Storm Shadow / SCALP is the air-launched long range, conventionally armed, deep strike weapon, designed to meet the demanding requirements of pre-planned attacks against high value fixed or stationary targets. Able to be operated in extreme conditions, the weapon offers operators a highly flexible, deep-strike capability based around a sophisticated mission planning system. Storm Shadow is a British, French and Italian low-observable air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by MBDA. Storm Shadow is the British name for the weapon; in French service it is called SCALP EG (Système de Croisière Autonome à Longue Portée – Emploi Général, meaning General Purpose Long Range Cruise Missile). The missile is based on the earlier MBDA Apache anti-runway missile, and differs in that it carries a warhead, rather than submunitions.
The missile has a range of approximately 560 km (300 nautical miles), is powered by a turbojet at Mach 0.8 and can be carried by the RAF Tornado GR4, Italian Tornado IDS, Saab Gripen, Dassault Mirage 2000 and Dassault Rafale aircraft. Storm Shadow was integrated with the Eurofighter Typhoon as part of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) in 2015, but it will not be fitted to the F-35 Lightning II once that aircraft comes into service. The BROACH warhead features an initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter a bunker, then a variable delay fuze to control detonation of the main warhead. The missile weighs about 1,300 kilograms (2,900 lb), has a maximum body diameter of 48 centimetres (19 in) and a wingspan of 3 metres (120 in). Intended targets are command, control and communications; airfields; ports and power stations; AMS/ammunition storage; surface ships and submarines in port; bridges and other high value strategic targets.
It is a fire and forget missile, programmed before launch. Once launched, the missile cannot be controlled or commanded to self-destroy and its target information cannot be changed. Mission planners programme the missile with the target air defences and target. The missile follows a path semi-autonomously, on a low flight path guided by GPS and terrain mapping to the target area. Close to the target, the missile climbs and then bunts into a dive. Climbing to altitude is intended to achieve the best probability of target identification and penetration. During the bunt, the nose cone is jettisoned to allow a high resolution thermographic camera (Infrared homing) to observe the target area. The missile then tries to locate its target based upon its targeting information (DSMAC). If it can not, and there is a high risk of collateral damage, it will fly to a crash point instead of risking inaccuracy.
Recent enhancements include the capability to relay target information just before impact, usage of one-way (link back) data link, to relay battle damage assessment information back to the host aircraft. This upgrade is already under development under a French DGA contract. Another feature planned for insertion into the weapon is in-flight retargeting capability, using a two-way data link. Storm Shadow will be refurbished under the Selective Precision Effects At Range 4 (SPEAR 4) missile project. Storm Shadow / SCALP has been put into operations with the Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in 2003 and was used in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya. The weapon is now in service with three other nations giving unrivalled deep strike capability. Storm Shadow / SCALP is operated from Tornado, Rafale, Mirage 2000 and in the future from Eurofighter Typhoon. Some reports suggest a reduced capability version complying with Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) restrictions was created for export, for example to the United Arab Emirates.