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4 juin 2015 4 04 /06 /juin /2015 12:50
Typhoon in mutil-role fit with Brimstone missile and Paveway IV

Typhoon in mutil-role fit with Brimstone missile and Paveway IV


May 29, 2015 by Think Defence


Getting ready for Tornado out of service and continued evolution of the aircraft with Brimstone, Storm Shadow, Paveway IV, Meteor and E-Scan radar, the Typhoon continues to grow, at a glacial pace perhaps but slow and steady is not always a bad thing.


The MoD has let a £1.7m contract to BAE to research a common weapon launcher for Typhoon that can be used to carry multiple weapons on a single hardpoint, much like the existing Brimstone launcher but also to include other weapons, principally, Meteor Paveway IV and a future SPEAR Cap 3.


In the delicate balancing act between Typhoon and F35B (and beyond) I have started to think for a while we need to get behind Typhoon and reconsider our Tranche 3 commitment.

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3 juin 2015 3 03 /06 /juin /2015 16:30
RAF strike on ISIL vehicle in Iraq May 27

29 mai 2015 by Defence HQ


On Wednesday 27 May, Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri flew in support of Kurdish peshmerga attacks on terrorists in northern Iraq. An armed pick-up truck was spotted, partly concealed under trees, and destroyed with a Brimstone missile.

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27 mars 2015 5 27 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
MBDA Dual Mode Brimstone Missile Close Air Support

26 mars 2015 MBDA Inc

MBDA Dual Mode Brimstone Missile Close Air Support

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27 mars 2015 5 27 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Brimstone Missile- Rapid SALVO Fire

26 mars 2015 MBDA Inc


MBDA Dual Mode Brimstone Missile Salvo Fire from Tornado GR4 and stationary platform against swarming boats or fast in-shore attack craft (FIAC)

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Brimstone offer to USA a test case for Europe, says MBDA


17 Mar 2015 By: Craig Hoyle - FG


European guided weapons specialist MBDA is waiting on a decision from the US government on whether to acquire its Brimstone air-to-surface missile, with the company’s chief executive warning that a rejection of its offer will call into question the openness of Washington’s defence acquisition policy.

Speaking about the company’s inability so far to meet growth targets for its MBDA Inc unit in the USA, Antoine Bouvier says: “The most significant opportunity we could have short-term is the Brimstone, for some US customers.”

A UK-developed weapon capable of striking moving ground targets in all weather conditions from fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned air vehicles, the dual-mode seeker-equipped Brimstone early last year completed a bilateral firing campaign from a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper in the USA. A potential order for the missile has also been the subject of discussions between British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama, industry sources confirm.


Read more

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2 mars 2015 1 02 /03 /mars /2015 17:30
RAF Strike on ISIL 27 February

2 mars 2015 defenceheadquarters


In the early hours of Friday 27 February, an RAF Tornado GR4 patrol conducted reconnaissance to the north-west of Haditha. An ISIL armoured personnel carrier was located, and destroyed with a Brimstone missile.

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12 décembre 2014 5 12 /12 /décembre /2014 17:50
Brimstone on Typhoon - photo BAE Systems

Brimstone on Typhoon - photo BAE Systems


12 December 2014 BAE Systems


We have completed the first full trial installation of MBDA’s Brimstone missile onto a Typhoon aircraft.


The trial fit is an important milestone in demonstrating the integration of the missile with the aircraft and follows the successful completion of an initial £5M study contract awarded to us by the UK’s Ministry of Defence earlier this year.  The trials are helping to pave the way for Brimstone 2 integration for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) by 2018. 


Six Brimstone missiles were fitted to the aircraft, each wing carrying a launcher with three missiles. Training missiles were used for the purposes of the trial and demonstrated that the weapon can be fitted to the aircraft.  The aircraft was also fitted with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, showing the baseline Phase 3 Enhancements Air-to-Surface configuration which will provide RAF Typhoon operators with a multi-role platform capable of addressing a wide range of target sets and delivering a variety of proportional precision weapon effects.


Andy Blythe, Test Pilot said “Brimstone is an extremely flexible combat low collateral damage missile which was proven on the Tornado GR4.  Brimstone 2 is the next iteration of the weapon and building on its previous successes, will undoubtedly provide the RAF with a potent capability. When the system is paired with Typhoon and Paveway IV, the aircraft will be able to engage a huge cross section of potential targets.”


The current Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone which Brimstone 2 replaces is effective against the most challenging, high speed and manoeuvring targets over land and sea. As a low collateral, close air support weapon it is already combat proven by the RAF in Afghanistan, Libya and most recently in Iraq on the Tornado GR4.


Fitting of the Brimstone missile comes in a year that has seen progress across a range of programmes for Typhoon.  The UK RAF are now operating the most advanced Typhoon to date with the latest Phase 1 Enhancement package now in operation.  This upgrade delivers true simultaneous swing-role capability to Typhoon.


