MBDA and Boeing completed the first firing of the former's Brimstone 2 air-to-surface missile from an AH-64E attack helicopter in June.
The system – which its developer calls the Future Attack Helicopter Weapon – is being marketed as the primary armament for the British Army’s future fleet of AH-64Es. Made on 13 July, the announcement about the test success came three days after then-Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed plans to purchase 50 of the rotorcraft.
Conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, the firing was performed nine months after the MoD in September 2015 funded MBDA to demonstrate the weapon. The work has been split into three phases. The first looked at the feasibility of integration, while a second element – also now completed – covered the rapid functional integration of the Brimstone 2 and its subsequent firing. A remaining third phase will see full integration, and this is now under discussion with the MoD ahead of a contract award.
MBDA will not disclose how many firings took place, or outline specific details. However, business development executive Andy Allen confirms: “There were a variety of shots of various ranges, release altitudes, release speeds, missile modes of dual semi-active laser and millimetric-wave, target types, high off-boresight shots, third-party laser designation, and for each shot there were specific shot profiles.”
A multi-platform missile, Brimstone 2 entered service with the Royal Air Force's Panavia Tornado GR4 in May 2016, and is also being integrated onto the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Source: Flight Daily News