President Macron commits to delivering SCALP long-range missiles to Ukraine

A SCALP Storm Shadow cruise missile at the Paris Air Show 2023. (Credit: AeroTime)

During the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11, 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would be delivering SCALP long-range missiles to Ukraine.   

This decision comes following the commitment made by the United Kingdom to provide Storm Shadow long-range missiles to the Ukrainian military on May 11, 2023.

France had previously refrained from delivering such weaponry due to concerns over the risk of their potential use on Russian territory.  

“I think today what is important for us is to send a message of support to Ukraine, of NATO unity,” Macron said at the summit. 

The Kremlin reacted to the announcement by calling the delivery of French long-range missiles to Ukraine a “mistake.”

“From our point of view, this is a mistaken decision, with serious consequences for the Ukrainian side, because naturally, it will force us to take countermeasures,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

What is the SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow missile?

The SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow cruise missile is a British-French weapon developed in the 1990s by Matra and British Aerospace and is now manufactured by the European missile maker MBDA.   

This weapon is capable of striking targets at a radius of 560 kilometers (350 miles). However, the export models have been specifically modified to operate at a reduced range of 250 kilometers (155 miles).   

This modification is in line with assurances previously provided to the United Kingdom by Ukrainian officials, who have stated that the missiles will not be used to target deep into Russian territory. Instead, they will be deployed solely within the borders of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. 

One of these missiles was allegedly used in June 2023 in the destruction of the Chonhar bridge that connects Crimea with Russian-held parts of the southern Kherson region.  

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