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Ukraine conflict: Ukraine employing Su-24 to carry Storm Shadow, defence minister reveals

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov posted a photo on 24 May, showing a Ukrainian Air Force Su-24MR ‘Fencer' aircraft carrying a Storm Shadow missile. (Ukraine Ministry of Defence)

Ukraine is using its Sukhoi Su-24 ‘Fencer' strike aircraft to carry the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missiles recently received from the United Kingdom.

This delivery method was revealed by Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who on 24 May posted a photo of a Ukrainian Air Force Su-24 aircraft with a Storm Shadow on each of its inboard underwing pylons.

“I was glad to host [UK Defence Minister] Ben Wallace in Kyiv. We had a very meaningful discussion focused on priorities for increasing Ukraine's defence capabilities, particularly providing long-range weapons such as Storm Shadow,” Reznikov said in a tweet that included the image of the Su-24 carrying the Storm Shadow.

While it had been reported that the Su-24 was most likely the means by which the Ukrainian Air Force was employing the Storm Shadow, Reznikov's tweet provided the first official confirmation. Wallace has so far declined to answer any questions surrounding the use of the Storm Shadow in Ukraine.

Reznikov's revelation came some two weeks after Wallace announced on 11 May that the UK was donating Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine, with their first reported operational use coming in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Luhansk just days later. Wallace said that the conventional cruise missiles would enable the Ukrainian armed forces to push back Russian forces located in Ukraine. He did not say how many missiles were being donated.

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