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Ukraine Officially Welcomes French SCALP Missile into Military Arsenal

According to a tweet from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on August 6, 2023, the Ukrainian armed forces have formally integrated the SCALP missile mounted on Su-24 Fencer bomber aircraft, the French counterpart to the UK's Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile. This strategic decision follows France's commitment to supply SCALP missiles to Ukraine, dating back to May and confirmed in mid-July. Visual evidence captured during President Zelensky's visit to a Su-24 Fencer aircraft unit, responsible for deploying these missiles, has reaffirmed their operational status.
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SCAPL Long-range air-launched attack cruise missile mounted on a Su-24 Fencer (Picture source: Ukrainian MoD )

During the visit, President Zelensky personally signed the French missile, adorned with the Ukrainian coat of arms intertwined with the Eiffel Tower as a symbol of France. As a result, the missile is now officially in use by the Ukrainian forces.

Weighing 1,300 kilograms, the SCALP cruise missile embodies sophisticated engineering and meticulous design. Its aerodynamic profile and dimensions contribute to its ability to navigate smoothly through the skies, ensuring optimal performance during its mission.

The SCALP missile has earned the trust of various countries worldwide, solidifying itself as a vital asset for defense and strategic operations. Nations including Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, the United Kingdom, and of course, Ukraine, have all embraced the capabilities of this weapon.

The SCALP cruise missile boasts an impressive operational range, offering flexibility and adaptability in various scenarios. With a range of 560 kilometers, it can effectively engage targets at considerable distances, ensuring that critical objectives can be reached with precision and accuracy. For the export version, the range is slightly adjusted to 250 kilometers, offering an adaptable solution for international customers.

Powered by a Turbomeca Microturbo TRI 60-30 turbojet engine generating 5.4 kN thrust, the SCALP missile achieves remarkable speeds of 1000 kilometers per hour. Its versatility is further highlighted by its performance at different altitudes, maintaining a speed of Mach 0.8 to 0.95. This adaptability enables the missile to navigate complex environments effectively and engage targets with optimal speed.

The potency of the SCALP missile is enhanced by its 450-kilogram BROACH warhead, optimized for precision strikes. The missile's guidance system is a fusion of technologies, including Inertial, GPS, and TERPROM, ensuring accurate navigation throughout its trajectory. The terminal phase employs imaging infrared DSMAC technology, enabling the missile to maintain accuracy even in the final moments before impact. The missile's dimensions are as follows: length of 5.1 meters, diameter of 0.48 meters, and a wingspan of 3.0 meters enhancing its aerodynamic stability and agility during flight.

The effectiveness of Storm Shadow missiles in precisely targeting Russian installations has been undeniable, prompting Russia to take measures against the missiles and their deployment units, thereby diminishing their effectiveness over time. Given the limited availability of these long-range precision munitions, with an estimated stockpile of several hundred missiles in the UK's arsenal, the introduction of the French SCALP variant holds crucial significance. This expansion reinforces Ukraine's inventory of these indispensable weapons, greatly enhancing their efficiency as Ukraine's missile capabilities grow.


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