The next step for Brimstone 2 is a ‘Release to Service’ followed by Initial Operating Capability on the Tornado GR4.
According to the MoD, Brimstone 2 has the same heavyweight punch as its predecessor but can be launched from approximately twice as far away. Its cutting-edge seeker and more flexible guidance system means the new missile can defeat more challenging targets with greater accuracy.
Previous Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said:
“Brimstone has proven to be a key weapon in coalition operations against Daesh and these improvements, made possible through sustained Government support, build on that success.
The MOD’s £170 million investment will increase the effectiveness of UK air power and provide a significant boost to the national economy, sustaining around 250 jobs across the South West and South East.”
The improvements to the warhead and guidance system mean that Brimstone 2 can be used as an advanced ‘close support’ weapon, capable of attacking targets even more precisely. The air-to-ground missile can engage a wide range of threats, both stationary and moving, from bunkers to fast-travelling armoured vehicles.
Chief Executive Officer of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Tony Douglas, said:
“The increased reach and advanced technology of Brimstone 2 will support our Armed Forces in their future operations to protect the UK’s security and national interests.
This battle-winning weapon is being delivered to the RAF thanks to the close and effective relationships which exist between the MOD and UK industry.”
Group Captain Rich Davies, Station Commander of RAF Marham, said:
“Brimstone is the RAF’s weapon of choice in close air support operations. It is easy to use, highly accurate against static and moving targets, and allows pilots to tackle threats in a complex environment with maximum effect.
The missile, which builds on experiences using Brimstone in combat, will provide a step up in performance, giving UK pilots an advanced weapon designed for the future battlefield.”
Brimstone 2 is expected to be available for use on RAF Typhoon aircraft from 2018.