MBDA’s Storm Shadow is a combat proven, precision cruise missile designed to target substantial buildings and structures, such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges, which might otherwise require the deployment of several aircraft over the course of numerous missions. It is currently in service with the RAF, as well as the French and Italian air forces, and has previously proven its worth with the RAF on operations in Iraq and Libya.
The contract with MBDA to support the missile over the next 5 years will ensure regular maintenance and repair of the weapon system, keeping it in a safe condition and at a high state of readiness for deployment.
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:
“Storm Shadow is a combat-proven, all-weather precision missile system, and is also operated by some of our close NATO allies. It is a vital capability for the RAF, and this £28-million support contract will ensure it is available beyond the end of the decade.
We have committed around £95 million to support Storm Shadow since it was brought into service in 2003. This is another example of how we are using our £178 billion equipment fund and growing defence budget to deliver the best possible equipment to the armed forces.
The contract will sustain 15 jobs in the MBDA Bristol and Stevenage facilities, with further jobs secured across the supply chain. MBDA will carry out the majority of the work, while Defence Munitions, part of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation, will store the missiles and undertake some of the maintenance across the UK.
Air Marshal Julian Young, Chief of Materiel (Air) at DE&S, said:
Storm Shadow has repeatedly and successfully proven its worth in operations in Iraq and Libya. The missile is able to perform in extreme conditions, offering a highly flexible, deep strike capability based around a sophisticated mission planning system.
This contract is another milestone towards the accomplishment of the RAF’s Future Force 2020: it will maintain Storm Shadow ready for operational use and ensure the RAF has state-of-the-art capability to strike ground targets at long range.
This is the third in a series of complex weapons contracts aimed at progressively bringing the support of defence’s missiles into a single unified portfolio. The new contract will offer a more sustainable and efficient approach, based on sharing common resources.