Progress is also being made across a number of weapons programmes including the award of a full integration contract for the Storm Shadow weapon and further trials to fully integrate the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air missile.  In addition an EUR1bn contract to develop and fit the Captor E-Scan radar was signed on 19 November which will give Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft.  

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17 novembre 2014 1 17 /11 /novembre /2014 13:30
Air strikes in Iraq (updated: 17 Nov. 2014)


Last updated: 17 November 2014 , Ministry of Defence


British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.


Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornados and Reapers, operating as part of the international coalition in support of the Iraqi Government, have conducted further strikes against ISIL.


On Thursday evening, Kurdish peshmerga reported coming under fire from a dug-in machine-gun position. An RAF Reaper remotely piloted air system succeeded in locating the ISIL position, and attacked it with a Hellfire missile. The crew operating the Reaper then identified further ISIL positions, allowing another coalition aircraft to conduct an attack.


Before the end of its patrol, the Reaper crew used another Hellfire to engage an ISIL checkpoint set up to control a road.


Elsewhere in Iraq, another Reaper, investigating reported ISIL activity in response to advancing Iraqi forces, identified terrorists boarding a truck. Despite the vehicle moving off at high speed, the Reaper crew were able to hit it with a Hellfire.


And on Saturday night, Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over western and northern Iraq, supported by a Voyager refuelling tanker. In the western desert, they were tasked to strike an ISIL communications vehicle, which coalition forces had previously identified. A single Brimstone missile was used to conduct an attack.


Later in the patrol, the Tornados were called north to the Mosul area to support Kurdish peshmerga who were under fire from ISIL heavy weapons. Paveway precision guided bombs were used to hit a mortar and firing positions, as well as a bulldozer which the terrorists were using to construct defences against the peshmerga’s advance.


In northern Iraq, a British army team continues to provide training to the peshmerga as part of a wider programme of training and assistance provided by the international community to both the Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces.


RAF transport aircraft provide logistic support, having delivered numerous deliveries of humanitarian aid and military equipment from both the UK and on behalf of other Coalition partners.


13 November - last night a RAF Reaper RPAS was involved in a coalition air strike in the Kirkuk region. The Reaper had been tasked to conduct reconnaissance in an area where Iraqi forces had encountered ISIL fighters. The operators were able to use the Reaper’s advanced systems to identify a number of ISIL positions, enabling another coalition aircraft to attack a command post, bunker, observation post and 2 armed pick-up trucks. They then identified a further 3 positions, and, having carefully checked the area, conducted attacks using the Reaper’s own Hellfire missiles. Initial analysis indicates that the attacks were successful. Other RAF aircraft also continue to fly missions over Iraq, including Tornado GR4s in the armed reconnaissance role, and surveillance, tanker and transport aircraft. A British Army team remains in Erbil, providing training assistance requested by the Kurdish peshmerga.


10 November - saw the first air strike by a RAF Reaper RPAS. A series of coalition missions were conducted near Bayji, north of Baghdad, where ISIL terrorists were laying improvised explosive devices. The Reaper, using procedures identical to those of manned aircraft, successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile. In addition, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s used a Brimstone missile to successfully destroy a shipping container used by the terrorists to store equipment near Al Anbar, west of Baghdad.

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17 novembre 2014 1 17 /11 /novembre /2014 12:30
RAF Tornado strike against an ISIL vehicle

17 nov. 2014 Defence HQ


Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over western and northern Iraq this weekend. In the western desert, they were tasked to strike an ISIL communications vehicle, which Coalition forces had previously identified. A single Brimstone missile was used to conduct an attack.

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8 octobre 2014 3 08 /10 /octobre /2014 13:30
RAF Tornados' air strikes in Iraq

RAF Tornado GR4's departing RAF Akrotiri Cyprus in support of OP SHADER - photo RAF


08 October 2014 Royal Air Force


Tornado GR4 aircraft have completed another round of air strikes in Iraq overnight.


The Royal Air Force aircraft have flown further missions to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

Last night, 2 Tornado GR4s were tasked to support the Iraqi Army. Brimstone missiles and Paveway IV guided bombs were used to conduct a successful precision attack on ISIL terrorists who were firing on Iraqi troops from a stronghold near Ramadi.

Last night’s air strike was the latest in a series of strikes as part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi government in the fight against ISIL.

RAF Tornados' air strikes in Iraq
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1 octobre 2014 3 01 /10 /octobre /2014 11:30
Footage of a strike on an ISIL armed pick-up truck, using a Brimstone missile.

1 oct. 2014 Royal Air Force


As announced by the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft were in action over Iraq this afternoon, 30 September 2014, as part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi Government in the fight against ISIL.

In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, two Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq who were under attack from ISIL terrorists.

This footage shows a Brimstone missile strike on an ISIL armed pick-up truck in Iraq.

