Royal Air Force strike aircraft operating against ISIS forces in Iraq have used one of the most powerful weapons in the British arsenal for the first time. Flying from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, two Tornado GR.4s launched four Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles against a weapon store housed in a reinforced bunker that harked back to the days of Saddam Hussein.
Storm Shadow is a long-range, stand-off, air-launched missile and is arguably the most advanced weapon of its kind in the world. Equipped with a powerful conventional warhead it was designed specifically to attack important hardened targets and infrastructure; a requirement that arose in the days of the Cold War. The missile can fly at high sub-sonic speeds out to a range in excess of 150 miles and is designed to have low-observability on radar.
An RAF spokesperson told the media;
Intelligence had determined that Daesh were using a large concrete bunker in western Iraq as a weapons facility. Due to the massive construction, built during the Saddam era, it was decided to use four Storm Shadow missiles against it, as the weapon has particularly good capabilities against such a challenging target. The missiles were launched on Sunday 26 June by two Tornados, all four Storm Shadows scored direct hits and penetrated deep within the bunker.