Tag Archives: MBDA

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.

Air defence solution

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 an air defence solution that features MBDA’s Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) iLauncher integrated with a Polish Jelcz 8×8 truck chassis.

MBDA, PGZ showcase CAMM air defence solution on Jelcz vehicle

The two parties also re-confirm the will expressed in the Strategic Partnership Agreement for Missile Technology signed 2 February 2017 between PGZ-MBDA for co-operation on missile programmes.

Based around the CAMM family of interceptors, the MBDA proposed co-operation contains a very high level of Polish content and will see extensive transfer of technology and know-how with both the missile and iLauncher being progressively built in Poland. If selected the joint PGZ-MBDA solution offers the best solution for Polish industry and sovereignty.

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «Implementation of the Narew programme by PGZ is fundamental for our future and the security of Poland. This is why we are demonstrating that there are no limitations for us in foreign co-operation. By joining our competences in communication and command systems, which are key for air defence, with our foreign partners’ missile technologies, we are ready to deliver a final product to the contracting party in a short time».

Jan Grabowski, MBDA’s Delegate in Poland, said: «This further deepening of the relationship between PGZ and MBDA is a great success for European defence co-operation. CAMM provides the Polish military and Polish industry with the best capabilities and technologies available on the world market, and the benefits of a true, European, partnership on missile technologies. Co-operation on CAMM is key to enabling deep co-operation on further missile programmes».

The CAMM family represent the latest generation of air defence technology. Utilising a next-generation active radar seeker and soft-launch technologies, CAMM is able to rapidly defeat large numbers of the most challenging modern air threats and is suitable for both land and maritime applications.

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

High-energy laser

Rheinmetall and MBDA Deutschland have agreed to collaborate in the high-energy laser effectors domain. The two companies intend to construct, integrate and test a laser demonstrator for the German Navy’s corvette K130.

Rheinmetall and MBDA to develop high-energy laser effector system for the German Navy

Capable of engaging targets at the speed of light with extreme precision and minimal collateral damage, lasers constitute a whole new dimension in defence technology. Now, for the first time ever, this capability is to be investigated under quasi-operational conditions using a demonstrator installed onboard a German corvette. The details and division of responsibilities between the two companies will be determined as soon as the performance specification is made available by the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, Germany’s military procurement agency.

Looking ahead to the joint project, Peter Heilmeier, Head of Sales and Business Development at MBDA Deutschland GmbH, notes that «cooperation between Rheinmetall and MBDA will be particularly beneficial for the Bundeswehr. Both companies will be leveraging their respective special strengths to make this German Navy project a resounding success».

Werner Krämer, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, sums up the venture as follows: «We’re going to be cooperating very closely to put the military potential of laser technology to work for the Bundeswehr, boosting its operational readiness and combat effectiveness. Compared to other countries, too, our two companies possess extraordinary capabilities. Lasers offer new tactical possibilities on land, at sea and in the air. In partnership with the German Navy, we want to press ahead with this new technology».

Missile Defense

The TLVS bidders consortium, an MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin joint venture, has submitted its proposal to the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to develop, test and deliver TLVS, Germany’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) system.

MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin Submit Proposal to Develop TLVS for Germany

The tender proposes an efficient four-phased approach that includes development, integration, testing and delivery of a fielded multi-mission system. The fielded unit will deliver new capabilities and significant performance enhancements well beyond the MEADS program and all known systems.

«A brief glance at the headlines show significant advances in adversarial threats in just the last five years, and we are operating in an environment today where those threats will likely only continue to proliferate», said Dietmar Thelen, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «Germany needs a future-proof solution that can grow with the emerging threat».

Designed to replace Germany’s aging, sectored Patriot systems designed in the late 1960s, the 2019 TLVS proposal provides protection from a broader threat spectrum with two mission-specific effectors, significantly enhanced radar capabilities for long range engagements and a new communications system to support enhanced interoperability, data fusion and cyber resilience. TLVS will be the first-ever integrated air and missile defense system able to simultaneously detect, track and intercept multiple threat sets, including medium and short-range threats with full 360-degree coverage.

«We’ve completely reimagined TLVS based on customer requirements. Our approach reduces risk, supports lower life cycle costs and enables more effective coalition operations», said Gregory Kee, managing director of the TLVS joint venture. «TLVS will allow Germany to provide regional protection as the Framework Nation for Air and Missile Defense for NATO, with a high degree of system sovereignty».

The TLVS proposal represents the beginning of a new chapter in the longstanding partnership between MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin.

