MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

whitelancer wrote: 24 Apr 2022, 12:11
RunningStrong wrote: 24 Apr 2022, 06:58 In the same way that Brimstone would have previously required you to have a Typhoon on hand...
Which was rather my point.

Wildcat with Sea Venom or LMM is good, giving the capability to engage targets at distance. However it cant be guaranteed to be available when required, a shipborne system gives you 24/7 capability, (in theory at least).
Agreed that it's a necessary capability. But why wouldn't we fund the adoption of an existing Navy missile system in the role to have commonality? Do we need the anti-armour capabilities of Brimstone in the role?

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by whitelancer »

Ah, I wondered if anyone would come up with that. If you are referring to CAMM, its yet to prove its capability against surface targets. Assuming however that it is successful, one problem would be its cost, but more importantly do you want to use your limited number of anti air missiles against small boats unless you have no other choice? What about vessels without CAMM? MBDA are currently putting together a land based system for Ukraine, shouldn't be difficult to adapt it to fit on surface ships for instance the Rivers or RFA's if necessary.

The other option could be LMM, it has been demonstrated on a 30mm mount, its drawbacks are small warhead and limited range but it would be relatively cheap.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Not really. We have the advanced version of Spike-NLOS or Extractor Mk2 in its trailer launched form (4 Missiles per Trailer.) that has been very effective, having both Armour Piercing and blast fragmentation warheads available. As it stands this would be a very powerful tool for our lighter forces being easily towed by vehicles like Foxhound. At present though it is intended to assign the system to the planned Recce/Deep Strike BCT. I think a vehicle mounted system giving the system more mobility and protect would be best.

This could be on the Ajax platform of Boxer, either would do the job. The launcher necessary is already available as in fact was what we originally used, mounted on a M113 and taken form Israeli Defence Force stocks. This platform was not liked by the British Army as it was a platform we didn't use nor had we a supply and maintenance chain. The Trailer was more than adequate for operation in Afghanistan where the launcher was situated in protected bases.

WE do need a good, under armour long range precision weapon system to provide overwatch for our Recce and other units. Good range is important as we are supposed to be operating in smaller dispersed units to the range will be needed to cover the parent unit. The last phrase is important as at present Extractor is operated by the Royal Artillery as a support weapon. I believe it should be assigned to units, in a similar way the Striker, FV438 and Spartan MCT were back in the day.

But back to Brimstone. The more I think about it the more I believe not adopting Brimstone 3 for both the AAC's Apache Guardians and the FAA#s Wildcat is a big mistake. Personally I think Brimstone would have been a better anti swarm attack weapon than the recently introduce Martlet in the role. I do not believe Martlet can be fired whilst the Wildcat is moving, unless the Targeting System is far more sophisticated that I have been led to believe. Firing from the hover may work against lesser opponents but advanced FACs etc. will most likely carry MANPADS and AAA, and a stationary Wildcat is a sitting target. Brimstone with its advanced autonomous seeker head with various guidance mode could have been made for this role. Instead of massed MBTs rolling across the German plain we will have numbers of small FACs speeding across the sea. If we wanted a cheaper weapon system to compliment Brimstone we could have adopted the precision guided version of the unguided CVR-7 rockets already in service. One could easily see a Wildcat with up to six Brimstone 3 and two Rocket Pods each with twelve guided CVR-7s with blast fragmentation warheads. To go even cheaper provide the Wildcat with a 20mm Gatling in a Gun Pod. All of the above would compliment the much heavier Sea Venom.

For me Brimstones big selling points are that it is already in service, has multiple guidance modes, though currently lacking a "Man in the loop" mode though I believe a modification kit is being developed to rectify this. Brimstone should be selling far better than it has, but few if any US made aircraft are cleared to fire it, which is why we should have paid to have it integrated on to the F-35. Having twelve or more being carried in "Beast" mode or say eight internally when covert should do wonders for sales as it is still fairly unique in its list of capabilities for a weapon of its size.
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

whitelancer wrote: 25 Apr 2022, 00:34 Ah, I wondered if anyone would come up with that. If you are referring to CAMM,
Referring to Sea Venom.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

whitelancer wrote: 25 Apr 2022, 00:34 Ah, I wondered if anyone would come up with that. If you are referring to CAMM, its yet to prove its capability against surface targets.
Sea Ceptor was successfully trialled against FIAC targets from HMS Portland last year.
Lord Jim wrote: 25 Apr 2022, 00:58 Not really. We have the advanced version of Spike-NLOS or Extractor Mk2 in its trailer launched form (4 Missiles per Trailer.) that has been very effective, having both Armour Piercing and blast fragmentation warheads available.
It's not actually clear if the Exactor that we have are equipped with AT warheads or exclusively Blast/Frag. The change to Mk.5 included a change to the warhead to make it better suited to countering softer targets.

