Saturday, March 19, 2011

Storm Shadow Missile Air-launched Cruise Missile

Storm Shadow Missile

Storm Shadow is British, French and Italian air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by MBDA. Storm Shadow is the British name for the weapon; in French service it is called SCALP EG (Emploi Général, meaning General Purpose). The missile is based on the earlier MBDA Apache anti-runway missile, and differs in that it carries a warhead, rather than submunitions.

Target co-ordinates for the mission are programmed into Storm Shadow / SCALP on the ground (whilst loaded or in storage preparation areas) so demands on aircrew are kept to a minimum. The fire and forget missile once launched will find its way to the intended target autonomously which, combined with the missile’s range, allows the launch aircraft to keep well clear of danger from enemy air defences.

After launch at either medium or low altitude, Storm Shadow / SCALP descends to its optimum low-level cruising altitude thereby avoiding radar detection. The missile finds its target through continuous updates to its navigation system. This is supplied by the missile avionics, which incorporates both digital terrain profile matching (a forward looking system which allows Storm Shadow / SCALP to follow the contours of the ground while confirming its position in relation to the target), as well as GPS (Global Positioning System) and inputs from an Inertial Measurement Unit. This multiple navigation system gives Storm Shadow / SCALP exceptional navigational precision as well as a high resistance to enemy countermeasures.

During the final target approach, terminal guidance is provided by an imaging infrared seeker, supported by an automatic target recognition system which compares the actual scene with the programmed memorised scene. The designated target is thereby identified and the missile is guided onto the selected aim point.

Storm Shadow / SCALP is equipped with a powerful lethal package designed to attack hardened targets and infrastructure targets such as buried and protected command centres. Powered by a turbo-jet engine, with a range in excess of 250km, the missile weighs approximately 1300kg and is just over 5 metres long.

Storm Shadow will be integrated onto Tornado GR4/4A, Harrier GR7/T10 and Eurofighter. It will be capable of employment in all theatres of conflict, and the warhead is optimised for use against hardened targets.

The Storm Shadow missile requirement embodies the following key features:

    * very long range
    * fire and forget, with fully autonomous guidance
    * low level terrain following
    * stealth design
    * effective penetrator warhead
    * high reliability
    * all up round [ensures high system readiness]
    * low cost of ownership.

The Storm Shadow missile is derived from the Apache Anti Runway missile. Key elements of this proven technology have been retained for Storm Shadow, but the following major modifications are being introduced to meet the particular Storm Shadow requirements:

Storm Shadow Missile Air-launched Cruise Missile Stealth Missile (storm shadow)

Storm Shadow Missile Air-launched Cruise Missile

Storm Shadow Missile MBDA STORM SHADOW MBDA Storm Shadow/SCALP

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