Air Weapons: Storm Shadow Rising


January 27, 2016: Although the European (MDBA) air-launched Scalp cruise missile has been in service since 2002 it has not been used heavily since 2oo3. That changed in 2015 when France intensified its war against Islamic terrorism and the new Typhoon fighter-bomber was equipped to use Scalp. With a max range of 560 kilometers the 1.3 ton Scalp has a 450 kg conventional warhead and a highly accurate (capable of hitting ships or small buildings) terminal guidance system. Scalp uses GPS, INS and terrain recognition guidance systems to get close enough for the terminal guidance system to take over. Costing about $1.5 million each some 3,000 have been ordered since the late 1990s and about a hundred used. France bought 600 while Britain ordered nearly a thousand (as “Storm Shadow”) and wealthy Gulf Arab oil states bought over a thousand. Greece, Italy and Egypt also bought some. The recent use of Scalp in Syria and Mali have been successful. Britain first used Storm Shadow in combat during air campaign against Iraq during 2003. But now all the nations with Scalp/Storm Shadow are using it more frequently against terrorist targets.


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