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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
700 HP Speedboat Can't Outrun the Brimstone Missile



16.07.2014 by MBDAInc


A Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4 jet aircraft attacked a remotely-controlled 40ft Fast in-Shore Attack Craft (FIAC) powered by twin 350hp engines. Two successful shots were taken, one with a telemetry Dual Mode Brimstone missile (non-warhead, data-gathering missile), and one with an operational Dual Mode Brimstone missile. Both missiles were fitted with MBDA Inc's latest anti-FIAC software upgrades which optimized the missile for the unique challenges of maritime engagements.

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 07:20
photo Big Safari

photo Big Safari

2 mai 2014 MBDAInc·


In testing conducted at the US Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, CA from December 2013 - January 2014, a Brimstone-equipped MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) scored nine direct hits against stationary and maneuvering targets traveling at speeds as fast as 70 MPH, while launching from up to 7 miles away at altitudes as high as 20,000 feet - realistic "middle of the envelope" shot profiles.

These tests demonstrate how Brimstone's dual mode Semi-Active Laser and Active mmW radar seekers work in tandem to ensure direct hits, even against high speed and maneuvering targets.

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26 mars 2014 3 26 /03 /mars /2014 13:20
MBDA conducts Brimstone live fire trials from MQ-9 Reaper

A Dual Mode Brimstone missile intercepting a 70mph target. Photo Big Safari 2014.


26 March 2014 airforce-technology.com


MBDA has successfully conducted live-firing of its Dual Mode Brimstone air-to-surface missile from the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, US.


The trials were undertaken on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence by the Royal Air Force's Air Warfare Centre Unmanned Air Systems Test and Evaluation Squadron, Defence Equipment & Support Weapons Operating Centre, US Air Force's BIG SAFARI Organisation, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and MBDA.


During the trials, the Dual Mode BRIMSTONE missile scored nine direct hits against a range of targets, including very high speed and manoeuvring vehicles during the trials.


Engagements were conducted against static, accelerating, weaving, fast and very fast vehicle targets, of which two more challenging scenarios were against trucks travelling at 70mph in a crossing target scenario.


The trials met all of the RAF's primary and secondary objectives, demonstrating the integration functionality implemented, safe carriage, safe release, system targeting and end game performance, while gathering data to support optimisation and clearance activities.


The testing started with captive carry of avionics and environmental data gathering missiles, followed by a series of live operational missile and inert telemetry missile firings, from realistic 'middle of the envelope' profiles, typically 20,000ft release altitude and 7km-12km plan range.


The tracking and designation of targets were conducted in a mixture of auto-track and manual-track modes, the latter in some situations to demonstrate how the integrated semi-active laser (SAL) and active MMW radar seeker worked in tandem, even while tracking and designating targets manually over SATCOM.


The testing, along with ongoing and contracted RAF trials against maritime fast inshore attack craft, further broadens the missile's ability to deliver a true multi-role and multi-platform land/maritime attack capability for fast jets, RPA, multi-mission and maritime patrol aircraft, rotary wing platforms and surface platforms.


Brimstone already demonstrated its ability to engage high off-boresight, targets travelling at up to 70mph, while operating from Tornado GR4 aircarft in October 2013.

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24 mars 2014 1 24 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
Six missiles Brimstone de MBDA sur un drone MQ-9 Reaper.  photo Big Safari

Six missiles Brimstone de MBDA sur un drone MQ-9 Reaper. photo Big Safari


22/03/2014 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr


Le missilier s'attaque au marché de l'armement des drones où il était jusqu'ici quasiment absent. MBDA maîtrise la capacité de tirer un missile air-sol Brimstone à partir d'un drone américain MQ-9 Reaper fabriqué par General Atomics.


MBDA peut désormais monter à bord des drones américains MQ-9 Reaper. Le missilier européen a obtenu son brevet pour pouvoir tirer le missile Brimstone à partir du drone MALE (Moyenne Altitude Longue Endurance) américain. Ce qui va lui permettre de s'attaquer au marché de l'armement des drones aux Etats-Unis, un des rares pays à autoriser des frappes à partir de ces plates-formes aériennes pilotées à distance. Pour autant, il existe aux Etats-Unis un débat moral qui s'amplifie sur ce type d'armes, qui occasionnent souvent des dommages collatéraux. Soit en moyenne d'un tiers à deux tiers des tirs.

Au cours d'essais qui ont été conduits entre décembre 2013 et janvier 2014 sur une base navale américaine pour le compte du ministère de la Défense britannique (MoD), MBDA a réussi neuf tirs du missile air-sol Brimstone sur les neuf effectués contre des cibles, dont certaines roulaient à très grande vitesse, dans un scénario de hauts dommages collatéraux, a annoncé vendredi le missilier dans un communiqué.


Réduction des risques de dommages collatéraux

Selon MBDA, le Brimstone, à bord du MQ-9 Reaper, a fait la preuve qu'il pouvait "réduire les risques de dommages collatéraux" et démontrer "la létalité avec un seul tir contre des cibles évoluant à grande vitesse sur terre, mer et dans un environnement complexe". Ce qui n'est pas toujours le cas avec le missile américain Hellfire de Lockheed Martin coupable régulièrement de dommages collatéraux.

