A palpable hit

The folks at MBDA Inc in the USA have kindly posted a video compilation showing the results from a series of test firings involving the Brimstone missile conducted from an MQ-9 Reaper UAV earlier this year.

We reported about the test campaign elsewhere on Flightglobal in January, and also in March – it was performed by personnel from the UK Royal Air Force and the US Big Safari project office in California, with support from industry.

As you can see from the video, each of the shots (which used a mix of telemetry- and live warhead-equipped rounds) resulted in a direct hit, despite being conducted against small vehicle targets moving at up to 70mph, and from a maximum range of 12km.

One thing’s for certain: you wouldn’t want to be the “bad guy” behind the wheel when one of these is inbound: check out how many of the slow-motion sequences show the missile impact straight through the driver’s seat.

Now the wait continues to see whether the test success will lead to either the UK or the USA taking the plunge and fully integrating Brimstone with the Reaper. A six-round installation (using a pair of the three-rail launchers shown at the start of the clip) would be a pretty potent enhancement over the type’s current load of four Hellfires and two laser-guided Paveways; the latter of which are no longer dropped by the RAF in Afghanistan.


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3 Responses to A palpable hit

  1. SgtDad 8 May, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Drones hunting drones. I knew it would come to this. There shall now develop an industry to create decoy drones operated from someone’s iPhone.

    • DensityDuck 12 May, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      “drones versus drones” has been a thing since the 1940s, when radar-cued antiaircraft batteries engaged V-1 cruise missiles.

  2. Rufus 8 May, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    This weapon will save a lot of time and fuss when employed for those politically embarrassing Cliven Bundy situations. I’m sure Harry Reid has taken note.

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