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The Storm Shadow Scalp EG Long Range Cruise Missile

The Storm Shadow / Scalp EG Long Range Cruise Missile

Source: Recent conflicts have demonstrated that the limit between crisis and war often depends on the use of a long range, stand off, air to ground missile. Storm Shadow / Scalp EG is a conventionnally armed, stealthy, long-range air-to-ground missile designed to neutralise high value targets while avoiding collateral damage.and became famous in the last Iraqi war. Presented at the Paris Air Show by MBDA. June 14, 2003.

  • The Operational Requirement:

The need to neutralise high value targets while avoiding unacceptable collateral damage was the reason why MBDA decided to develop a new long range air-to-ground missile system capable of very high precision in the final phase and with high destructive power.

  • The MBDA Solution

MBDA Photo

Now ordered by 4 European countries (France, UK, Italy and Greece) and UAE (Black Shaheen), Storm Shadow / Scalp EG (Emploi Général /General Purpose) is a long-range cruise missile with a conventional warhead. It is optimised for preplanned attacks on strongly defended high value targets for which the position is accurately known before the mission.

MBDA Photo

Storm Shadow / Scalp EG will be used for long range precision attacks, by day and night and in adverse weather, with a large launch envelope, from low to medium altitudes, offering considerable operation flexibility to the parent aircraft.

The missile, being a fire-and-forget weapon with high tolerances for the launch conditions, minimises the crew workload, a feature which is of great importance in wartime stress conditions.

MBDA Photo

The Storm Shadow / Scalp EG is a stealth missile and is fully autonomous after launch. It combines all weather capability, day or night operation with the ability to launch at low or medium altitude.

The only difference between the Scalp EG and Storm Shadow is in the missile to aircraft interfaces and hanger systems as well as differences between French or British mission planning systems, etc.

  • From launch to impact

After launch, the Storm Shadow / Scalp EG descends to its optimum low level cruising altitude. The onboard inertial navigation is continuously updated through information supplied by the missile navigation system. The weapon follows the ground by digital terrain profile matching, and GPS (Global Positioning System). This multiple navigation system provides the missile with good navigational precision and excellent resistance to countermeasures. The Imaging Infrared homing head is activated during the final target approach phase. Automatic target recognition algorithms then compare the actual scene with the memorised scene, identify the designated target and select the target impact point The missile will then be guided onto the selected aim point.

  • Integration on aircraft

MBDA Photo

In the United Kingdom, Storm Shadow will be fitted on RAF Tornado GR4, Harrier GR7 and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. In Italy, it will equip the Aeronautica Militare’s Tornados and Eurofighters. In France, SCALP EG will be used on Mirage 2000D, and Rafale aircraft of the French Air Force. It will also be used on the French Navy Rafale aircraft carried on the "Charles de Gaulle" aircraft carrier. In Greece, the weapon will equip the Mirage 2000-5 Mk2 of the Hellenic Air Force.

  • Characteristics of the Storm Shadow / Scalp EG missile

Mass................................ : About 1,300 kg

Length............................. : 5.10 m

Wing span ...................... : 3 m, fins deployed

Warhead.......................... : BROACH

Propulsion....................... : TRI 60-30 turbojet

Speed .............................. : Mach 0.8+

Navigation ...................... : inertial, GPS, with terrain profile matching

Terminal guidance .......... : imaging infrared homing head

Range .................................. : > 250 km

  • Status of the programme

Storm Shadow is currently being developed as part of a 1,13 million Euros contract placed by the UK Ministry of Defence in February 1997. The French Ministry of Defence issued a development and series production contract for the Scalp EG in December 1997. Italy joined this European cruise missile programme in October 1999 and has ordered Storm Shadow to equip its Tornado and Eurofighter aircraft. In August 2000, Greece ordered Scalp EG to equip its Mirage 2000-5 Mk2 fighters.

The development and production programme for Storm Shadow / SCALP EG is covered by a 1.5 billion Euros (£1 billion) programme, and the programme is currently in the advanced development phase. The definition of the weapon system is complete and all subsystems have been developed and qualified. Production of first series equipment is currently underway.

Alenia Marconi Systems has already developed the training variant of the missile. The first fully guided firing of the Storm Shadow / Scalp EG took place successfully at the CEL Biscarosse range in France at the end of December 2000. Launched from a Mirage 2000 N, the missile flew for more than 250 km at low altitude before hitting the target, well within the CEP. The highly accurate terminal guidance used the high-resolution target imagery from the IIR seeker. The first production missiles will be available in 2002.

The first flight of Storm Shadow on the Tornado GR4 took place successfully on Friday 25 May 2001 at BAE Systems Warton in the UK. This marks a major stage in the integration of the weapon for the GR4 which enters service with the Royal Air Force in 2002. New MBDA advanced studies are under way concerning a sea-launched version of the Scalp missile. Dedicated to equip the French Navy’s future frigates and "Barracuda-class" submarines, the "Scalp Naval" will also be proposed for other European requirements for deep land attack from the sea.

Press Contact:

  • Carol Reed: Group Head of External Communications 44(0)207.451.60.99

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).