Des tirs qui ont été effectués à plus de 6.000 mètres d'altitude (20.000 pieds) et entre 7 et 12 kilomètres de distance de la cible. Tous les objectifs prioritaires et secondaires de la Royal Air Force (RAF), l'armée de l'air britannique, ont été atteints, a assuré le missilier. ces essais se sont déroulés en partenariat notamment avec l'industriel américain General Atomics, qui fabrique le MQ-9 Reaper.


MBDA veut se faire une place dans l'armement des drones

Par le passé, MBDA a déjà équipé les drones Hunter de l'US Army, armés du missile Viper Strike, une activité rachetée en 2011 à l'américain Northrop Grumman. En outre, le missilier va développer pour 2030 un système d'armes qui équipera à terme les drones. C'est le programme de recherche Vigilus (en français "regarder")...

Ce système est "un ensemble d'armes de frappe futures pour drones, avait expliqué MBDA dans un communiqué publié lors du salon aéronautique de Farnborough en juillet 2012. Il est conçu pour doter les drones du champ de bataille d'une capacité d'appui aérien rapproché révolutionnaire".

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18 février 2014 2 18 /02 /février /2014 12:50
Brimstone missile picture MBDA

Brimstone missile picture MBDA


February 14, 2014 Peter Westmacott * - defenseone.com


During the Second World War, the U.S. gave Britain some aging destroyers in exchange for the use of British bases overseas. When the first American ships arrived, Winston Churchill went to inspect them, along with Franklin Roosevelt’s right-hand man, Harry Hopkins. When he saw the ships, Churchill muttered under his breath: “Cheap and nasty.”

Hopkins heard him and, somewhat taken aback, asked what he meant. “Cheap for us,” the prime minister said. “And nasty for them!”

Destroyers for Bases was soon succeeded by the much broader and more effective Lend Lease program. Since then, we have shared intelligence, equipment and expertise more and more closely.

At a test facility in California, the U.S. military has just finished testing a British-designed missile, the Dual-Mode Brimstone. The tests successfully proved that the Brimstone is compatible with one of America’s main unmanned aerial vehicles, the Reaper, and is a more accurate weapon than anything comparable on the market.

It makes sense to buy equipment that your allies have already developed, rather than invest millions or billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to duplicate what’s already available. This more cost-effective approach to procurement is especially important when budgets are tight.  I’m tempted to say it’s not rocket science—but in this case that’s not strictly true!

It’s an approach that’s worked well for the United Kingdom. For example, we have invested in C-17 transport aircraft, made in the U.S. by Boeing, in Boeing’s Chinook and Apache helicopters, and of course in Lockheed Martin’s F-35. I hope the U.S. will consider doing likewise with the Brimstone, and with other world-class products like BAE’s Hawk trainer jet.

Defense cooperation of a slightly different sort was on the agenda when I spoke recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The panellists came at the issue from different angles, but they all shared a determination that the U.S. and its allies should work more closely together, both on and off the battlefield.

As you might expect, Britain and America lead the way. We have cooperated for decades to improve the effectiveness of our nuclear deterrents. The intelligence we share proves it’s worth every day in military operations and in our efforts against terrorism. And we are planning to take our cooperation even further.

In November 2013, for example, the U.K. received its first U.S.-built Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft. Eventually, we will run three; the United States will run 17. All 20 have been built to a common standard, so they can be used interchangeably to provide support to British and American troops whenever they operate together. We will also share training, maintenance and facilities.

New technology is changing the face of warfare. In the future, air missions will increasingly be remotely piloted, and battles will increasingly have a space or cyber component. With these emerging technologies, we have a golden opportunity to build cooperation into our strategies right from the beginning—an opportunity we should be sure to take.

We look forward to September, when the U.K. will host the 2014 NATO Summit in South Wales. Cooperation between NATO nations—including, of course, its European members—is in everyone’s best interests.  We’ll make sure it’s at the top of the agenda in September.


* Peter Westmacott is the British Ambassador to the United States. Full Bio

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 13:50
Brimstone missile picture MBDA

Brimstone missile picture MBDA


19 November 2013 airforce-technology.com


MBDA has received a multi-million pound contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the supply of an additional batch of Brimstone air-to-surface missiles.


Announced at the ongoing 2013 Dubai Air Show, the £35m contract is designed to guarantee Brimstone supply for the next five years in order to help sustain the Royal Air Force's (RAF) stockpile.


The missiles are scheduled to be manufactured and assembled by MBDA at its facilities in Bedfordshire and Bolton, UK, securing 20 specialist jobs.


UK Defence Equipment, Support and Technology minister Philip Dunne said the missiles have continued to prove their effectiveness on operations, and are key to protecting the UK forces in Afghanistan.


