UK backs MBDA’s BRIMSTONE missile to 2030 and beyond
The United Kingdom has awarded MBDA a £400 million contract for the capability sustainment programme (CSP) of the advanced BRIMSTONE air-to-surface missile, to extend its service life beyond 2030.
Under the CSP effort, MBDA will manufacture new BRIMSTONE missiles for the UK Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory.
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, including the highly capable Dual Mode SAL/millimetric wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead.
The effort will also include a significant memory and processing update to the missile in order to enable all of BRIMSTONE’s functionalities and to future-proof the missile. BRIMSTONE CSP will deliver the baseline hardware standard that will be evolved through software enhancements, which will result in a common stockpile of identical missiles for use on fast jets, attack helicopter and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems for the UK MoD and will enable the manufacture of BRIMSTONE to meet export orders. CSP modes will be cockpit selectable providing users with simple access to the missile’s performance capabilities against targets.
“I am delighted that the UK has chosen to proceed with the BRIMSTONE capability sustainment programme,” Chris Allam, MBDA Group Engineering Director and Managing Director of MBDA UK, 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.”
BRIMSTONE will be carried by the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter TYPHOON fighter aircraft and is expected in the future to be carried by the RAF’s new PROTECTOR RPA (RAF said early March it intends to procure 16 MQ-9B PROTECTOR RPAs from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. to replace the service branch’s current MQ-9 REAPER platform) and the British Army’s new Boeing AH-64E APACHE attack helicopters. By using BRIMSTONE across different platforms and services, the UK will receive significant logistical advantages and cost savings.