With its integrated plug and fight interface, TLVS is the most advanced, networked 360° IAMD system in the world. It is the only system with the ability to adapt to evolving threats using capabilities that are tailored to the mission. TLVS will transform Germany’s defense capabilities and set an important precedent in how neighboring nations address persistent global threats for years to come.

Future Air Systems

MBDA presents for the first time its vision of the capabilities that will lie at the heart of the next generation of European air combat systems.

MBDA unveils its vision of Future Air Systems

As threats evolve and access denial strategies become ever more complex, with diversified effects combining surface-to-air and air-to-air assets in large scale, air superiority will need to be created on a local and temporary basis. Aircraft and air effectors will need to be able to enter denied areas, see threats before being seen, force hidden threats to uncover early enough to suppress them and to always react quicker than the adversary.

In these ever-faster operations, networked effectors will take an essential part in the combat «cloud», exchanging tactical information and target co-ordinates in real-time with platforms and other network nodes, in order to carry out the desired operational effects. These will also have to deploy robust survivability strategies in front of highly evolving threats. The fight will not only take place between platforms but between enemy networks, and only the most agile and adaptable will win. The engagement of these networked effectors will rely on resilience to any form of aggression (eg: Electronic Warfare, Cyber) as well as on rapid decision aids able to compute complex situations.

MBDA is a key actor able to bring answers to these significant challenges, thanks to its decades long experience in supplying armament capabilities to all Europe’s air combat platforms and to its in-depth understanding of operational and technological issues. This is evidenced by the concepts presented at Paris Air Show, which result from ongoing studies in its domestic nations, whether in cooperation or in the framework of individual national roadmaps. These concepts form a coherent set of capabilities and demonstrate that MBDA can shape innovative responses for the benefit of its customers for their Future Air System projects.

These concepts cover the whole field of key domains:

  • Deep Strike with cruise missiles using the most advanced options in order to penetrate and open breaches in the most efficient Anti Access Area Denial (A2AD) deployments in the future, for the benefit of friendly forces.
  • Tactical Strike with stand-off, networked and compact armaments, delivering precision effects but also able to saturate enemy defences thanks to pack or swarm behaviours.
  • Air-to-Air Combat with, Meteor, which today has no equivalent and will keep its lead and remain a powerful asset for next-generation fighter aircraft.
  • Self-Protection with the «Hard Kill» anti-missile system that will counter incoming missiles and so provide essential protection during «stand-in» combat, when soft-kill counter-measures and decoys are no longer sufficient. Such a system is able to reverse the balance of power against saturating defences.
  • Enablers for the penetration of adversary defences thanks to the «Remote Carriers» that deliver multiple effects, whether lethal or non-lethal, as well as new services for munitions such as intelligence, targeting, and deception of enemy sensors.

MBDA Remote Carriers are compact, stealthy, co-operate with other armaments and platforms, and can be launched from combat or transport aircraft, or surface ships. They work as capability extenders for the platforms and the armaments that they accompany.

MBDA is the only European player in the domain of complex weapons able to master all technologies needed for the development of these concepts and their operational chain:

  • Stealthy or supersonic long-range vehicles;
  • Very compact airframes and sub-systems for high loadouts, without compromising effects and connectivity performance;
  • Networking, infrared and radio frequency sensors with data fusion and artificial intelligence for automated target identification in complex environments, threat detection, complex engagements planning, and decision aids.

As it masters these essential technologies as well as all steps in the OODA (Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action) loop, from detection and localisation to damage assessment, MBDA positions itself as the architect of this decision-action chain, which will experience significant breakthroughs in concept and doctrine.

Referring to this presentation, Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, stated: «MBDA’s vision for future air armaments is exhaustive and ambitious, and we are ready to take on the challenge to deliver to our domestic nations the full sovereignty of their future air combat systems by taking part in the definition and development of the armaments that these systems will operate. MBDA has demonstrated that pulling together the best expertise in propulsion, guidance, connectivity and system integration have made Meteor the world best air-to-air missile, giving the pilots of European combat aircraft a decisive operational advantage. Thanks to its decades long culture of co-operation, MBDA will be equally able to develop the next weapons that will ensure European nations can sustain their air superiority in the long term».

First firing trial

The Brimstone 3 ultra-high precision missile system has successfully achieved a major milestone by completing its first firing trial at the Vidsel Trials range in Sweden.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years
The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years

Whilst enduring extreme weather conditions with temperatures below -30°C, the missile was surface launched against a pick-up truck target.

