Tag Archives: Brimstone

Brimstone & UGV

MBDA has unveiled at DSEI 2019 how the Brimstone precision strike missile can equip Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to serve as an organic force-multiplier for the tactical commander. This development, utilising the Milrem Robotics Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) UGV, adds to Brimstone’s «One Missile, Multi-Platform» versatility.

MBDA showcases Brimstone application on Milrem Robotics’ unmanned ground vehicle

Carrying six Brimstone missiles per UGV, the development comes in response to the British Army’s «Prototype Warfare» drive, which includes a renewed need to counter massed armour formations in high-intensity warfare and to «fight differently». Such operational requirements demand long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat all-known Defensive Aid Suits (DAS), salvo-firing and moving target capability. Brimstone is uniquely able to meet these challenges.

The THeMIS is a versatile and robust unmanned system with low noise and heat signatures that can negotiate demanding terrains while keeping the operator in a safe distance.

Using digital targeting data provided by the remote operator over standard secure military networks, the system will be capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of radar and Semi-Active Laser (SAL) engagement modes.

Andy Allen, MBDA UK Head of Land Domain Sales and Business Development said: «This cassette magazine, with its high weapon loadout, is optimised to counter mass armour. Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with a flexible and mission deployed UGV such as the Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS provides the tactical commander with the capability to rapidly and remotely deliver high volumes of precision anti-armour effects, importantly in all weathers, against all known DAS and at extended ranges. This land vehicle adds to the Brimstone suite of platforms (fast jet, rotary, RPAS) and underscores its ‘One Missile, Multi-Platform’ versatility».

The modular elevating launcher has a high load-out to provide the assurance of immediate fire support for multiple targets. The integration solution will take advantage of the high off-boresight agility of the Brimstone missile to avoid the complexity of rotating turrets.

General (retd) Riho Terras, President of the Defence Division at Milrem Robotics said: «The THeMIS has proven itself as a reliable and robust vehicle in very difficult conditions, e.g. in Mali during Operation Barkhane. Combining it with the anti-armour capability of MBDA’s Brimstone shows how existing and proven systems can work seamlessly together with novel technology. It is our aim and privilege to work with strong and innovative partners on creating new warfare systems based on the THeMIS».

Integrating Brimstone to THeMIS follows on from previous work to fit the Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP, Medium-Range Missile) missile to the UGV. The two weapons offer complementary solutions for delivering organic/battery-level precision anti-armour effects at medium and extended ranges.

Tank Destroyer

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile. PGZ Companies and MBDA also signed a statement of co-operation at MSPO to confirm readiness to co-operate on offering this solution to Poland and export markets, recognising the combination of MBDA’s Brimstone missile with PGZ’s armoured vehicle expertise offers the best solution for Poland’s Tank Destroyer requirement from a military capability, sovereignty and industrial perspective.

MBDA showcases Tank Destroyer vehicle with PGZ at MSPO 2019

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «We are growing our co-operation with MBDA into new areas. We have agreed on the ways of offering those solutions in export markets. By combining our competences with the experience of our British partners, we are able to achieve a lot and deliver the most modern solutions to both Polish and allied armed forces».

Adrian Monks, MBDA Sales Director in Poland, said: «Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with the diverse range of current and future Polish platforms provides the ability to deliver rapid military capability for Poland and for wider markets, whilst strengthening our co-operation with PGZ Group on missiles».

The most important part of the Joint Statement of Co-operation is MBDAs’ declaration that Brimstone missile technology and know-how will be transferred to PGZ, with MESKO SA responsible for missile production. This co-operation is another field of the business relationship developed on the strategic co-operation between PGZ companies and MBDA.

The flexibility of the integration solution and ease of integration with the existing Polish targeting systems makes it flexible to be installed onto or within multiple Polish platforms, including those from WZM SA, HSW SA and Obrum, in any configuration and number of missiles.

The development comes in response to Poland’s requirement for a Tank Destroyer able to counter massed armour formations. With its long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat Active Protection Systems (APS), salvo-firing and moving target capability, Brimstone is uniquely able to meet this challenge.

The system is capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of engagement modes using digital targeting data provided over standard secure military networks fully interoperable with NATO.

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile

Brimstone and Protector

MBDA has received a contract for the integration of its Brimstone high-precision strike missile onto the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Protector RG Mk1 remotely piloted aircraft developed and manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI).

The Protector RG Mk1 can carry three lightweight Brimstones per weapon station, and so offers a much higher loadout than the Reaper platform it will replace
The Protector RG Mk1 can carry three lightweight Brimstones per weapon station, and so offers a much higher loadout than the Reaper platform it will replace

Brimstone and Protector RG Mk1 will provide key new capabilities to the Royal Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) force, enabling them to engage high-speed moving and manoeuvring targets (including maritime fast attack craft for the first time). The Protector RG Mk1 can carry three lightweight Brimstones per weapon station, and so offers a much higher loadout than the Reaper platform it will replace.

