Germany has placed another order for Brimstone missiles manufactured by Europe’s primary missile contractor MBDA, thus closing an enduring framework agreement encompassing several thousand systems.

The closing contract is worth €376m ($402.3m) – funds that will be allocated from the German Bundeswehr’s special fund and defence budget. The package also includes training missiles, launch and test equipment, as well as tool sets and training materials.

What is Brimstone?

Brimstone is an air-to-surface missile guided by radar; they are used to attack stationary and moving targets on land and above water from the air.

They were originally intended for the UK Royal Air Force. Their first batch of missiles were in 2004 and were later deployed from British Tornado GR4 aircraft in 2005. Since then the missiles have been used in operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq.

Several European countries operate the system from the multinational Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, including Spain and Germany. GlobalData reveals that the Luftwaffe currently operate 141 Typhoon-2000 units procured and maintained between 2003 and 2021.

Brimstone is a highly versatile fire-and-forget system with applications in all domains. The missiles have been launched across a range of different platforms including Apache attack helicopters, Boxer infantry fighting vehicles and a number of uncrewed aerial systems.

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In February 2024, the UK Ministry of Defence donated 200 Brimstone anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, and the service is also pursuing its integration with a mobile land vehicle under the little-known Project Wolfram.

GlobalData intelligence indicates that MBDA Holdings SAS is anticipated to account for the highest revenue accumualtion in Europe, as much as $55.3bn over 2023–33.

The mostly widely used variant is Brimstone 2, the value for which will more than double in the forecast period from $23m to $47m according to GlobalData. Although, the latest 3A version is also beginning to see some growth.

Brimstone for German Eurofighters

Eight German and Spanish Eurofighters and 12 Tornados will take part in the international exercise, Pacific Skies 24 over the next two months.

The event is a combination of several air force exercises in which the German, French and Spanish air forces take part as European nations.

At the start of exercise Pacific Skies 24, the first Tornado fighter aircraft takes off from Nörvenich Air Base towards Alaska. Credit: German Air Force.

German Tornado jets will start to join a low-level flying exercise in Alaska. This will be the last showing of the German Tornado fleet on an international stage.

Germany’s decision to furnish its Eurofighter fleet with the proven Brimstone missile marks a transition away from the Air Force’s ageing 93-strong PA-200 Tornado fleet, acquired form as early as 1981.