MBDA’s Brim­stone mis­sile hits very fast tar­gets


n early Oc­to­ber MBDA demon­strated sig­nif­i­cant progress on the Brim­stone 2 de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme with a se­ries of suc­cess­ful fir­ings aimed at prov­ing the per­for­mance of the lat­est guid­ance sys­tem up­grades be­ing added to Brim­stone via the UK MoD Brim­stone 2 pro­gramme.

The tri­als in­volved fir­ing five mis­siles at a se­ries of tar­gets mov­ing at up to and in­clud­ing 70 mph, from a va­ri­ety of launch con­di­tions in­clud­ing long range and high off-bore­sight and against tar­gets tran­sit­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive clut­tered road en­vi­ron­ments. Ev­ery shot achieved a di­rect hit on the tar­get.

The Brim­stone 2 pro­gramme builds on the world class com­bat proven Dual Mode Brim­stone ca­pa­bil­ity, pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mance en­hance­ments in­clud­ing:

– A sub­stan­tial en­gage­ment en­ve­lope in­crease (>200 per cent in­crease in off bore­sight and max­i­mum range ca­pa­bil­i­ties)

– En­hanced laser and dual mode per­for­mance against a range of static, fast mov­ing and ma­noeu­vring tar­gets at very long ranges against sig­nif­i­cantly lower re­flec­tiv­ity tar­gets in highly clut­tered en­vi­ron­ments

– In­creased ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity both for re­lease from fast mov­ing and ma­noeu­vring plat­forms and to in­crease fur­ther the per­for­mance against highly dy­namic tar­gets in the end game

All five mis­siles were fit­ted with a teleme­try sys­tem in lieu of a war­head to pro­vide the nec­es­sary per­for­mance ev­i­dence for the guid­ance chain.

The teleme­try sys­tem con­firmed that each mis­sile per­formed per­fectly through­out. Each mis­sile flew the op­ti­mum tra­jec­tory, im­me­di­ately ac­quir­ing the laser re­turns con­firm­ing the en­hanced long range laser per­for­mance, fused and cor­re­lated the laser and MMW RF radar tar­get tracks and then used the MMW radar to en­sure no es­cape and a di­rect hit.

Brim­stone demon­strated its pre­ci­sion and low col­lat­eral ca­pa­bil­ity against a range of ar­moured, non-ar­moured, static and fast mov­ing and ma­noeu­vring tar­gets in sup­port of RAF op­er­a­tions in Libya and con­tin­ues to do so in Afghanistan.

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