Integration of Brimstone onto Protector RG Mk1 (which is the weaponised version of MQ-9B SkyGuardian) follows a series of successful firing trials of Brimstone from the Reaper/Predator B aircraft in the United States that demonstrated the advancement in performance that Brimstone offers. Brimstone integration will be completed in time for the entry to service of the aircraft with the RAF.

James Allibone, MBDA’s UK Sales Director, said: «Protector RG Mk1 is the third UK air platform to benefit from the unmatched capabilities of the Brimstone missile, providing UK Armed Forces with vital operational advantages and sovereign defence capabilities. Brimstone is unique in its ability to be carried by platforms in all domains, land, sea and air, providing a common weapon that delivers both operational and cost benefits. Commonality is a key part of all MBDA’s latest systems, and is a major contributor to the £1.7 billion in savings that the partnership approach between the UK MoD and MBDA has generated».

Earlier in 2018, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UK MoD) announced a £400 million contract with MBDA for the Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP) of Brimstone missile, to build new missiles and extend this missile’s service life beyond 2030.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight 50 kg/110.2 lbs.
Length 1.8 m/5.9 feet
Diameter 180 mm/7 inch

 

Brimstone missile

A series of live firings of the MBDA Brimstone precision strike missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon have been completed successfully, adding enhanced capability to the aircraft.

Brimstone missile trials completed successfully as part of Eurofighter Typhoon enhancement programme
Brimstone missile trials completed successfully as part of Eurofighter Typhoon enhancement programme

The trials, conducted from BAE Systems’ Military Air & Information at Warton, Lancashire, UK, form part of a programme of new enhancements which will be rolled out across the Royal Air Force (RAF), ensuring Typhoon remains at the cutting edge of combat capability.

Brimstone will provide Typhoon with a low collateral, pin-point accurate air-to-surface weapon, further enhancing the aircraft’s already combat-proven swing-role performance. Planning for the next stages of work on Brimstone – including evaluation by the RAF in mid-2018 – is now underway ahead of its entry into service.

Andy Flynn, Eurofighter Capability Delivery Director, BAE Systems, said: «To complete this milestone is testament to the expertise and dedication of our people and the value of working closely with our partners. Brimstone will add a low-collateral, high precision strike capability and ensure Typhoon remains fit to meet the threats of the future for decades to come».

Brimstone is part of the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package which also includes mission system and sensor upgrades. P3E is the final part of Project Centurion – the programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities on to Typhoon for the RAF.

In total nine firings and nine jettison trials, which began in July, have been completed, with support from the UK Ministry of Defence, MBDA, QinetiQ, Eurofighter GmbH and the Eurofighter Partner Companies – Airbus and Leonardo.

The aim of the trials was to provide weapons integration clearance for operational use. They covered a range of specific release scenarios, testing at various heights, speeds, levels of G-force and in different positions on the aircraft wing and in the launcher. The nine firings have also been used to perform data analysis and models of the weapon’s performance. Further flight trials will take place in early 2018, followed by operational evaluation by the RAF.

Operational evaluation of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package with the with RAF’s 41(R) Squadron – the Test and Evaluation Squadron – at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK, is continuing and will include live firings ahead of roll out to the UK fleet. The P2E package includes MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile and the Storm Shadow deep strike stand-off air-to-surface missile.

Live firing

The first live firing of MBDA’s Brimstone air-to-surface missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon has been successfully completed as part of ongoing development work to significantly upgrade the capability of the aircraft. The trial is part of work to integrate the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package for Typhoon, which will also deliver further sensor and mission system upgrades.

Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft enhancements move forward with successful live firing of Brimstone missile
Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft enhancements move forward with successful live firing of Brimstone missile

The P3E package forms part of Project Centurion – the programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities on to Typhoon for the Royal Air Force.

The UK’s IPA (Instrumented Production Aircraft) 6 Typhoon conducted the firing with support from the UK Ministry of Defence, MBDA, QinetiQ, Eurofighter GmbH and the Eurofighter Partner Companies – Airbus and Leonardo. It was designed to test the separation of the low-collateral, high-precision Brimstone weapon when it is released. In total, nine firings will take place to expand the launch and range capabilities.

The initial firing follows completion of a series of around 40 flight trials earlier this year, some of them conducted alongside pilots from the Royal Air Force’s 41(R) Squadron – the Test and Evaluation Squadron – in a Combined Test Team approach.

Volker Paltzo, CEO for Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said: «The successful completion of this trial is an important step towards integration of the weapon on to the aircraft. Brimstone will provide the Typhoon pilot with the ability to precisely attack fast-moving targets at range, further enhancing the aircraft’s already highly potent air-to-surface capabilities».

Andy Flynn, BAE Systems Eurofighter Capability Delivery Director, added: «Through the dedicated work of our teams, and with support from our partners, we have been able to reach this milestone in a short space of time. We will now continue to work alongside the Royal Air Force and our partner companies in a joint approach to ensure we successfully deliver this package of enhancements into service».

