The deal with MBDA will see Storm Shadow and France’s SCALP missiles ‘updated so they remain fit for purpose and ready for operational use’.
According to a press release, the contract will keep the missile in service for the next decade and beyond and help to sustain around 60 UK jobs.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin said:
“Storm Shadow is a proven and vital missile for the RAF, and this £146 million upgrade will ensure it is always ready for whenever our Armed Forces might need it to defend our way of life.
This contract is an important part of the Government’s £178 billion plan to ensure our armed forces have the right equipment at the right time.”
Recent enhancements include the capability to relay target information before impact, utilisation of one-way 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, utilising a two-way data link.
A press release states:
“The regeneration will consist of a midlife refurbishment of current missile parts such as the turbo-jet engine, an upgrade of the navigational system, and a like for like replacement of items such as the cabling, seals and gaskets.”
Storm Shadow will be refurbished under the Selective Precision Effects At Range 4 (SPEAR 4) missile project.
Chief Executive at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support Organisation, Tony Douglas said:
“The contract to regenerate Storm Shadow, a combat-proven, all-weather precision missile, provides a clear example of the MOD and UK industry working effectively together with our counter parts in France; providing our UK Armed Forces with the best equipment possible while sustaining dozens of UK jobs.”
Laurent Collet-Billon, Délégué Général pour l’Armement said:
“This deep-strike missile mid-life update was jointly prepared. It represents a new step in the Franco-British cooperation roadmap and strengthens the Franco-British strategic partnership in the armament field.”