MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
Timmymagic
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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:According to the US Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which announced the State Department approval for the sale on 16 March, the UK has requested 1,000 AGM-114R1/R2 Hellfire II semi-active laser (SAL) missiles "
As Gabriele says an FMS is in may ways like a call-off purchase order. You can use it or not, you can request the items on it up to their maximum value subject to contracts. It will be interesting to see how many, if any, we call off. We were at one point borrowing P variant Hellfire from the US stockpile then replenishing it via FMS orders. Perhaps this FMS is to actually build a stock of our own

it's worth noting that the R variant replaces all previous SAL variants in production, including the P variant for UCAV's (Reaper). There are still thousands of L variants in stock, purely for use with Longbow Apache on anti armour missions. Hopefully, we'll use the previously purchased SAL variants for training and save these R's (if we buy any) for best. It will be interesting as well to see how many of these we buy, and if we re-life the 'L's' we already have as that should give an indication of how soon the RAF and the Army believe that Brimstone 2 will take over as the main missile on Protector and Apache. It would make sense to re-life the L's, buy a small amount of R's to use with Reaper and replenish any borrowed from the US and use the remaining K's for training...or whomever her Maj gets upset with. This is likely to be the last Hellfire order though as the US isn't ordering them past FY 19 and 20. It's JAGM all the way from there.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Timmymagic wrote:There are still thousands of L variants in stock
You don't say! :shock: :o

One day (when I don't have to study Brazilian navy prgrms) I will get to read the project appendices explaining why Brimstone's overall assessment in 2016 (we don't have the next one, yet) was half "Red". RE: " give an indication of how soon the RAF and the Army believe that Brimstone 2 will take over as the main missile on Protector and Apache."
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.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

Is Brimstone an export failure and why? Too expensive?

Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?

It seems in a potential NATO conflict involving armour, we couldn't rely on many allies providing an upto date capability.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:39 Is Brimstone an export failure and why? Too expensive?

Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?

It seems in a potential NATO conflict involving armour, we couldn't rely on many allies providing an upto date capability.
maverick isnt cleared on typhoon. Only the newer software variants of typhoon have brimstone so I suspect most have nothing but i think more Middle East operators will buy it.

Why it’s not sold more I suspect few countries want to spend money integrating it on other types and manufacturers of other aircraft probably don’t want to either as they have there own missiles to sell.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

SW1 wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:57
RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:39 Is Brimstone an export failure and why? Too expensive?

Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?

It seems in a potential NATO conflict involving armour, we couldn't rely on many allies providing an upto date capability.
maverick isnt cleared on typhoon. Only the newer software variants of typhoon have brimstone so I suspect most have nothing but i think more Middle East operators will buy it.

Why it’s not sold more I suspect few countries want to spend money integrating it on other types and manufacturers of other aircraft probably don’t want to either as they have there own missiles to sell.
The Wikipedia page needs updating then!

In contrast, the Meteor is integrated on EF, Rafael and Grippen.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Jdam »

We have not integrated Brimstone onto our drones or Apaches, hardly a ringing endorsement when we continent to buy hellfire for these platforms.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 13:38
SW1 wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:57
RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:39 Is Brimstone an export failure and why? Too expensive?

Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?

It seems in a potential NATO conflict involving armour, we couldn't rely on many allies providing an upto date capability.
maverick isnt cleared on typhoon. Only the newer software variants of typhoon have brimstone so I suspect most have nothing but i think more Middle East operators will buy it.

Why it’s not sold more I suspect few countries want to spend money integrating it on other types and manufacturers of other aircraft probably don’t want to either as they have there own missiles to sell.
The Wikipedia page needs updating then!
Or you could consider using more reliable sources :roll:

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

Jdam wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 13:43 We have not integrated Brimstone onto our drones or Apaches, hardly a ringing endorsement when we continent to buy hellfire for these platforms.
Worse than that, also signing up for the Hellfire replacement that directly competes with Brimstone. Dumbest decision for some time from a place brimming with dumb decisions.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

Ron5 wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 13:57 Or you could consider using more reliable sources :roll:
You mean like the Eurofighter website which only lists Spear as air to ground.

I know you're a bit daft at times, but try not to make it too obvious.

https://www.eurofighter.com/advantages

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 13:38
SW1 wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:57
RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:39 Is Brimstone an export failure and why? Too expensive?

Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?

It seems in a potential NATO conflict involving armour, we couldn't rely on many allies providing an upto date capability.
maverick isnt cleared on typhoon. Only the newer software variants of typhoon have brimstone so I suspect most have nothing but i think more Middle East operators will buy it.

Why it’s not sold more I suspect few countries want to spend money integrating it on other types and manufacturers of other aircraft probably don’t want to either as they have there own missiles to sell.
The Wikipedia page needs updating then!

In contrast, the Meteor is integrated on EF, Rafael and Grippen.
Yes but meteor was a Anglo, German, French Sweden collaborative program, brimstone was a U.K. only program.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

You never know, with the threat form nation states increasing, the original reasoning behind Brimstone may once again become a more valid reason for it. It is a class leader and combat proven, we just need a F-16 operator to decide to integrated it and sales could take off, a lot of "Coulds", I know, but as a stand off anti armour weapon it is probably the beast out there.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Jdam »

It might well be but we should be leading the way and using it on everything we can, this would give confidence to other to invest in it as well.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:39 Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?
Germany don't use it. They've been thinking of using it for years but have never bit the bullet.

Current operators are UK and Saudi. Kuwait and Qatar are buying it for their Typhoon. Ukraine appears to be nailed on and I suspect Poland will buy it in due course.

