Britain has supplied Ukraine with multiple Storm Shadow cruise missiles, giving Ukrainian forces a new long-range strike capability in advance of a highly anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, multiple senior Western officials told CNN.
“The Storm Shadow is a long-range cruise missile with stealth capabilities, jointly developed by the UK and France, which is typically launched from the air. With a firing range in excess of 250km, or 155 miles, it is just short of the 185-mile range capability of the US-made surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, that Ukraine has long asked for,” CNN wrote.
A Western official told CNN that the Ukrainian government assured the UK that these missiles would be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory, including Crimea, and not inside Russia.
Ukraine’s current maximum range on US-provided weapons is around 49 miles or about 79 km, according to CNN.
Earlier this year, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain was considering sending long-range weapons to Ukraine:
“We must help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones,” he said at the Munich Security Conference in February. “And that’s why the UK will be the first country to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons.”
BBC reported that UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the transfer of the Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. In the House of Commons, he said the missiles would “allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based on Ukrainian sovereign territory.”