Andy Bradford, MBDA Director of Typhoon Integration, said: «This first firing is a major milestone for both the Brimstone and Typhoon programmes. Together Brimstone and Typhoon will provide the Royal Air Force and other Eurofighter nations with a world-beating strike capability to beyond 2040».

The successful trial follows completion earlier this year of the flight trials programme for the MBDA Storm Shadow deep strike air-to-surface weapon and the MBDA Meteor ‘beyond visual range’ air-to-air missile. Operational testing and evaluation of those capabilities is currently ongoing with the Royal Air Force ahead of entry into service in 2018.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight 50 kg/110.2 lbs
Length 1.8 m/5.9 feet
Diameter 180 mm/7 inches
Guidance Millimetric Wave Radar and Semi-Active Laser
Warhead Tandem Shaped Charge

 

Brimstone for RPAS

MBDA’s Brimstone precision strike missile is being planned as the UK’s guided missile solution for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Protector Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) programme. If confirmed, the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Certifiable Predator B will enter service with the British weapon.

MBDA’s Brimstone missile planned for RAF’S Protector RPAS
MBDA’s Brimstone missile planned for RAF’S Protector RPAS

The integration plan is included as part of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Main Gate selection of the aircraft and, if agreed, the missile will be integrated and fielded in line with the Platform’s introduction to service.

MBDA will now work together with UK MoD, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and GA-ASI towards a programme which would see the missile undergo integration onto the Air System with trials and firings towards the end of the decade. The missile has already successfully completed a series of trial firings on MQ-9 Reaper during early 2014 that saw the weapon engaging 70 mph/113 km/h and maneuvering targets with extreme precision from the RPAS; unmatched by any other weapon since.

The missile promises to arm Protector with the ability to strike fast moving, maneuvering targets with both man in the loop post launch guidance and also autonomous post launch all weather capabilities. This confirms that the missile is a true multiplatform weapon that can operate across fast jets, RPAS and, most recently, helicopters. A number of further enhanced capabilities are planned to be developed and incorporated into the solutions for Protector, AH-64E and Typhoon, demonstrating MBDA’s commitment to spirally evolve the weapon to meet changing customer needs and adapting to new threats.

The UK Sales & Business Development Director, James Allibone, highlighted the significance of the news saying, «Brimstone offers customers the ability to have one missile that can operate across their fleet of operational aircraft, whether they are jets, RPAS or helicopters. One missile for all platforms means customers benefit from simplified and more efficient training, logistics and inventory management as well as Brimstone’s outstanding precision against the most challenging of targets».

 

Missile Characteristics

Weight 110 lbs/50 kg
Length 5.9 feet/1.8 m
Diameter 7 inches/180 mm
Guidance Millimetric Wave Radar and Semi-Active Laser
Warhead Tandem Shaped Charge

 

Brimstone final trials

The Brimstone air-to-surface missile developed by MBDA has successfully undertaken challenging operational evaluation trials by the Royal Air Force (RAF) that confirm the performance of the missile’s latest technical enhancements. This was achieved during February 2016 at China Lake in the USA as the culmination of a programme to advance the operational edge this highly capable missile brings. Brimstone has a record of approximately 500 missile firings with a very high success rate since its entry into service.

Brimstones’s wide range of target types includes: fast moving vehicles, tanks and armoured cars, bunkers, as well as naval vessels including swarming and individual Fast In-shore Attack Craft (FIAC)
Brimstones’s wide range of target types includes: fast moving vehicles, tanks and armoured cars, bunkers, as well as naval vessels including swarming and individual Fast In-shore Attack Craft (FIAC)

The operational evaluation trials involved 11 missile firings, including at the edge of the weapon system’s performance envelope. The trials were conducted against a variety of operational scenarios with precise hits on very small, fast moving vehicles and against complex static targets. The trials included single and salvo firings, whilst laser, millimetric radar and dual mode guided modes were used, as was ground-based, third party laser designation.

The trials demonstrated the missile engagement envelope is significantly increased over the in-service missile, providing a 100% increase in stand-off range (based on MBDA modelling and release ranges of the in-service missile), and a significantly increased ability to engage targets at high off-bore sight angles. This improves the ability to fire from a launch platform performing a Close Air Support (CAS) flying pattern («wheel») over the battlefield, without the need to manoeuvre the platform to align with the target.

The firings also successfully demonstrated the new Insensitive Munition (IM) warhead, against armoured and non-armoured targets whilst bringing additional deployment benefits.

The RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon will benefit first from this enhanced capability, with an integration programme underway for 2018. Separate activities are being conducted for Brimstone’s potential use on the UK’s Future Attack Helicopter and Protector Remotely-Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight 50 kg/110.2 lbs
Length 1.8 m/5.9 feet
Diameter 180 mm/7 inches
Guidance Millimetric Wave Radar and Semi-Active Laser
Warhead Tandem Shaped Charge
The system can be operated in three separate modes, each providing the user with flexibility and high confidence in mission success
The system can be operated in three separate modes, each providing the user with flexibility and high confidence in mission success