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Britain leads the way in escalating the Ukraine war with long range missiles

Robert Stevens10 May 2023 WSWS UK deepens warmongering in Ukraine with plans to supply long-range missiles

The UK is again leading the way in a massive further escalation of the NATO war against Russia.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) had issued a call to weapons manufacturers, on behalf of the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU), to supply missiles capable of striking Russian-annexed Crimea or cities deep inside Russia’s borders. Over £300 million in funding has been made available through donations from the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, plus Iceland and Lithuania.

The MoD’s notice referred to “Missiles or Rockets with a range 100-300km; land, sea or air launch” and “Payload 20-490kg”. Listed as “Desirable requirements” were: “Low Probability of Intercept (LPI); includes Mission Planning Capability; Assured navigation (with hardened Global Navigation Satellite System capability) in the face of advanced countermeasures and EM spectrum denial; Air defence penetration methods to increase probability of successful strike; Technical Readiness Level of at least 8”.

This fits the profile of the UK’s own Storm Shadow missile which has a range of in excess of 250km. Costing £2.2 million apiece, the weapon is manufactured by the UK/French/Italian arms group MBDA for the British and French armed forces. According to the Forceswebsite, the Storm Shadow was “developed primarily for stealth strikes,” is “capable of engaging the targets precisely in any weather conditions during day and night” and boasts “long-range low attitude paths combined with subsonic speed.”…………….

The Guardian reported Wednesday, “A British official, speaking anonymously, said the tender requirements were ‘rather consistent’ with the Storm Shadow.” An MoD spokesperson said that a final decision to supply Ukraine with long-range Ukraine would rest with the main five countries in the IFU.

This was just for public consumption. Everyone knows that it is Britain, acting in tandem with the United States, that will decide what gets sent. This was made clear by the statements cited in the Washington Post made by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in February in his speech to the Munich Security Conference:…………

Sunak added definitively, “The United Kingdom will be the first country to provide Ukraine with longer range weapons.”

His pledge was all but confirmed this week by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, in Washington to hold talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Atlantic Council think tank “on the United Kingdom’s role in an increasingly adversarial world.”……….

Cleverly commented, “Air defense missile systems became increasingly important over time, and in the next stage we’ll see another evolution of the support.”

Britain’s role as chief provocateur in the lead up to and during NATO’s war against Russia is a matter of record. It has also led the way in ensuring ever-more lethal military hardware has been flooded into Ukraine, with the resulting mass loss of life, both Ukrainian and Russian, not even an afterthought.

Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, told Reuters, “We would welcome it if the UK takes on a leadership role with the long-range missiles, in the same way they did with the Challenger 2 main battle tanks.”

Politico responded to the MoD’s announcement with a piece declaring, “The Biden administration has no plans to follow Britain’s lead in sending long-range missiles to Ukraine—with some officials saying the U.S. is now off the hook thanks to the U.K.’s planned delivery.”

……………………………………….. At every stage in the conflict, NATO has escalated the conflict with the supply of weaponry that US President Joe Biden himself and NATO officials had previously unconditionally ruled out. The Guardian noted, “Britain is unlikely to want to go ahead without US support, and getting to this point may have required diplomatic wrangling.”……………………………………………..


May 16, 2023 - Posted by | weapons and war

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