Armed Conflicts
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Upgraded Ukrainian Su-24s Launch "Storm Shadow" Missiles - New NASAMS Air Defense System in Kyiv

The latest news from Ukraine is related to their military aviation, where one of the central issues is the re-equipped Su-24 frontline bomber. This military aircraft has now been designed and upgraded to carry the British 'Storm Shadow' cruise missiles.

The Su-24, also known as the Fencer, has been upgraded to take advantage of modern air-to-surface cruise missiles, particularly the 'Storm Shadow' family. This type of munition includes long-range missiles that can deliver precision strikes against targets on the ground while remaining out of range of enemy air defenses.

As to what kind of modifications have been made to incorporate the 'Storm Shadow' into the Su-24, this remains unclear. In theory, however, the process shouldn't be too complicated, with the Storm Shadow missile pre-programmed with target coordinates before flight, meaning there's no need for an interface to allow the aircraft to feeds new targeting data before launch.

This would also mean that the missile could be launched from a Su-24MR as it would not need the attack radar and laser/display system.

The modernization of the Su-24 was carried out in Ukraine and, it seems, was part of a wider plan to strengthen the country's military potential. Since the "Storm Shadow" is capable of penetrating enemy defenses, the Su-24's new capability makes it a serious threat to any target on the ground.

In any case, the Ukrainian air force gains a unique advantage with the ability to strike with "Storm Shadow" cruise missiles from the Su-24. This not only strengthens their military potential, but also creates additional threats.

Kiev will acquire by purchasing a NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system manufactured by Raytheon. Ukraine is already cooperating with NASAMS in the war against Russia. But the two systems used so far have been donated, and this is the first one purchased.

The NASAMS array to be acquired by Ukraine includes full equipment. E.g. AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar, fire distribution center (FDC), communication systems, GPS receivers and launchers.

NASAMS is considered one of the best anti-aircraft missile systems in the world. At the end of last year, the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Austin, announced that the armed forces of Ukraine are already using the delivered NASAMS systems and "have a 100% success rate."

Washington has promised to deliver a total of eight NASAMS systems to Ukraine. The remaining six will be delivered over the next 12 to 24 months. They will be part of Ukraine's future strategic anti-aircraft missile system.

NASAMS is Norway's national air defense system. Its range is medium and it is designed to deal with drones, helicopters and all types of fighter aircraft.

Currently, nine countries operate this anti-aircraft missile system and another five are in line awaiting a response to acquire it. NASAMS has an average range: between 25 and 30 km, depending on the missile used. The maximum altitude at which the rocket flies is 21 km.

NASAMS can be integrated into vehicles, turning a ground-based system into a mobile system for difficult terrain. The system can often be seen on a 6×6 chassis, but the practicality of it is that after a quick modification, it can easily be integrated into vehicles with a 4×4 chassis.

NASAMS I of the system works with 3D radar, but NASAMS II besides having Link 16, has a significant update of the radar system, which experts say is better than version 1.

it should be noted that NASAMS has a secondary armament, which serves the system crew to provide protection in close combat. Secondary integrated weapons are the RBS 70 laser beam assisted MANPADS system and the Bofors 40mm L70 gun.

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