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Storm Shadow
Conventionally Armed Stand Off Missile (CASOM)

The Matra BAe Dynamics (MBD) Storm Shadow missile system has been selected for the RAF to meet SR (A) 1236, the Conventionally Armed Stand Off Missile (CASOM). The contract was awarded to MBD in February 1997 after an international competition with six other companies. The Storm Shadow missile system proposed by MBD is based on the flight-proven Apache air vehicle, and is optimised to meet UK requirements. The Storm Shadow system will provide long range firepower for the Royal Air Force's Tornado, EF 2000 and Harrier GR7 aircraft, ensuring aircrews no longer to enter heavily defended enemy airspace in order to destroy high value targets.

The French SCALP EG (Emploi Général / General Purpose) is the same weapon as Storm Shadow apart from national aspects related to both countries. The two similar, but not identical, Government technical requirements have been fully harmonised into a single common technical solution. The design was selected by the French government in December 1994 (APTGD programme) after a competition between Matra Défense and Aérospatiale. In January 1998 Matra BAe Dynamics (a subsidiary of the Lagardère and British Aerospace groups) received a major contract from the French Ministry of Defence for the mass-production of 500 SCALP cruise missiles. The SCALP E.G. will give Mirage 2000, Rafale and Eurofighter aircraft unprecedented stand-off fire power.

The Storm Shadow is a stealth cruise missile of around 1,300 kg carrying a powerful conventional warhead. Storm Shadow is an air-launched, conventionally-armed, long-range, stand-off, precision weapon, which is deployable at night or day, in most weather and operational conditions. It will be able to destroy sensitive and highly protected targets (command bunkers, communications centers, etc.) with very great accuracy, with a range of over 250 kilometres after an entirely autonomous terrain-following flight at very low altitude. It is being developed to attack and destroy a wide spectrum of static, high value targets as listed below: Storm Shadow will be integrated onto Tornado GR4/4A, Harrier GR7/T10 and Eurofighter. It will be capable of employment in all theatres of conflict, and the warhead is optimised for use against hardened targets.

The Storm Shadow missile requirement embodies the following key features:

The Storm Shadow weapon system comprises:

The Storm Shadow missile is derived from the Apache Anti Runway missile. Key elements of this proven technology have been retained for Storm Shadow, but the following major modifications are being introduced to meet the particular Storm Shadow requirements:

The missile weighs approximately 1,300 kilograms and is just over five metres long. Its maximum diameter is under one metre, and with its wings deployed, under three metres.

The first phase of the mission planning regime ensures that the missile navigates to the target with maximum survivability and then enters a robust target acquisition and terminal guidance phase. For complex and pre-determined missions, much of this data would have been pre-prepared earlier at the Command Headquarters. Following an Air Tasking Order, the Squadron would prepare the mission data file with the pre-planned data, together with the latest operational intelligence.

On approaching the terminal phase, the missile will initiate a bunt manoeuvre, pre-selected during mission planning, to obtain the best combination of acquisition probability and lethality against the target. As the missile climbs, it will jettison its nose cover, thereby enabling the missile high resolution imaging infra-red sensor to view the target area ahead.

The missile’s image processor will compare the actual image features with a reference set of features, determined during mission planning. When a feature match is achieved the target will be acquired and the required aim point selection tracked and used as the reference for the missile terminal guidance. As the missile closes in on the target the acquisition process will be repeated with a higher resolution data set to refine the aim point. Tracking will continue against this refined aim point until the precise target location is identified.

When engaging hard targets, such as Hardened Aircraft Shelters or bunkers, the missile will strike the target at the estimated optimum dive angle, selected during mission planning. On impact the detonation sequence commences. The precursor charge will perforate the target structure, and any soil covering, and the follow through penetrator warhead will continue to penetrate inside the target to be detonated after a pre-selectable fuse delay.

Should the mission be against a target with potential high collateral damage, the mission will be aborted if the target identification and acquisition process is unsuccessful. In this case the missile will fly to a predetermined crash site.

Major milestones in the future are:

The contract for the development and production of Storm Shadow was placed with Matra BAe Dynamics (UK) Ltd in February 1997 after a competitive tender exercise. This was one of the first contracts to be placed with this contractor. Matra BAe Dynamics (UK) Ltd is a subsidiary of Matra BAe Dynamics SAS, a company jointly owned by BAe plc and Lagardere SCA. Matra BAe Dynamics (France) Ltd has won the SCALP EG contract from the French Government.

The two parts of Matra BAe Dynamics act as separate Prime Contractors and hold the individual Storm Shadow and SCALP EG contracts for their respective national Governments. This has resulted in an industry collaborative programme that has undertaken certain aspects of the work normally handled by both Governments, such as the harmonisation of national requirements and the merging of national procurement methods. These aspects are exclusively carried out by Matra BAe Dynamics by a fully integrated French and UK management and engineering team. This common solution is shared by the subcontractors’ base who only have a single subcontract which embraces the joint requirements. This has resulted in a collaborative programme which is largely transparent to both Governments, and attracts little of the procurement overhead often associated with Government collaborative programmes. This approach has also had the added benefit of driving down costs and enabled both Governments to obtain more weapons for their money.


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Updated Sunday, March 21, 1999 3:51:27 PM