All trials objectives were fully achieved with the missile proving, through a telemetry unit, full closed loop guidance with the seeker progressing into target acquisition and track.

Russell Jamieson, Chief Engineer, said: «The trial further proves Brimstone’s fully flexible platform approach, providing a «one missile, multiple platform» capability, for surface launch, fast jet, Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land and maritime platforms, all utilising the same missile. The result really was a tremendous success, and thanks to the hard work and determination of the whole team».

The demonstrated surface to surface capability builds on the advanced guidance and targeting abilities developed during the Brimstone programme and from hundreds of successful operational firings against targets in structures, main battle tanks/armoured vehicles, maritime vessels, trucks, fast moving and manoeuvring cars/motorbikes and individual targets in the open.

Brimstone 3 is the product of the Brimstone Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), announced in March 2018, that will provide new Brimstone missiles for the UK Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory and to maintain the UK’s battlefield edge into the future. It will also provide the ability to fully meet current and future export supply needs.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years which include the highly capable Dual Mode Semi-Active Laser (SAL)/millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead, all combining to provide unique performance capabilities of Brimstone against the most challenging of targets. The new hardware standard will also enable the addition of further capability upgrades in the future.

Meteor and Spear

A team of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and MBDA engineers enhancing the capability of the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II aircraft by commencing work on the integration of next generation weapons.

Work starts integrating next generation Meteor and Spear onto UK F-35 Fleet
Work starts integrating next generation Meteor and Spear onto UK F-35 Fleet

BAE Systems has received an initial funding award from Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 Lightning II programme, to start integration efforts for MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and SPEAR precision surface attack missile.

Under this initial package of work BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin will also complete further integration work with MBDA on Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and with Raytheon on Paveway IV, initially integrated in support of delivering Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the UK.

Tom Fillingham, Senior Vice-President – U.S. Programmes of BAE Systems, said: «BAE Systems engineers played a crucial role in supporting the UK to achieve Initial Operating Capability for its F-35 fleet. Now, working alongside our partners including Lockheed Martin and MBDA, we are using our expertise to take that capability even further with advanced weapons systems such as Meteor and SPEAR. We are extremely proud of the critical contribution UK engineers are playing for both the UK and the global F-35 fleet through the development, production and sustainment of the aircraft».

Cliff Waldwyn, Head of Combat Air, Group Business Development of MBDA, said: «This is a significant milestone for the UK Combat Air’s capability. This initial package of work officially commences the integration of Meteor and SPEAR and will enhance the operational capability of the UK’s Lightning Force in the future; it is also a positive step for the wider F-35 enterprise as it adds additional capability choice for international customers. MBDA’s integration team have worked well with our BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin colleagues and we plan to build on this excellent foundation into the future on this follow-on modernisation work».

Last year, a pilot from 17 Squadron, the RAF’s F-35 Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California took to the skies for the first time with UK weapons, including ASRAAM and Paveway IV.

This followed work carried out during the F-35 Lightning II programme’s System Development and Demonstration (SDD) initial testing phase to develop and certify weapons capabilities by an integrated test team. This team includes Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Raytheon and MBDA, working alongside the UK Air Warfare Centre to clear weapons for Operational Testing by Royal Air Force/Royal Navy (RAF/RN) pilots.

First anti-tank UGV

MBDA and Milrem Robotics are showcasing the world’s first anti-tank Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) at IDEX 2019, the main defence industry event in the MENA region. The debut of the system’s advanced concept comes only eight months after Milrem Robotics and MBDA announced the start of feasibility studies of the system.

The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection
The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection

The joint project integrates the Milrem Robotics THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicle with the MBDA IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system fitted with two MMP 5th generation battlefield engagement missiles and a self-defence machine gun. «This combination of two of the most modern technologies in their field is a very good example how robotic warfare systems will bring disruption to the battlefield and make some traditional technologies obsolete», said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. «Our unmanned land combat system under study together with MBDA will be very efficient in keeping our troops safe and significantly increasing the capability to fight main battle tanks as well as any other ground target», Väärsi added.

The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection. The system will have a low heat and noise signature so it can stay unnoticed until completing its mission.

«Being delivered to the French Army since the end of 2017, the MMP system is now deployed by the French forces in theatre, where it replaces the Milan and Javelin missiles. With fully digitalized functions of observation, targeting, positioning and guidance, the MMP system is perfectly suited for integration on vehicles, including remotely operated ones», said Francis Bordachar, Military Advisor Land Products at MBDA.

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