The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a £400m deal to launch advanced Brimstone air-to-surface missiles from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon multi-role fighter jets.

The contract awarded to MBDA will support the Brimstone 2 capability sustainment programme (CSP), under which the company will be responsible for manufacturing missiles for the British Armed Forces.

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The CSP will help replenish the country’s inventory and extend the service life of the missiles beyond 2030.

MBDA group engineering director and MBDA UK managing director Chris Allam said: “This new investment by the UK is an endorsement of the unique and world-beating capabilities offered by Brimstone.

“The CSP contract forms the basis for the through-life sustainment and upgrade of Brimstone to 2030 and beyond.”

The programme will support the creation of approximately 130 new job opportunities, while sustaining additional 270 jobs at MBDA sites in Stevenage, Bolton, and across the company’s major UK supply chain.

“This massive £400m investment is a huge boost to the proud workforce equipping our Armed Forces and will create and protect hundreds of jobs.”

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our world-class defence industry is a key foundation on which our great military is built, and the weapons it produces like the pinpoint Brimstone missiles have been crucial in helping our fighter pilots on missions such as driving down Daesh territory in the Middle East.

“This massive £400m investment is a huge boost to the proud workforce equipping our Armed Forces and will create and protect hundreds of jobs across the country, bolstering both the power of the Typhoon jet and British prosperity.”

In 2022, the new Brimstone 2 variation, equipped with an upgraded Dual Mode SAL / millimetric wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, rocket motor, warhead and guidance system, will replace all earlier variants of the missile.

The missile will be integrated onto the Eurofighter Typhoon when the aircraft would operate as the principal ground-attack jet for the RAF next year.

The Brimstone missiles are also expected to be installed on-board the RAF’s new Protector remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and the British Army’s new Apache attack helicopters.