There should also be real questions about its use in a peer to peer war. A trailer mounted system made sense for a COIN environment where we were tied to FOBs, a certainly better than the shagged out M113 that were initially supplied, but makes zero sense if you're actually driving around...it will shake itself to bits (see below)...Questions also remain about how susceptible to jamming the RF link is (it's only fibre guided for the first 10km then its RF only). We should also now seriously question Israel as an ally/partner...they've refused permission for Spike variants to be supplied to Ukraine, for me we should cut them out of our supply chain now..they're not dependable.

There's also the 'small' matter of how many Spike NLOS we have...we bought 600 in total...but...the first 200 of these was the Tamuz variant that dated back to the early/mid 80's. These were difficult to control however and I believe were all expended in operations and training, its doubtful that any are still around or are usuable due to the life of their rocket motors and warheads (remember they were procured 15 years ago and were not new then...). It's very likely that our current stockpile of Spike NLOS is c200 missiles and less than 8 launch trailers. All of which are over halfway into their service lives. Thats an orphan capability right there...lets just send them to Ukraine...

It's worth reading the comments from 'Warren' (who claimed to be, quite convincingly with the level of detail, on the trials team for Spike NLOS) on the article about Exactor at the below site...

https://uklandpower.com/2018/05/29/long ... ultiplier/

The answer is of course in our hands if we can be bothered to develop it...

Image

Available in both Brimstone MMW radar seeker head...or E/O IR head...

Image

Develop and field this (and all the big parts are already developed and are in service, both seeker heads exist, soft launch exists, algorithms exist, data link exists..) and orders will flood in...you can guarantee that most of the Sea/Land Ceptor users will purchase for their naval platforms, from that you also get land users for commonality (UK and Poland guaranteed as users as well...). Suddenly your Land Ceptor battery is dual purpose and can loft surface to surface missiles out to 60-80km...this sort of thing is exactly what Complex Weapons was about.

N.B. - Its worth noting that although it looks like a Brimstone/CAMM mashup its not. It uses some CAMM components, but is in fact a higher diameter rocket motor (CAMM is 166mm, this is 178mm i.e. the same diameter as Brimstone so no expensive repackaging of the seeker).

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

Here's the list of potential uses for the above...