''This contract will ensure our Brimstone missiles are fully primed for use with the RAF for years to come,'' Dunne said.


MoD Defence Equipment and Support organisation Weapons Operating Centre Engineering head air commodore Mike Quigley said: ''Brimstone plays a vital part in our modern and sophisticated arsenal of precision strike weapons and securing this contract means a consistent delivery of weapons to the RAF as and when they are needed.''


The dual mode Brimstone is a long-range, anti-armour missile, designed to attack and destroy a wide range of static and mobile targets, such as tanks and armoured vehicles in difficult urban environments with minimum collateral damage.


Equipped with a millimetric wave radar and laser seeker combined with a small warhead for enhanced accuracy, the missile entered operational service as an urgent operational requirement (UOR) onboard RAF Tornado GR4 fighters in Afghanistan, in 2008.


Extensively used during Operation Ellamy in Libya, the missile is also expected to be integrated onto the RAF's Typhoon and the future F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

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12 septembre 2013 4 12 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
CWSP Compact Warfare System Package

CWSP Compact Warfare System Package

Sep 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : MBDA


In 2010, MBDA launched CWSP (Compact Warfare System Package) to provide fast patrol boats and logistics ships with an integrated combat system for both self-defence and the means to secure sensitive coastal zones. In this respect, CWSP’s common architecture has up to now incorporated MBDA’s automated, twin turret Mistral missile SIMBAD-RC air defence system and a twin launcher Marte Mk2/N missile system for the anti-ship role. However, in recognition of the growing complexity of operations in the littoral, MBDA is now offering CWSP with an additional capability, namely that provided by Brimstone to counter agile high speed craft operating in potentially large numbers often in well  co-ordinated formations. These Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC), when operating together, can overwhelm the defences of well armed naval craft equipped with medium calibre gun systems.


MBDA adds Brimstone Anti-FIAC Capability to CWSP Naval Warfare Solution

In May 2013, MBDA successfully carried out a surface-to-surface, rapid salvo firing of three Brimstone missiles in a trial scenario representing just such a FIAC attack. Each of the missiles hit its intended target. This trial followed on from two previous Brimstone successes against FIAC targets. With its all-weather, fire-and-forget, single button push salvo firing capability, Brimstone is therefore both a logical and significant addition to the capability already offered by CWSP.


Brimstone, in its air launched version, has proven its unerring accuracy during UK RAF combat operations in Libya and Afghanistan. This level of accuracy is now being offered in a surface-to-surface version in which Brimstone is deployed within sealed canisters in a modular launcher (single to six pack configurations are possible) housed on a vessel’s weather deck. In its maritime version, Brimstone’s on-deck footprint is minimal making it suitable for installation on a wide range of craft.


CWSP, which has been self-funded by MBDA, benefits from the company’s extensive experience in air defence C2 systems as well as in air defence and anti-ship guided weapons. This experience has enabled MBDA to offer its customers a turnkey combat system solution providing the high fire power of missiles and guns combined within a modular architecture incorporating radar and EO sensors, user friendly C2 as well as air and surface engagement and mission planning modules.

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25 juin 2013 2 25 /06 /juin /2013 11:50
Brimstone Anti FIAC Salvo Fire

June 24, 2013 by Think Defence


We have been discussing Brimstone / Sea Spear recently.

This is a video of recent test firing by MBDA from a jackup barge against three fast inshore attack craft with the missiles launched in single a salvo.

This earlier video from QinetiQ that is showcasing their test and trials facility shows the Brimstone also used against a FIAC but this time, launched from a Tornado

Not sure if you have seen this video either, more of a general overview

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14 mai 2013 2 14 /05 /mai /2013 10:50
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

14/05/2013 Michel Cabirol- LaTribune.fr


BAE Systems a signé un nouveau contrat évalué à 3 à 4 milliards de livres avec Ryad pour l'armement de ses vieux avions de combat Tornado. Le groupe britannique fait monter à bord de ces appareils MBDA (missiles Brimstone, Storm Shadow), Safran (bombe guidée AASM) et Diehl BGT Defence (IRIS-T).


C'est une bonne nouvelle pour MBDA et Sagem (groupe Safran) qui vont équiper les avions de combat saoudiens Tornado dans le cadre de la troisième tranche de modernisation du programme TSP (Tornado Sustainment Programme) négociée par BAE Systems avec Ryad, selon des sources concordantes. Cette tranche concerne l'armement tactique des avions de combat saoudien Tornado, à l'exception d'un lot complémentaire de missiles de croisière. Le missilier européen, toujours en attente d'un contrat majeur notamment en Inde (le missile sol-air SRSAM ou armement du Rafale) fournira à l'armée de l'air saoudienne le missile air-sol britannique le Dual-Mode Brimstone, fabriqué pour la Royal Air Force. Il est équipé d'un guidage laser et d'un radar millimétrique, ceci afin de le rendre plus efficace contre des cibles mobiles. Pour le moment, il n'est intégré que sur Tornado GR4 et a été utilisé en Irak (opération Telic), en Afghanistan (opération Herrick) et en Libye. En outre, MBDA fournira à l'armée de l'air saoudienne un lot supplémentaire de missiles de croisière Storm Shadow. Soit environ une commande évaluée pour MBDA à 500 millions d'euros.

