France to deliver Scalp long-range missiles to Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday, on the first day of the NATO summit, that France would deliver long-range Scalp missiles to Ukraine. “We have decided to deliver new missiles capable of deep strikes to Ukraine”Macron said upon arriving at the summit site in Vilnius, Lithuania. “I think today what is important for us is to send a message of support for Ukraine, of NATO unity and of determination that Russia cannot, must not win this war”he added.
The Storm Shadow cruise missile, called Scalp by the French military, which is being jointly developed by the UK and France, is launched from the air. It has a range of more than 250 kilometers, more than any other weapons supplied to kyiv by Western countries. With their long range, these missiles have the ability to reach areas in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian forces.
Paris will thus follow London in its decision to provide guided air-to-surface missiles to hit fixed targets at long distances. France ruled out this possibility until now because of the risk of using the missiles on Russian territory. Scalp missiles will be delivered “by keeping the clarity, the coherence of our doctrine, that is to say allowing Ukraine to defend its territory”explained Emmanuel Macron, thus implicitly excluding any use to strike Russia.
France has some “less than 400”according to the specialist magazine Defense and International Security.