1) - Spike NLOS replacement - Probably cheaper, faster, much larger range (60km+ vs. 25km) bigger warhead. UK built. No political issues around use/deployment (Spike NLOS is Israeli). Could be added as the image suggested as a module on Boxer. The offensive capability of Strike Brigades enhanced enormously very easily. Replaces the poor trailer mounted version of Spike NLOS (that by all accounts isn't successful or suitable for peer-to-peer war).
2) - Anti-Armour Overwatch - A super Swingfire replacement. No MBT on earth could defend against a Mach 2/3 missile coming in near vertically, it wouldn't even need a warhead, KE alone would tear through a tanks top armour. A modern diving LOSAT. The speed of response would mean it could operate at much further range than Swingfire could and cover multiple units. Probably easiest to leave on Boxer and MAN chassis than add on to Ajax.
3) - F-35 Outer Pylon compatible - Brimstone 2/3 will never be integrated, but Asraam has (and Asraam CSP will). The combination of the Asraam form factor (albeit wider) and Brimstone seeker (as used on Spear which will be integrated) would allow a comparatively straightforward integration to F-35. Very easily you give F-35B a cheaper, faster Spear capability but in 2 forms - Dual Mode and E/O. The Dual Mode would be very useful as a SEAD/DEAD weapon for quick reaction to pop up targets. The E/O capability would be a new capability for the F-35.
4) - Compatibility with Land Ceptor launchers - Suddenly your SAM system can contribute to the land battle..
5) - Compatibility with Sea Ceptor launchers - A big advantage. Any RN vessel (including T31 and T26, and you would hope QE eventually) would have the capability of carrying an easy to integrate missile that can deal with Fast Attack Craft in any weather conditions or provide precision strike out to 60km+. This would be a whole lot easier than integration of a VL Spear missile which would require a new booster and tip over mechanism.
6) - Export sales - A large number of CAMM and ASRAAM users are around...and growing. As a solution to anti-air, anti-missile, precision strike, anti-FAC it's pretty much unique.
7) - Typhoon compatible - Another string to its bow. Not sure if the air to ground aspect could be easily ported to Tranche 1's though, be interesting if it could be.
8) - Falklands - There's no real credible threat there. But sending a few down south to be launched from the Land Ceptor battery would be a useful capability for the defence forces to have.
9) - UK Land Forces get a small anti-ship missile by default.
10) - UK Industry benefits - No ITAR issues.
11) – Could be multi packed in Sylver or Mk.41/57 launchers. Or canisters can be a standalone component, you just need a rack for them.
12) – CAMM, CAMM-ER, CAMM with E/O, CAMM with DMB head…that’s a very convincing selection of weapons for any platform to be able to fire. SAM from 200 metres to c80km, strike out to 60km+. I don’t particularly favour it but a cold launched Spear with a booster for when it clears the capsule could strike out to c200km as well, if it was lengthened with increased fuel storage to take advantage of the additional space in the canister it could go out to 250km+…
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

All of the above would be ideal if such a weapon were developed, but it is still more a Power Point presentation than anything else.

Extractor 2 is in service and additional rounds could easily be purchased with the desired warheads. Just because Israel has decided not to send military hardware to Ukraine does not mean it should be seen as an unreliable ally. In addition both Spike-LR and Spike-MR are already being produced in Europe under licence. If would not be a big jump for Spike-NLOS to also be produced if the need arose.

Yes we have limited missiles and only a few launchers, but this was a UOR capability bought initally for use only in Afghanistan. However the British Army decided to keep the capability and bring the weapon system into he core budget because it worked and was a unique capability. The initial tests were carried out with the older missiles which were then used operationally but the UK requested improvements to meet its own requirements and this eventually ended up with the Spike-NLOS Mk5 or Extractor 2 in British Army service.

In the mean term the British Army has a requirement for a next generation ATGW that can be networked, fired on the move and so on. The Spike family already provides such a weapon in the form of the Spike-ER2, which at present is the only western missile with this capability. You can probably see now where this is heading. The Spike Family could cover all the various requirements moving forward for the British Army. In the short term, Spike-LR2 could be purchased as a replacement for Javelin, as we send more and more of our inventory of the latter to Ukraine. It is a more capable system, and because of its more flexible guidance package, including a "Man in the loop" option, can be fired from a moving vehicle.

But back the Extractor 2. We do need more, and event is Ukraine should have made this a higher priority. In its current form it is ideal for our Lighter forces but we need to develop an armoured launch platform for our heavier formations. the cheapest option would be to create a Mission Module for Boxer. As for the Missile itself, well we already have a good working relationship with the manufacturer and it is still being further developed. We would be able to keep track of this and have any future capabilities incorporated into future batched purchased. This is a mature, low risk and relatively low cost weapon system that will provide effective precision fire support for the British Army.

Developing a ground launched Brimstone should also be looked at though as its capabilities would compliment Extractor perfectly. Brimstone would bring the option to engage multiple target simultaneously for a start. It may also be more effective in poor weather conditions. Imagine a joint launcher that could fire both Extractor and Brimstone. Now involved it would be to make Brimstone be capable of ground launching and what FCS would be needed I do not know, but I am sure it could be done.

The question on who should operate such a system is straight forward for me. Its role should be that of a Battalion/Regimental support weapon in a similar but far more capable way than Swingfire was. Give each unit a platoon of six Boxer launch vehicles and immediate the firepower of those units is exponentially increased.

