Eurofighter Typhoon Fires Storm Shadow Cruise Missile First Time

The Eurofighter Typhoon has launched an MBDA Storm Shadow for the first time on operations, with the announcement on 15 March that the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) had used the cruise missile against the Islamic State in Iraq.

The strike on 10 March was against a cave system south west of the city of Erbil in northern Iraq, marking the first combat use of the Storm Shadow from the Typhoon since it was cross-decked from the Panavia Tornado GR4 as part of the wider Project Centurion in 2018.

“The strikes […] saw the use of Storm Shadow missiles, which were selected as the most appropriate weapons for the task. A preceding check of the area confirmed that there were no signs of civilians in the area who might be placed at risk. Following the mission, the Typhoon’s weapons were confirmed to have struck their targets precisely,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The Typhoon can carry two of the 1,300 kg Storm Shadow missiles on underwing pylons. Storm Shadow is an Air-Launched, it is designed for the launch at long stand‐off ranges from the target, using pre‐planned mission data. The turbojet-powered Storm Shadow ingresses to the target at a very low altitude using continuously updated inertial navigation. The airframe has ‘stealthy’ design features to cut down its radar cross section, and uses low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) transmitter modes for its radar altimeter. The Storm Shadow missile has a published range ‘in excess’ of 250 km.

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