AASM à guidage terminal laser - DGA Essais en vol

AASM à guidage terminal laser - DGA Essais en vol

Des missiles pour Dhiel BGT Defence


La filiale défense de Safran, Sagem, livrera quant à elle la bombe guidée laser AASM (Armement air-sol modulaire), qui permet de détruire des cibles statiques ou mobiles (chars, navires...) avec une précision inférieure à un mètre. Pour cette commande, Sagem n'est pas passé par MBDA, avec qui pourtant elle est liée commercialement sur la vente de ces missiles. La Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) a prononcé la qualification de l'AASM en version à guidage terminal laser le 3 avril 2013. L'AASM est constitué d'un kit de guidage et d'un kit d'augmentation de portée se montant sur des corps de bombe standard. Cet ensemble permet de tirer à distance de sécurité de la cible (plus de 50 km) hors de portée des défenses sol-air adverses, dans toutes les conditions météorologiques, de jour comme de nuit. La DGA a commandé 380 exemplaires de l'AASM laser à Sagem. Enfin, l'Arabie saoudite a commandé des missiles air-air courte portée à guidage infrarouge IRIS-T à Diehl BGT Defence. Au total, le contrat devrait s'élever pour BAE Systems entre 3 et 4 milliards de livres (3,5 et 4,7 milliards d'euros).


Une série de contrats lucratifs


Cette nouvelle commande a été conclue dans le cadre de l'accord général baptisé Saudi British defence Cooperation Programme, qui lie les deux capitales Londres et Ryad depuis le 21 décembre 2005. Depuis la signature de ce partenariat, BAE Systems a signé de nombreux contrats. En septembre 2006, le groupe britannique a modernisé à mi-vie les Tornado (2,5 milliards de livres, 2,94 milliards d'euros), livré pour 1 milliard de livres d'armement (1,17 milliard d'euros) d'armement (TSP) à l'été 2009, signé un contrat de support (Salam Support Solutions) pour 500 millions de livres (590 millions d'euros) à l'automne 2009, avec une extension de 6 mois, trois ans plus tard. En outre, BAE Systems a vendu des avions d'entraînement Hawk AJT et des Pilatus PC-21 pour 1,6 milliard de livres (1,88 milliard d'euros) en mai 2012, et surtout dans le cadre du contrat Al Salam (la paix) a obtenu une commande de 72 Typhoon (4,5 milliards de livres, 5,3 milliards d'euros, en septembre 2007. Ces Tornado devraient voler jusqu'en 2020-2025.

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16 janvier 2013 3 16 /01 /janvier /2013 16:50


Computer-generated image of Dual Mode Seeker

Brimstone missiles fitted to an aircraft


16 January 2013 Ministry of Defence / Defence Equipment and Support


A new £14 million contract will deliver hundreds of precision attack weapons to the RAF.


Brimstone missiles are carried by RAF Tornado aircraft in Afghanistan and were also used on operations over Libya. Defence Equipment Minister Philip Dunne agreed the contract and has just returned from a visit to Helmand where he met RAF personnel who use the weapon.


This contract with MBDA will increase UK stocks by replenishing weapons used so effectively in Afghanistan and Libya.

Manufactured and assembled at MBDA facilities in Henlow, Bedfordshire, and Lostock, Bolton, the Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missile is used by RAF crews to engage moving or static targets during the day or at night with pinpoint accuracy. The weapon’s precision guidance capability means that the pilot is able to engage fleeting targets with extreme accuracy.


During his visit to Afghanistan, Mr Dunne met with British personnel working for Joint Force Support, based in Camp Bastion, who are responsible for co-ordinating air operations in Helmand.

Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missiles fitted to a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft
Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missiles fitted to a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft [Picture: Copyright MBDA Systems]

After meeting with the RAF and discussing their operations, Mr Dunne said:

Brimstone is an extremely effective and reliable weapons system for RAF crews and ISAF commanders. This investment to replenish supplies used in Afghanistan and in Libya will ensure this capability continues to be available whilst also giving a boost to the UK defence industry.

Wing Commander Andy Turk led the initial Tornado operations over Libya and is now Officer Commanding IX (Bomber) Squadron, currently deployed in Afghanistan. He said:

Brimstone is being used to great effect by the RAF’s Tornado Force in Afghanistan and was also invaluable during the successful air campaign in Libya. It is very popular with our air crews because of its flexibility, accuracy and reliability - they have real confidence that the weapon will deliver the effects required.


Brimstone has become a vital part of our modern and sophisticated arsenal of precision strike weapons.

