Major European Country Gives Groundbreaking Help to Ukraine

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France under the leadership of Macron, has promised to supply Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

France is only the second country to provide cruise missiles, following the UK. America possesses a greater variety and number of cruise missiles but has so far refused to provide them to Ukraine for fear of escalating the conflict.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive, launched more than a month ago, has run into stiff Russian resistance. Lacking modern jet fighters such as the F-16 and running out of air defenses, Kyiv is struggling to counter the threat of Ka-52 helicopter gunships that frequently strike Ukrainian columns and positions. Russia has increased its own production of cruise missiles in recent months and fires missile barrages at Ukrainian cities every few days.

France’s SCALP missile is quasi-identical to Britain’s Storm Shadow that Ukraine already operates. It is subsonic and air-launched, making them vulnerable to interception either prior to or following their deployment. Still, these types of cruise missiles are the only ones capable of hitting targets deep within Russian lines.

Ukraine has used the cruise missiles for hitting Russian strategic objectives, such as critical infrastructure in Crimea or major headquarters. Russia’s highest ranking casualty, a Lieutenant-General, was killed by a Storm Shadow. Ukraine has so far refrained from using the missiles inside Russia, as it had promised Britain not to do.

Cruise missiles are a major strategic weapon, operated only by top military powers. Current advances are focusing on making these weapons supersonic or even hypersonic. Both the US Navy and US Air Force are focusing on developing these key technologies, where China and Russia currently have a slight advantage in.


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