Russia announced on Thursday that it has obtained intact parts of a Storm Shadow missile that was brought down in the Zaporizhzhia region. This development could potentially provide Moscow with valuable insights into the British-made weapon that has been devastating Russian forces in Ukraine. According to Russian state news agency TASS, the missile, described as a “trophy,” was transported to Moscow for further analysis and examination by Russian authorities. Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of Russian space agency Roscosmos who now leads a science and technology center associated with forces deployed in Ukraine, obtained the materials, as reported by TASS.
It was alleged by Rogozin that Ukraine shelled the area surrounding the downed missile and deployed troops in order to prevent Russian forces from securing the Storm Shadow parts. However, he claimed that these attempts were swiftly suppressed. A video released on Rogozin’s Telegram channel showed Russian troops loading a vehicle with missile parts that resemble those of a Storm Shadow. Though the missile itself was damaged, its components appeared to be largely intact. It is important to note that the authenticity of the footage could not be independently verified.
Rogozin stated that Russian authorities would decipher how the missile is controlled and share this information with the Kremlin’s air defense officials. The objective is to develop countermeasures against Ukraine’s use of Storm Shadows. Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of over 155 miles and can evade detection by flying at low altitudes, were provided to Kyiv by the UK Ministry of Defense. Ukrainian forces typically launch them from Su-24 Fencer jets. The extended range of these missiles has allowed Ukraine to carry out precision strikes on important targets deep into Russian-held territory. Additionally, the onboard infrared system enables the missile to detect and identify its target with accuracy.
Both Ukraine and the UK have attested to the precision and accuracy of Storm Shadow missiles, with Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stating that the missiles have successfully struck their targets with little to no error. UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace praised the missiles for their effectiveness in delivering the payload as intended by the Ukrainians. Conversely, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has downplayed the capabilities of these missiles, referring to them as “over-hyped” and labeling them as “British scrap metal” that can be melted down and repurposed for military manufacturing. They even took a swipe at the European Commission chief by suggesting that the salvaged microchips from the missiles could be used in Russian “washing machines,” referring to a previous comment made by Ursula von der Leyen, insinuating that Russia relies on dishwasher chips to fix their weapons.
At the time of reporting, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had not responded to requests for comment. This latest development underscores the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, highlighting the technological advancements and tactical advantages each side possesses. The acquisition of intact missile parts by Russia could potentially shift the balance of power and lead to new strategies in the conflict. It remains to be seen how this development will impact the dynamics of the conflict and the future actions of both sides involved.