadow and nine French SCALP air.
Basing Even if the images of the results of the strikes given by the Pentagon “on hot tracks” during the briefing do not look high enough, they clearly show how large-scale destruction Storm Shadow and her French “sister” can cause. And what awaits the objects of the Rashists in the near future.
In the publications of Western resources, we can already find an assessment that, most likely, the Su-24M and/or Su-27 were adapted for the launch of Storm Shadow at the disposal of the Armed Forces. Like, only these planes have such “load-lifting” suspension units that allow you to take on board a KR with a starting mass of up to 1500 kg (i.e., Storm Shadow).
But at the same time, there is also a detail that may have simplified the integration of this Western missile into Soviet-style aircraft in the Armed Forces: the coordinates of the target are entered into the Storm Shadow guidance system during preparation for takeoff, during the flight there is no technical need to exchange data between the aircraft and the missile. And in this case, the bomber or fighter serves only as a “flying platform” that delivers 450 kg of penetrating death on the enemy’s head.