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France delivers first batch of SCALP long-range missiles to Ukraine: Ambassador

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Ukraine has received the first batch of the French SCALP long-range cruise missiles, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Paris, Vadym Omelchenko, said on Tuesday.

“We already have all the SCALP missiles that the French promised to provide as part of the first batch. This batch was a trial, the shells proved themselves well,” Omelchenko said in an interview with the Ukrainian media outlet Left Bank.


He added: “There will be SCALPs, the supply will continue. The main issue with these deliveries is their pace, and the French are doing very well here.”

The SCALP missile “is the air-launched long range, conventionally armed, deep strike weapon, designed to meet the demanding requirements of pre-planned attacks against high value fixed or stationary targets,” according to the manufacturer MBDA.

It is “able to be operated in extreme conditions, the weapon offers operators a highly flexible, deep-strike capability based around a sophisticated mission planning system.” It has a range exceeding 250 km. Additionally, “after launch, the weapon descends to terrain hugging altitude to avoid detection. On approaching the target, its onboard infrared seeker matches the target image with the stored picture to ensure a precision strike and minimal collateral damage.”

Ukraine has long argued for strong air defenses to protect against Russian aerial assaults and be capable to return fire. Last week, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine’s defenses were not yet capable of protecting its whole territory against Russian attacks.

Zelenskyy has called on allies to provide long-range missiles, requesting the US Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and the German Taurus cruise missiles.

The ambassador also highlighted the possibility of France supplying new SAMP/T batteries. “I think we’re seeing good prospects. All parties understand that these systems should be delivered to Ukraine as soon as possible.”

The SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain) is a French land-based air defense system designed and produced by Eurosam. According to the manufacturer, SAMP/T “is designed to protect armed forces and sensitive civil or military sites but also to become a strategic system. It is a game changer with its ability to guarantee air sovereignty, to counter all types of threats simultaneously including supersonic and ballistic missiles and to allow implementation of new operational concepts as advanced A2/AD (Anti-Access / Area Denial).”

Additionally, SAMP/T provides 360-degree protection, detect further than 350 km and intercept beyond 150 km air-breathing targets, detect and intercept maneuvering ballistic missile of range beyond 600 km, and deploy quickly with a limited number of personnel, integrate easily in an air-defense network and being employed intensively with limited support.

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