Long-range missiles built in Stevenage are being given to Ukraine by the UK government.

Storm Shadow cruise missiles are built by MBDA in Stevenage, and have a range of more than 250km (155 miles).

They were developed by the UK and France in the 1990s, and are estimated to cost £2m per missile.

The missiles have previously been used by British forces in Libya in 2011, and to bomb Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

In February, Rishi Sunak announced that the UK would be sending long-range missiles to Ukraine, saying: "Together we must help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones".

The UK government then launched a tender process for bids to provide the missiles to the International Fund for Ukraine, which is run by the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Speaking in the House of Commons today (Thursday, May 11), defence secretary Ben Wallace explained that the decision to send Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine was influenced by continued Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure.

He said that: "The donation of these weapons systems gives Ukraine the best chance to defend themselves against Russia's continued brutality, especially the deliberate targeting of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, which is against international law.

"We are helping Ukrainians defend their homeland.

"Now it is about pushing back their forces, and deterring them from committing yet more crimes by holding the Russian military establishment to account for their actions."

Storm Shadow missiles are launched from the air, and Mr Wallace has said that they are compatible with the Soviet-made jets currently used by Ukraine.

READ MORE: Could a new restaurant be coming to Stevenage town centre?

In his statement to the House, Mr Wallace said that the long-range missiles "are now going into or are in the country itself".

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked for long-range missiles from Western allies.

The USA has refused to provide them, fearing that Ukraine could use long-range missiles to attack Russian territory, thus escalating the war.

But Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian defence minister, told an EU meeting earlier this year that long-range missiles would not be used to attack targets within Russia.

Kevin Bonavia, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Stevenage, said: "Our country is rightly standing in solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Putin’s aggression.

"Stevenage has a long history and expertise in being at the forefront of military defence capability, so I’m very proud that our town’s workers are making this vital contribution."

Stephen McPartland, the MP for Stevenage, has been contacted for comment.