France will supply SCALP EG long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron announced on July 10 when he arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania for the NATO summit.
“I have decided to increase deliveries of weapons and equipment to enable the Ukrainians to have the capacity to strike deeply,” Macron said, while declining to say how many missiles would be sent.
Observers believe that Russia will not be surprised by the power of the SCALP EG missile. Previously, Russia obtained this missile with the designation Storm Shadow in British service. “The two-day operation to capture the Storm Shadow cruise missile has been completed,” Dmitry Rogozin, the leader of Russia’s “Tsar Wolf” military advisory group, said on July 6, 2023. Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia deployed a team to recover the Storm Shadow cruise missile in an almost intact state.
Russia can analyze Storm Shadow’s stealth capabilities, materials, internal designs, engines, warhead construction and most importantly, targeting systems. Information gathered from the missile could help Russia better understand its ability to detect weaknesses in Western missiles.
Scalp EG as the French call it or the British Storm Shadow is an extremely dangerous super-precise cruise missile that can penetrate the enemy’s defenses to destroy the target. It is known that this is a powerful modern cruise missile jointly developed by two leading European defense industries, Britain and France. With a range of 300km – 500km, this weapon can create turning points in modern conflicts.
Scalp EG/Storm Shadow officially entered service with the French and British Air Force in 2002. The missile weighs about 1,300 kilograms, with a conventional warhead of 450 kilograms. It has a maximum body diameter of 48 cm and a wingspan of 3 m. It is propelled at Mach 0.8 by a Microturbo TRI 60-30 turbojet engine and has range of approximately 560 km.
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 then dives into the target.
The power of Scalp EG/Storm Shadow was demonstrated when Britain and France used this missile in air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The cost of Scalp EG/Storm Shadow is about 1.1 – 3 million USD depending on the variant, quite cheap when compared to Russian cruise missile missiles like Kalibr costing 6.5 million USD or Kh-101 missile costing 13 million USD.
The weapon can be launched from a number of different aircraft—the Saab Gripen, Dassault Mirage 2000, Dassault Rafale, the Panavia Tornado, both the Italian Tornado IDS and formerly the British Tornado GR4. Even with just a few modifications, the Scalp EG/Storm Shadow missile can be mounted on Soviet-origin fighters such as the Su-27, MiG-29 and even the Su-24 for combat.