MBDA is close to completing the test programme for its Brimstone air-launched anti-armour missile and expects to deliver the weapon's certificate of design to the UK Royal Air Force this month. If approved, this will clear the way for MBDA to deliver its first Brimstones from a stock of 250 rounds already manufactured for the RAF, says chief operating officer Guy Griffiths.
A recent firing demonstration using a Panavia Tornado GR4 test aircraft proved the weapon's effectiveness when fired as a three-shot salvo against numerous armoured vehicle threats, says MBDA. An extensive redevelopment of the AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missile optimised for use from fixed-wing aircraft, Brimstone will replace the RAF's current RBL755 cluster bombs. If accepted into service this month, the weapon will be 34 months late. Initial deliveries of launchers and training missiles are already complete.
MBDA is promoting the short-range Brimstone to potential export customers, with 25%of the UK launch order for the type earmarked for disposal.
CRAIG HOYLE / STEVENAGE
Source: Flight International