Computer-generated image of a Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missile
Computer-generated image of a Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone missile [Picture: Copyright MBDA Systems]

The contract for more Brimstone missiles comes just weeks after plans were announced to buy more Paveway IV bombs as part of a £60 million contract, securing 450 jobs at Raytheon UK.

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3 décembre 2011 6 03 /12 /décembre /2011 07:55
Libya Reveals NATO Readiness Highs And Lows


Photo: Dassault


Dec 2, 2011By Francis Tusa defense technology international


London - Taking the experiences of a single conflict and extrapolating them into “universal truths” can be perilous. Earlier this year, the U.K.’s Strategic Defense and Security Review took the operational template from operations in Afghanistan and made it the generic one for the future. Although lip service was paid to the idea of state-on-state warfare and other conflict options, it was simply that—lip service. Consequently, can any worthwhile lessons be drawn from Operation Unified Protector, the NATO mission to protect Libyan civilians and insurgents during the recent civil war?


There has been a rush to judgment to state that the mission shows all the bad sides of NATO readiness and that of European allies. Some 80% of all inflight refueling assets and capability were provided by the U.S. Air Force, which seems to have shocked some observers. The fact that except for the U.K. and France, Europe can only put two dozen tanker aircraft into the air is not impressive. One of the problems with Unified Protector was that it occurred when the U.K. was in a capability slump as old VC10s and Tristars are being retired, but before the new Airbus A330 Voyager tanker-transport aircraft arrive. At the same time, the French tanker fleet has had exceptionally low availability, although a program for an upgrade was approved in the 2012 budget. Had both of these programs been in the full swing of delivery, the “tanker gap” would have been less of an issue.


NATO was also reliant on U.S. assets for much of the suppression of enemy air defense missions, as has been the case for decades, a situation that is unlikely to change for some time. And the lack of proper combat search-and-rescue aircraft meant that there were issues about tasking aircraft for missions deep inside the Sahara Desert, a potential landing site for downed pilots.


But the modernization of air forces over the past decade and more really showed up. The fact that almost every aircraft could carry a combined targeting/Istar (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) pod along with a range of weapons permitted far more adaptable and flexible tasking compared with operations of the 1990s. Indeed, some air forces are already looking at the ability of European aircraft operating over Libya to undertake complex strike missions largely without ground controllers, to see how this was managed. Prior to Unified Protector, the widespread assumption, with the experiences of Afghanistan in mind, was that complex air strikes would only be conducted with ground controllers able to cue targets. Libyan operations changed this perception somewhat.


Early reports suggest that even if there is still major reliance on the U.S. for electronic surveillance assets (until the RAF gets three new Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft), on the wider Istar scene there is a far greater range of European capabilities than had been perceived. The Swedish recce pod system deployed with the Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter reportedly astounded people with the quality of its imagery and responsiveness. The Areos Reco NG pod, developed by Thales for use on the French Dassault Rafale F3 fighter, is also said to have performed well. The RAF was able to leverage the Sentinel R1 Astor (Airborne Stand-Off Radar), slated to be retired as a budget-cutting measure (although this may be reconsidered—see p. 15), from Raytheon and the Raptor (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) recce pod from Goodrich. No one has suggested that the operation, even without major U.S. support, lacked adequate Istar.


The range of weapons that the lead air forces deployed was also impressive. France made wide use of Sagem’s AASM-powered bomb system (225 were fired or dropped), while the U.K. fired a flexible set of weapons. The key Tornado GR4 weapon was Raytheon’s Paveway IV 500-lb. laser/GPS-guided bomb, with well over 700 dropped. Although this has been used in Afghanistan since 2008, in Libya it was deployed against a wider target set. Backing this up was MBDA’s Dual-Mode Brimstone missile. Originally designed as an antiarmor weapon, an upgrade to add laser guidance alongside the millimetric radar has given the weapon a new lease on life. Prolific use in Libya saw MBDA being given an urgent production contract to restock the bunkers.


It is true that some of the smaller nations did see a shortage in precision-guided missiles, which necessitated a quick visit to the U.S. to buy more Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munitions, but there is a silver lining. It is going to be far easier to persuade finance ministries that weapon stocks need to be larger than previously considered.


One aspect of the Libya operation is worth noting: the speed at which France and the U.K. generated long-range strike missions that required last-minute political approval, yet were able to hit a range of strategic and tactical targets across Libya. The structures and systems that underpin both countries’ air forces obviously have a lot of positive internal capabilities to achieve this type of success.


In the U.K. and France, the issue of naval gunfire support (NGS) has come back up the agenda. Royal Navy warships fired more than 240 rounds of 4.5-in. ammunition, a mixture of high-explosive and illumination shells. Several artillery units, as well as “technical” groups were engaged. Although Royal Navy vessels provided NGS to the Royal Marines as they moved ashore on the Al Faw Peninsula in southeast Iraq in 2003, the capability is one that has, of late, been more talked about than practiced. Certainly, the Libya experience means that plans for the next-generation Type 26 Global Combat Ship frigate have seen new interest in a 5-in. gun for NGS.


