The UK and French Ministries of Defence have jointly announced they have contracted MBDA for the mid-life refurbishment of Storm Shadow / SCALP EG cruise missiles. This will prolong the operational superiority of the weapon against the anticipated evolving threat well into next decade
This constitutes another major step in the Franco-British route map, continuing the cooperation in the deep strike domain which was initiated with the launch of the Storm Shadow / SCALP programme in 1996. The Storm Shadow / SCALP mid-life refurbishment programme will include a development phase and will be validated by a series of flight trials during 2019. The first refurbished missiles are expected to be returned to the French and UK armed [forces] by early 2020.
Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, said: “The Storm Shadow / SCALP programme is of special significance to MBDA because it launched the creation of Matra BAe Dynamics and its industrial organization subsequently served as a model for the whole MBDA group. This model today remains unique in the defence industry. It has given our customers in Europe as well as in our export markets, access at an affordable cost to operational capabilities with no equivalent in the world, such as SCALP / Storm Shadow but also Meteor and Aster missiles.”
Dave Armstrong, MBDA’s Executive Group Director Sales and Business Development and UK Managing Director, added: “This combined investment by the two countries ensures that Storm Shadow / SCALP will be maintained at its optimum level long into the future. It is also proof of the confidence given by France and UK in MBDA’s ability to carry out European Defence programmes.
Storm Shadow / SCALP is a conventionally armed, air-launched deep strike weapon designed to attack high value military targets. It is currently in operational service on the Tornado, Rafale and Mirage 2000 aircraft, with integration underway on the Eurofighter Typhoon.
To date, nearly 3,000 Storm Shadow / SCALP missiles have been delivered or are under order for nine armed forces around the world. Nearly 200 have been deployed during operations since the weapon’s entry into service in 2003.