An image of a Ukrainian Su-24 Fencer with two Storm Shadow missiles started circulating on social media on Friday.
It appears that the UK’s conventionally armed Storm Shadow cruise missiles are being used with Ukrainian Air Force Su-24s to launch attacks on Russian positions.
The transfer of long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine was first confirmed in May as part of the UK aid package. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who described the donation as “Ukraine’s best chance to defend itself against Russia’s continued brutality,” confirmed the deal on May 11.
The Storm Shadow is a long-range cruise missile with stealth capabilities, jointly developed by the United Kingdom and France, and launched from an air platform. With a launch range of over 250 km, or 155 miles, it falls just short of the 185-mile range capability of the US-made tactical surface-to-surface missile systems, ATACMS, that Ukraine has long claimed.
The deployment of the missiles comes as Ukrainian forces prepare to launch a counter-offensive aimed at retaking Russian-held territory in the eastern and southern parts of the country.