The Royal Air Force (RAF) has successfully completed operational evaluation trials of MBDA’s Brimstone air-to-surface missile at China Lake in the US.
The missile’s effectiveness against a variety of operational scenarios was proven during a series of evaluation trials.
The trials involved 11 missile firings against very small, fast moving vehicles and complex static targets. It also included single and salvo firings, whilst laser, millimetric radar and dual mode guided modes were used, as was ground-based and third party laser designation.
The firings demonstrated the missile engagement envelope significantly increased over the in-service missile, providing a 100% increase in stand-off range, 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 over the battlefield, without the need to manoeuvre the platform to align with the target, the company said.
The new insensitive munition (IM) warhead was also demonstrated against armoured and non-armoured targets whilst bringing additional deployment benefits.
Based on the AGM-114F Hellfire missile of the US Army, Brimstone is an advanced air-to-ground radar-guided missile that can effectively strike fixed and moving ground-based targets, with height accuracy.
The fire-and-forget missile is capable of destroying long-range targets with minimal collateral damage. It can be operated in all-weather conditions during day or night.
Measuring 1.8m in length and 0.18m in diameter, the Brimstone missile has a weight of 50kg and can travel at supersonic speeds while carrying a tandem-shaped warhead.
The missile can engage a wide range of targets such as battle tanks, armoured vehicles and other fast-moving vehicles, bunkers, and naval vessels including fast-attack craft.
Image: Missiles MBDA Brimstone. Photo: courtesy of Duch.seb.