BAE Systems has been awarded a £6.4 million contract by MBDA to design and manufacture elements of the Brimstone missile system used by the Royal Air Force.

The work which will take place at BAE Systems sites at Broad Oak in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and Hillend in Dunfermline, Fife, will secure and maintain important technical skills and capabilities in the specialised microwave sector.

“The contract to produce Brimstone 3 Receiver Assemblies will involve a microelectronic manufacturing process which combines cutting-edge tools and techniques to deliver high quality, innovative products. BAE Systems is one of the few companies in the UK which has all the capabilities to produce such highly complex microwave modules.

The 450 strong manufacturing and engineering support team that will deliver this contract is involved in the production, assembly and testing of complex microwave modules for a wide range of applications, all of which are manufactured within specially controlled manufacturing environments.”

Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems Maritime Services, said:

“Being awarded this contract is testament to the expertise of our end to end microwave electronic capability and high volume automated assembly facility. Our continued support to the programme, builds on our previous efforts in the integration of the Brimstone air-to-surface weapon for the Royal Air Force Typhoon Squadrons. The team is proven in delivering high quality, affordable products including radar decoy systems for warships, air launched anti-armour missiles and more recently the next generation of radar for the RAF Eurofighter Typhoons.”

The UK-designed Brimstone is a high-precision strike missile with an advanced dual-mode mmW/SAL seeker used by the Royal Air Force that has proven itself repeatedly in recent combat operations. This subcontract forms part of the Capability Sustainment Programme for Brimstone, which was awarded to MBDA in 2018.

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Barry Larking

Obviously, just for ‘ticking-over’. Where are the sales?

BB85

I know waiting on France, Germany and Poland to place those orders is like waiting for the second coming of Christ.

ChariotRider

Hi Barry, Actually I think it is one of the new developments of Brimstone – possible the SPEAR 3 weapon. Others who have been following the programme may be able to give a definitive response, but from a quick rumpage around wikipedia I’d say it is connected to a significantly new missile. The article above says it is Brimstone 3. My rumpaging around Wikipedia suggests that the SPEAR 3 programme is being fulfuilled by a development of Brimstone, i.e. Brimstone 3 in MBDA parlance. This weapon has some significant improvements in capability including a new turbojet motor which gives a… Read more »

Ben

Brimstone 3 and SPEAR 3 are different weapons. Brimstone 3 is just a newer version of Brimstone with mostly software-related upgrades to things like automatic target recognition and, most importantly, a surface-to-surface capability.

Spyinthesky

Surface to surface sounds interesting like the sound of that extra flexibility

BB85

MBDA is marketing it heavily towards Poland for their tank destroyer program. It looks very promising, especially if the UK could incorporate it onto something like boxer.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29679/european-missile-maker-and-polish-defense-giant-join-forces-on-new-tank-destroyer-concept

Spyinthesky

Would be a very useful upgrade to capability potentially considering the confused state of our armoured formations of late and unsure plans for their future.

Bob2

Thanks for the link bb85. 24 brimstone on a single vehicle is impressive. What’s odd is that the drawing of boxer with brimstone only shows 8 missiles.

Do you have any idea the range of the surface launched brimstone would be?

It’s disappointing the surface/ship launched brimstone is so slow to develop. It appears to be loosing potential customers to the Israeli Spike family of ATGW.

Daveyb

According to the blurb, Brimstone has a range of 40+km (25+nm) when launched from a helicopter. However, none of it states if that’s from the hover or moving. I’d expect it to be similar if its fired from the ground as the additional speed/range a helicopter can add will be negligible compared to launching from a fixed wing platform. However, if this missile is used as part of a Boxer module, it would give the Strike brigade the needed anti-armour punch plus precision attack capability against priority targets. Compared to Spear 3, it doesn’t have the range or loiter capability.… Read more »

ChariotRider

Hi Ben and BB85,

Thanks for the information. Looking at the picture of SPEAR 3 the family resemblence to Brimstone is striking, but I guess superficial.

What I do note from the link from BB85 is that the Brimstone 3 is a new build missile which is probably not surprising as we have been making signicant use of Brimstone for the last 15 to 20 years so our stocks could probably do with being replenished.

Cheers CR

Derek

This looks like a world beating missile. One missile/multiple platforms on land, Sea and air. That makes 2 missile types i/c Meteor that are leaders in their class. Get out there selling boys, girls and others who identify as salespersons. Get an export chain going for these and they can be a foundation for something great!

Paul Bestwick

Seems to me that a version of this minor modifications would fit in a SeaCeptor VLS tube. Would this be a viable option for a surface to surface missile with greater range than martlet.

Daveyb

Brimstone is shorter and fatter than SeaCeptor, so I’m not sure it can fit in the cold launch tubes? However, the CAMM-ER with the extra booster rocket is about the same diameter, so perhaps they can. There would be two possibilities that need to be resolved. Launch it purely ballistically from the tube. Launch it using the cold launch method. Include a booster rocket that can vector the missile towards the target as SeaCeptor does. The problem with 1 is that the SeaCeptor tubes are not designed to cope with the heat from a rocket engine. So would need something… Read more »