The UK Royal Air Force‘s (RAF) Tornado attack aircraft have used Storm Shadow missiles for the first time to conduct air operations in the fight against ISIS in Iraq.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Tornado GR4s used four cruise missiles against a very large concrete bunker in western Iraq on 26 June.
The Storm Shadow long-range and air-launched missile, with a range of more than 250km, can travel at a speed of Mach 0.8.
The 5.1m-long missile features a conventional warhead and can be used to attack key hardened targets and infrastructure such as buried and protected command centres.
The mission and target data is loaded into the weapon’s main computer before the aircraft leaves on its mission.
After release, the wings deploy and the weapon navigates its way to the target at low level using terrain profile matching and an integrated GPS, RAF said in a statement.
The Tornados used one Paveway IV and three Brimstone missiles to destroy four ISIS fighting positions, while the Reaper used a single GBU-12 guided bomb to destroy two more positions.
Based at RAF Akrotiri, the Typhoon FGR4s conducted close air support missions over Fallujah on 22 June. The Iraqi forces have regained control over Fallujah from the grip of ISIS.
The Typhoon jets dropped Paveway IV guided bombs on three ISIS strongpoints and also destroyed a smaller bunker, and a Reaper struck targets in the north.
Image: Armourers from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing based out of RAF Akrotiri load a Tornado GR4 with Stormshadow cruise missiles. Photo: Crown Copyright.