But in a time of increased financial pressure, unless developing ground launch Brimstone is cheap, it make financial sense to keep using what we have . Brimstone gives the RAF an exceptional air to ground precision weapon, and Extractor 2 gives the Army an good long range precision weapon, though in limited numbers at present. These fore instead on trying to fund the development of a new Brimstone variant we should concentrate on increasing our stock levels of Extractor 2 and other munitions, to once again hold ready stocks capable of supporting high intensity warfighting against peer or near peer opponents. As it is this is a stretch target and needs to be funded instead of longer term goals due to its importance, unless new money becomes available.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

Lord Jim wrote: 26 Apr 2022, 09:57 ust because Israel has decided not to send military hardware to Ukraine does not mean it should be seen as an unreliable ally. In addition both Spike-LR and Spike-MR are already being produced in Europe under licence.
They've blocked other states (i.e. most of European NATO and Canada from sending their principal ATGM) from sending Spike variants to Ukraine, not refused to supply themselves. That is pretty much a perfect example of an unreliable weapons supplier....and these are missiles built at the EuroSpike facility in Germany in the main.
Lord Jim wrote: 26 Apr 2022, 09:57 In the mean term the British Army has a requirement for a next generation ATGW that can be networked, fired on the move and so on.
The answer for that is rather easy. A significant chunk of the MBDA MMP is made in the UK....a UK production line would be very easy to establish. MMP offers every capability that Spike MR/LR offer, only its newer. And is more man portable than the larger Spike variants. It's even being integrated with CT40 in turrets...

Spike ER2 is a much larger missile, larger even than TOW, its getting into Brimstone territory size wise. But even then the clear alternative for that would be the MMP derivative, the MHT. Again a UK production line and involvement could be guaranteed. But I doubt that we have a requirement between an MMP size missile and Brimstone size. Particularly as loitering munitions like Switchblade 600 can fill a longer ranged AT capability rather well.
Lord Jim wrote: 26 Apr 2022, 09:57 The initial tests were carried out with the older missiles which were then used operationally but the UK requested improvements to meet its own requirements and this eventually ended up with the Spike-NLOS Mk5 or Extractor 2 in British Army service.
The initial operational use was using the Tamuz missiles and M113 launcher, but further tests were then made using the later Exactor Mk.5 and SPARC trailer developed with UK MoD funding (and to re-establish the production line which had been mothballed). The concerns raised by the testing team also applied to the new missiles and launcher.
Lord Jim wrote: 26 Apr 2022, 09:57 In its current form it is ideal for our Lighter forces
I don't think it being currently mounted on a fragile trailer based makes it ideal by any stretch. Sure its light to airlift in, but is pretty much stationary then, which is the antithesis of what a light role capability should be. If it had been mounted on the back of Coyote, Jackal or Foxhound perhaps that would have been different.
Lord Jim wrote: 26 Apr 2022, 09:57 relatively low cost weapon system
Each round is almost twice as expensive as Brimstone. With zero UK content. As for who should operate a Brimstone derivative I would say it needs to be the Royal Artillery. Same with any loitering munitions beyond a Switchblade 600 size. If they're the ones with the ISTAR capability it makes sense they have the ability to respond to intelligence rapidly, particularly anything that could require BLOS guidance and intel.
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Thanks for the come back, very informative and useful. I didn't know the full capabilities of the MMP, and I agree mounting Extractor in a 4x4 for light forces would be better then the trailer. The main thing is this is a capability the British Army needs to expand and develop further and there are weapon systems out there that are a good starting point.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

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Lord Jim wrote: 27 Apr 2022, 04:47 I didn't know the full capabilities of the MMP
Quite a significant chunk is made in Bolton as well at the MBDA facility there.
Lord Jim wrote: 27 Apr 2022, 04:47 The main thing is this is a capability the British Army needs to expand and develop further and there are weapon systems out there that are a good starting point.
i think realistically we need to address the cross-over of long range precision attack, armed UCAV and loitering munitions, plus the ever present debate around who actually owns the system. There's a lot of cross-over between cap badges AND services. For example arming Watchkeeper, who would own an loitering munition like Switchblade 600 (i.e. its infantry deployable but its range goes into Royal Artillery's purview), if we buy PrSM thats going in to RAF territory of deep strike, with increased use of UAV's and loitering munitions do we need to spread AD capabilities more widely including airbases...we're pretty good at the 'Purple' stuff but we need to have a really good conversation internally and get it right. We don't want a future confused situation like Helicopters (or even with some justification MPA).

