MBDA to develop ‘Brimstone 3’


A Brimstone Missile fitted to an RAF Tornado GR4. MBDA has been awarded a GBP400 million CSP contract for a new-build Brimstone variant, which will replace all legacy Brimstones in RAF service from 2022. Source: UK Ministry of Defence

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded MBDA in the United Kingdom a GBP400 million (USD565 million) contract to develop, manufacture, and deliver a new spirally developed Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP) variant of the Brimstone 2 precision-guided air-to-surface missile.

Brimstone 2 CSP retains a number of key components from the legacy Brimstone 2, including the new modular airframe, the MBDA-developed enhanced dual mode (94 Ghz Millimetric Wave [mmW] radar/ semi-active laser [SAL]) seeker, the insensitive munition (IM)-compliant Vulcan rocket motor sourced from Roxel, and the IM-compliant multi-effects warhead developed by MBDA subsidiary TDW in Germany.

“This will be a new-build missile,” Cliff Kimpton, MBDA UK market development executive – Brimstone, told Jane’s . “We will remove all material obsolescence from what we had in Brimstone 2, and we will introduce additional enhancements,” he said.

Brimstone 2 CSP augmentations include a new next-generation micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based tactical inertial measurement unit (IMU) developed by Atlantic Inertial Systems (AIS) and a new enhanced autopilot for improved precision at range.The CSP solution also includes a significant memory and processing update to future-proof the missile for additional functionalities.

The missile will also receive an improved battery, delivering an additional 30% duration. Accordingly, the maximum range that the missile can operationally work at has now been increased by more than 20%. The ranges of Brimstone 2 and CSP have not been officially disclosed.

Kimpton said that the company is now finalising the demonstration phase of the missile, with a view to begin production of the missile at the company’s new Bolton facility later this year.