MBDA conduct first firing of BRIMSTONE 3


The Brimstone 3 missile system has successfully achieved a major milestone by completing its first firing trial at the Vidsel Trials range in Sweden, say MBDA.

Whilst enduring extreme weather conditions with temperatures below -30°C, the missile was surface launched against a pick-up truck target.

All trials objectives were fully achieved with the missile proving, through a telemetry unit, full closed loop guidance with the seeker progressing into target acquisition and track.

Russell Jamieson, Chief Engineer, said:

“The trial further proves Brimstone’s fully flexible platform approach, providing a “one missile, multiple platform” capability, for surface launch, fast jet, remotely piloted air systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land and maritime platforms, all utilising the same missile. The result really was a tremendous success, and thanks to the hard work and determination of the whole team.

Image via MBDA.

The demonstrated surface to surface capability builds on the advanced guidance and targeting abilities developed during the Brimstone programme and from hundreds of successful operational firings against targets in structures, main battle tanks/armoured vehicles, maritime vessels, trucks, fast moving and manoeuvring cars/motorbikes and individual targets in the open.

Brimstone 3 is the product of the Brimstone Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), announced in March 2018, that will provide new Brimstone missiles for the British Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory and to ‘maintain the UK’s battlefield edge into the future’.

The firm state that 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 which include the highly capable Dual Mode semi-active laser (SAL)/millimetric wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead.

The new hardware standard will also enable the addition of further capability upgrades in the future.

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captain P Wash.
captain P Wash. (@guest_456683)
2 years ago

The War on Diesels has begun.

GWM (@guest_456706)
2 years ago

This version even has an air to air mode, Swiss army knife missile.

dan (@guest_456734)
2 years ago

So it’s basically a Hellfire R and L combined?

dan (@guest_456736)
2 years ago
Reply to  dan

Looks like it’s similar to the US AGM-179 JAGM that is just now entering service. Both duel mode seekers.

Callum (@guest_456739)
2 years ago

If memory serves, MBDA tested an 8-shot launcher for ships called Sea Spear (not to be confused with the new SPEAR 3 missile going on the Lightning), essentially an anti-surface CIWS to destroy small craft and damage larger vessels.

That sounds like exactly the sort of weapon you want to combat opponents like Iran or China, who utilise large numbers of attack craft and, in the future, drone vessels. I’d argue it’s actually a more relevant weapon system than things like heavy anti-ship missiles.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full (@guest_456779)
2 years ago
Reply to  Callum

Perhaps but the maximum Brimstone range would probably allow such craft with their own potentially longer range ASM in much too close for comfort. Probably better off using ship launched SPEAR 3, if its developed, which could engage much further out. All assuming of course that Wildcat Martlet or Sea Venom aren’t being used or that the number of threats out numbers the Wildcat missile load.

Callum (@guest_456797)
2 years ago

Valid point. With a range around 4 times as long as Brimstone, SPEAR 3 would definitely be preferable.

Another similar option would be Martlet. I believe there’s a variant of DS30M cannon mount that incorporates the 7-cell launcher from a Wildcat onto the same mount (sort of like the Russian combined gun+missile CIWS). While it has a VERY short range for a surface weapon, in tight confines against swarms of boats, it would be worth its weight in gold. Another benefit to this arrangement would be commonality with the stock of missiles carried for the embarked helo.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full (@guest_456821)
2 years ago
Reply to  Callum

You’re thinking of MSI Defence Seahawk Sigma but they don’t show it on their website anymore, so presumably little interest.

Bill (@guest_456745)
2 years ago

Yes, l recall seeing a video of the ‘sea’ brimstone taking out three fast boats from a three missle launcher simultaneously. Very impressive!

Jonny (@guest_456753)
2 years ago

It looks like the missile is hitting the snow in front of the car

Steve (@guest_456760)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonny

Yeah does look like it misses the car, which is a strange video to use for a sales promo.

Spyinthesky (@guest_456764)
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Maybe it didn’t contain an explosive warhead which one presumes would be mostly irrelevant to the test and leave a clean up job but what do I know.

Spyinthesky (@guest_456762)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonny

Yes it’s a stealth missile

Rfn_Weston (@guest_456832)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonny

Maybe it would normally air burst over the target and this is inert for testing etc?

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith (@guest_457136)
2 years ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Ground is harder than the target. Missile might go straight through the pick up. HE would splash a soft target this way

Peter Elliott
Peter Elliott (@guest_456780)
2 years ago

Isn’t Spear 3 basically Brimstone with a bigger rocket motor for longer range? So the targeting functionality of Brimstone 3 is presumably already in the Spear 3 front end…?

Paul.P (@guest_456796)
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Elliott

I think Spear 3 uses a turbojet instead of a rocket – longer range but subsonic: sort of an air launched, guided V1.