French navy ships, meanwhile, fired more than 3,000 rounds of 100-mm and 76-mm ammunition in NGS missions, a sign perhaps that the lighter throw weight of these shells required more to be fired to achieve the same effect as heavier rounds.


Although both countries exercised this in the past, Libya has arguably been the breakthrough point for the U.K. and France for the deployment and use of attack helicopters from the sea. The U.K. deployed five Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow platforms, and France up to 10 EC 665 Tigers from Eurocopter. The results are being judged, but it seems likely that this isn’t going to be a one-off, but rather will be the norm in the future. One question being posed is whether the type of attack helicopter operations seen over Libya will morph into mixed wings of fast jets and attack helicopters. (U.S. Marine Corps readers can yawn at this stage.) More training, more force experimentation and more expenditure will be needed by players in Europe to perfect this type of operation, but it has delivered effects far exceeding what had been expected.


If there are many lessons to be learned, they are often of the commonsense type. Good tactics, techniques and procedures are vital, and luckily, for air operations, NATO forces have been honing these for two decades, from Iraq no-fly zones, through Balkan operations, and back to Iraq and Afghanistan. It must still be a concern that countries such as the U.K. and France, each of which claim to have 250-300 combat aircraft, were able to sustainably deploy only 25 or so. For sure, both have deployments in Afghanistan, but the numbers available, even with basing from home bases, is not impressive. That is something to consider about fast-jet force generation for all players.


One thing is obvious: Operation Unified Protector is not a paradigm of any future operation, or a brilliant template for the next operation. It reminded many that not every operation will have a land element, but most of the lessons are reinforcements of what has been learned before. By itself, this is useful, as it shows that with well-equipped, well-trained, well-led and well-supported forces, their ability to cope with the unexpected is far greater than without such forces.


In fact, if you were to put Unified Protector alongside NATO operations in Afghanistan, specifically from the air operations side, you would see that there is more than one way to prosecute an air-to-ground operation.

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15 juillet 2011 5 15 /07 /juillet /2011 06:15


Crédit photo : SLD, salon du Bourget, juin 2011


14.07.2011 sldinfo.com


Par Robbin Laird
Adapté de l’anglais par Virginie Lecat [1]


 Lors du Salon du Bourget, MBDA a invité deux pilotes de chasse de la Royal Air Force à présenter le retour d’expérience de leurs opérations en théâtre libyen, notamment quant à l’utilisation du Tornado et des armes de précision : Mark Lawson, pilote, et James Cooke, officier de système d’armes, appartenant à l’escadrille 9 RAF Marham.



Un équipage de deux hommes opère le Tornado, déployé pour la première fois en opération en 1982. Opération la plus longue depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale, les premières missions en direction de la Lybie ont été effectuées depuis le sol britannique, impliquant trois ravitaillements en vol. Des patrouilles mixtes Tornado-Eurofighter ont également permis aux pilotes de la RAF de bénéficier d’une meilleure appréhension de la menace.

Opération la plus longue depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale, les premières missions en direction de la Lybie ont été effectuées depuis le sol britannique, impliquant trois ravitaillements en vol. Des patrouilles mixtes Tornado-Eurofighter ont également permis aux pilotes de la RAF de bénéficier d’une meilleure appréhension de la menace.

Le missile de croisière Storm Shadow a été employé en premières frappes avec un taux de réussite particulièrement élevé. Le Brimstone, arme de choix pour les cibles en théâtre urbain, fut par ailleurs utilisé en un deuxième temps pour venir à bout des blindés lybiens. La RAF a aussi déployé pour la première fois en opération le missile AIM-132 fabriqué par MBDA. Il s’agit d’un missile air-air de courte portée ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile), lequel remplace les Sidewinder AIM-9 au sein des armées de l’air britannique et australienne. Il peut notamment détruire des cibles aéroportées, blindées, voire des missiles sol-air. Son rôle essentiel est celui d’interdiction aérienne. Autre équipement essentiel : Le RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod TORnado), fabriqué par la Goodrich Corporation. [2]

L’utilisation des équipements a bien-sûr varié selon la nature des missions et des cibles préétablies, ce qui a notamment conduit à passer rapidement du Storm Shadow au Brimstone, une des contraintes majeures en matière de frappes de haute précision étant la limitation des dommages collatéraux



Notes et Références

[1] Voir aussi côté anglais : Operation Ellamy Update

[2] D’après Wikipedia, « ce pod de reconnaissance dont la RAF est équipée pour sa flotte de Tornado GR.4A conti enta un capteur de reconnaissance DB-110, un système d’enregistrement en imagerie et un système de liaison de données sol-air. Le capteur est infrarouge et électro-optique, permettant les missions de jour comme de nuit. La retransmission de données permet à l’imagerie d’être exploitée quasi instantanément ».

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4 mars 2011 5 04 /03 /mars /2011 12:30
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