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U.K., France to upgrade long-range Storm Shadow missiles

By Ryan Maass
U.K., France to upgrade long-range Storm Shadow missiles
Britain and France are set to upgrade their Storm Shadow missiles. Pictured: A U.K. Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft carries two Storm Shadow missiles. U.K. Royal Air Force photo by Geoff Lee

Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Defense ministers from Britain and France inked a $183 million deal with MBDA Missile Systems to upgrade existing air-launched, long-range missiles.

Under the contract, MBDA will update the Storm Shadow missiles used by the U.K. Royal Air Force, and French armed forces. The agreement was signed by U.K. Defense Minister Harriett Baldwin and French counterpart Laurent Collet-Billon.

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"Storm Shadow is a proven and vital missile for the RAF, and this £146 million upgrade will ensure it is always ready for whenever our Armed Forces might need it to defend our way of life," Baldwin said in a press release.

The British defense ministry went on to commend France as its most vital ally in Europe, noting the two countries contribute almost half of the continent's defense spending.

"This deep-strike missile mid-life update was jointly prepared. It represents a new step in the Franco-British cooperation roadmap and strengthens the Franco-British strategic partnership in the armament field," Collet-Billon added.

The Storm Shadow is designed to engage large structures such as buildings and military facilities, and is referred to as the SCALP missile by French defense officials.

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