The issue appears to be simple. Despite their repeatedly seen utility in warfare not many nations actually employ smaller munitions from fast air. Even the SDB1, a very sensible weapon, cheaper than Paveway munitions and in many ways more useful has not managed to get huge export sales, and its integrated on loads and loads of platforms....And none apart from Brimstone users have a small munition with advanced targeting capabilities. In many ways Brimstone is decades ahead of its time...I suspect the real benefit from Brimstone will be the development and sales that we get from Spear...

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

Timmymagic wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 13:51
RunningStrong wrote: 03 Dec 2021, 10:39 Appears on UK, Germany and KSA are using it. The missile doesn't seem to be selling well with Eurofighter operators, who are perhaps sticking with Maverick missiles? Or none at all?
Germany don't use it. They've been thinking of using it for years but have never bit the bullet.

Current operators are UK and Saudi. Qatar is buying it for their Typhoon. Ukraine appears to be nailed on and I suspect Poland will buy it in due course.

The issue appears to be simple. Despite their repeatedly seen utility in warfare not many nations actually employ smaller munitions from fast air. Even the SDB1, a very sensible weapon, cheaper than Paveway munitions and in many ways more useful has not managed to get huge export sales, and its integrated on loads and loads of platforms....And none apart from Brimstone users have a small munition with advanced targeting capabilities. In many ways Brimstone is decades ahead of its time...I suspect the real benefit from Brimstone will be the development and sales that we get from Spear...
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.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Defiance »

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.
Arguably the investment in lower-yield weapons in the West has been driven by the need to provide accurate effects while keeping collatoral damage to a minimum in a COIN environment.

Maybe it's an ROE/experience problem which plenty of nations haven't had to face for decades, so they don't see the point ... yet

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

Defiance wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 16:11
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.
Arguably the investment in lower-yield weapons in the West has been driven by the need to provide accurate effects while keeping collatoral damage to a minimum in a COIN environment.

Maybe it's an ROE/experience problem which plenty of nations haven't had to face for decades, so they don't see the point ... yet
Didn't the French just use Laser Guided inert practice rounds in Libya?

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Defiance »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 17:04 Didn't the French just use Laser Guided inert practice rounds in Libya?
They could well have done, i'd be curious to know how much the guidance kits cost for the bombs cost though. Sounds like one of those capabilities that sounds cheap but in retrospect isn't.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

Defiance wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 17:57
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 17:04 Didn't the French just use Laser Guided inert practice rounds in Libya?
They could well have done, i'd be curious to know how much the guidance kits cost for the bombs cost though. Sounds like one of those capabilities that sounds cheap but in retrospect isn't.
Some sources put the guidance kit at just $25,000.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Defiance »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 19:19 Some sources put the guidance kit at just $25,000.
Not bad really.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

Defiance wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 20:04
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 19:19 Some sources put the guidance kit at just $25,000.
Not bad really.
There's a lot to be said for inert ordinance that's not an AP dart. A 40mm GMG prac round would seriously mess up a car, and I believe there's talk of using CT40 inert training round as a "war" round for similar reasons.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by mr.fred »

RunningStrong wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 20:24 There's a lot to be said for inert ordinance that's not an AP dart. A 40mm GMG prac round would seriously mess up a car, and I believe there's talk of using CT40 inert training round as a "war" round for similar reasons.
I recall reading that CR2 used practice HESH rounds in Iraq as a fin round would just over penetrate and a live HESH would knock the building down. The practice round was filled with concrete so tended to disintegrate within the first room or so past the wall hit.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

mr.fred wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 21:51
RunningStrong wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 20:24 There's a lot to be said for inert ordinance that's not an AP dart. A 40mm GMG prac round would seriously mess up a car, and I believe there's talk of using CT40 inert training round as a "war" round for similar reasons.
I recall reading that CR2 used practice HESH rounds in Iraq as a fin round would just over penetrate and a live HESH would knock the building down. The practice round was filled with concrete so tended to disintegrate within the first room or so past the wall hit.
I was told differently, but by no means verifiably by IFV crewmen, that real HESH was perfect for going though mud compound walls.

Similarly, I've been told an AS90 can direct-fire an inert round that would give a tank crew more than a headache if things got particularly messy. But I'm unaware that such a round exists.

Anyway, we've digressed into a conversation on low- budget, low-collateral options...

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

The RAF has repeatedly used "Concrete" Paveways in the past, mainly its older 1000lb ones.

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. Those countries that have the Tornado or Eurofighter had that option. The US rejecting it due to the common "Not Invented/Built Here" syndrome even though some of the services liked it a lot.

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Re: MBDA Brimstone Missile (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

Defiance wrote: 05 Dec 2021, 16:11 Arguably the investment in lower-yield weapons in the West has been driven by the need to provide accurate effects while keeping collatoral damage to a minimum in a COIN environment.

Maybe it's an ROE/experience problem which plenty of nations haven't had to face for decades, so they don't see the point ... yet
There is truth in that. The UK and US have dropped lots of munitions over the last 17 years (and beyond) so see the value in smaller, lower collateral munitions. But both the UK and US have also recognised that numbers of munitions carried by a single platform can be a huge force multiplier. You would have thought that other, smaller, air arms would have recognised this as well. More bangs per sortie for them...which matters when you're only putting a few aircraft over target each day. For me the surprise is that more have not bought the SDB1 rather than Brimstone. SDB1 is small, penetrating, long range (comparatively) to keep you out of harms way and actually dirt cheap as precision guided munitions go. There's a pretty strong case for the UK to buy it in my mind...1/3rd of the price of Paveway IV...

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