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

If we armed Watchkeeper the obvious route is for it to remain under Royal Artillery control, but failing that transferring it to the Army Air Corps may be the next best option. Switchblade is, as for as I am concerned simply a piece of Infantry hardware in the same category as Javelin or Starstreak, It simply has new capabilities we need to utilise effectively. Speaking of Starstreak and LMM, whilst I believe the Royal Artillery should retain control of the Self Propelled launch vehicles that use these weapon systems, the Pedestal and shoulder fired option should be moved to the Infantry to provide those units with integral Air Defence.

Overall I think the general rule should be who will get the most effective use out of a systme and who will benefit the most from its use. Apply those to most Complex Systems and you should be able to discern who should operate it.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by leonard »

Things are moving fast during the war in Ukraine but very fast and now it's seams that the MBDA Brimstone has already entered the scene
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by leonard »

Another seating of the Brimstone 1 missile in Ukraine this time it is intact because it failed to explode

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by leonard »

First truly look at the launcher for the Brimstone missile in Ukraine this is in training
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Those look like they have the ability to still target individual vehicles like the original Brimstone. If so it will really make this hard for Russian platforms in any sort of proximity to each other, being engaged with little or no warning. Now we just need to see footage from a UAS of the end result.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by TheLoneRanger »

The other part of the equation for Brimstone is how is the initial targetting done? I guessing UAV? If so - then that could suggest integration with TB2's or other UAV's.

What has the UK provided to Ukraine that could provide the initial targetting?

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

I doubt it’s that sophisticated they aren’t working to tight ROE. Probably no more than a radio communication Russian tanks grid xyz fire! Brimstone will do the rest it analyses the vehicles assigns missiles between itself in the salvo and bang.
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

leonard wrote: 08 May 2022, 13:31 Another seating of the Brimstone 1 missile in Ukraine this time it is intact because it failed to explode
Just a short note on this. The missile has not been fired or captured by the Russian's. The photograph originally was posted by Ukrainian's but was seized by Russian Telegram channels, they've removed the Ukrainian watermark (which is why it looks a little odd in the mid section) via photoshop, then claimed it was captured. In reality it was photographed by Ukrainian's and has clearly never been fired.
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

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This time a more detailed view of the the launcher of the Brimstone missile in the vehicle
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

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First Ukrainian Army source with video confirming the use in combat of the Brimstone missile
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Jdam wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 13:43 We have not integrated Brimstone onto our drones or Apaches, hardly a ringing endorsement
TRue. Drones... OK, perhaps not for intense warfare; or rather , dispensible drones that the recce-strike complex would use in that kind of context.
Ron5 wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 13:58 signing up for the Hellfire replacement that directly competes with Brimstone. Dumbest decision for some time from a place brimming with dumb decisions.
Yep
Lord Jim wrote: 04 Dec 2021, 16:15 You never know, with the threat form nation states increasing
Which one? [EMOJI here}
Ron5 wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 14:45 I suspect potential buyers use up all their budget on the sexy aircraft with munitions left out in the cold. Or maybe they just want fighters.
That is a yes-yes.
We have seen that the doubling of fighters has enabled the Ukrainian side to continue denying the use of airspace except at the fringes at the active battle front.

Could they use those (limited numbers of fighters) for A2G (even if the type was enabaled to do so)? NO
Air Superiority is a concept far from Air Supremacy... and a key to turning any campaign
Lord Jim wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 23:31 One other reason for the lack of Brimstone sales is that nations often by weapon packages when they purchase a new aircraft so anyone buying an F-15, F-16 or F-35 wouldn't have Brimstone as a result.
Yep... and goes to Ron's point at the very top. Did we, the Fathers of Brimstone, request that in the the initial contract... even though the declared intent of the USMC (and the sworn alligeange of the USAF to support the US Army, after they gave up their own fixed-wing support) was always to do do the A2G with the F-35??
Timmymagic wrote: 06 Dec 2021, 07:53 both the UK and US have also recognised that numbers of munitions carried by a single platform can be a huge force multiplier.

They (the pun intended) recognise the fact that this requires a (sustainable) number of suitable platforms!
... coming back to the priorities at a 'theater level' rather a a campaign within one
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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