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UK says the Storm Shadow missiles it gave Ukraine have been wreaking havoc on Russian targets and are accurate ‘almost without fault’

A Storm Shadow cruise missile on display during the Paris Air Show, Monday, June 19, 2023.Lewis Joly/AP Photo

The air-launched Storm Shadow missile is being used to great effect in Ukraine, the UK said.

The UK-supplied weapon is performing “almost without fault,” Defence Minister Ben Wallace said.

Russia has accused Ukraine of striking a bridge linking Kherson to Crimea with the weapon.

Storm Shadow missiles provided to Ukraine by the UK are striking their targets with near-pinpoint accuracy, sending Russian operations into disarray, the UK said on Monday.

UK defence minister Ben Wallace said in a statement to the House of Commons that “the Storm Shadow missile has had a significant impact on the battlefield.”

“Its accuracy and ability to deliver successfully the payload, as sent and designed by the Ukrainians, has been almost without fault,” he added.

According to its manufacturer, MBDA Systems, the air-launched missile has a range exceeding 155 miles and is designed to fly low after launch in order to evade detection.

An onboard infrared target-seeking system allows it to recognize pre-planned targets for a precision strike, MBDA claims.

The missile’s range means it can strike dramatically beyond the reach of the much-celebrated HIMARS launchers sent by the US to Ukraine, which were modified to keep their range within about 50 miles, as The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Storm Shadow’s impact on the Russian army in Ukraine has been primarily around its logistics, and command and control, Wallace said.

After being pummeled last year by HIMARS, Russian forces adapted by moving their command and control nodes out of range, Wallace told the UK parliament.

This is “why deep fires became important,” he said, urging Ukraine’s allies to provide further long-range equipment.

The UK announced in May that it would send an undisclosed number of Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine.

By the end of that month, Ukraine said it was using the missile with a 100% strike success — a figure challenged by Russia, which said it had intercepted two of them, as Reuters reported.

On June 22, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accused Ukraine of using the missiles to strike the Chonhar Bridge, a key conduit connecting Russian-held Kherson to Crimea, the Telegraph reported.

Ukraine did not immediately claim responsibility for the strike, which saw extensive damage to the bridge. But a defense intelligence spokesperson nonetheless promised “more of this,” according to the newspaper.

A hole in the Chonhar bridge that connects Russian-held Kherson to Crimea, which Russia says was caused by a Storm Shadow missile strike. June 22, 2023.Vladimir Saldo via Telegram/Handout/Reuters

A strike on the bridge using a Storm Shadow missile would be within the bounds of UK conditions for Ukraine’s use of the weapon, which are intended to be fired on Ukrainian territory only — a long-held condition of Western-provided military aid.

Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014 but nonetheless remains recognized as Ukrainian sovereign territory by the vast majority of the international community.

Russia, however, had warned that strikes on Crimea using Western-supplied weapons “would mean that the United States and Britain would be fully dragged into the conflict.” It also threatened retaliation on “decision-making centers in Ukraine,” The Telegraph reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider