Storm Shadow Reliability

The news that Britain is donating Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine is a significant escalation in arms supplies. In the past twelve years, these weapons have been used by the Royal Air Force against targets in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The pre-programmed “fire and forget” missiles are highly effective at destroying ammunition bunkers and concrete infrastructure at long range as can be seen by the photographs in Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi, which were taken in Libya in 2012.

I do hope they have improved the reliability since then. One of my teams in Libya found a blind missile in the desert south of Jebel Nafusa and reported it to the project team in Bristol. They told us that there had been no misses and were embarrassed when we read out the serial number to prove they were mistaken. In the end, we had to blow up the 450 kilogram warhead, while recovering the electronics to England, so the technical experts could investigate what had gone wrong.

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