MBDA (UK)

Contains threads on equipment developed by the UK defence and aerospace industry, but not in service with the British Armed Forces.
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Timmymagic
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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

MBDA Press Release - with further detail

MBDA has received a contract valued at £550 million for production of the SPEAR missile system from the UK Ministry of Defence. SPEAR (known in UK service as SPEAR3) is a first-of-class network enabled miniature cruise missile.

SPEAR will be the main medium-to-long-range strike weapon of the UK F-35 combat aircraft, enabling them to defeat challenging targets such as mobile long-range air defence systems at over-the-horizon ranges in all weathers and in highly contested environments.

Guided firings of SPEAR will start within 18 months from a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft, with missile and launcher production beginning in 2023. The new contract follows the successful implementation of the weapon development phase contract for SPEAR placed in 2016 and the contracting of integration of SPEAR onto F-35 in 2019.

Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “MBDA is delighted to receive this contract, it is the result of many years of hard work by our dedicated and highly skilled engineering team. Stand-off, network enabled and swarming weapons are a key part of MBDA’s vision – SPEAR is leading the way with these technologies and is the most technically advanced weapon of its type.”

The contract for SPEAR will employ a peak of 570 people at MBDA plus a further 200 in the Tier 1 supply chain. This will see the creation of 190 highly skilled technology jobs at MBDA in areas including system design, software engineering, seekers, and guidance control & navigation in Stevenage, Bristol and Bolton. It forms part of the Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA), a partnership initiated in 2010 between the UK MoD and MBDA on sovereign complex weapons design and production. The PMA delivers world-beating military equipment for the UK Armed Forces and has secured over 4,000 UK jobs at MBDA while generating savings worth over £1.2 billion.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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https://www.gov.uk/government/news/550m ... act-signed

I thought it was signed before but here it is SPEAR 3 contract.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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BlueD954 wrote:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/550m ... act-signed

I thought it was signed before but here it is SPEAR 3 contract.
Development contracts and integration to F-35 signed previously, and Spear-EW demonstration contract. No news on SpearGlide yet.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Timmymagic wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/550m ... act-signed

I thought it was signed before but here it is SPEAR 3 contract.
Development contracts and integration to F-35 signed previously, and Spear-EW demonstration contract. No news on SpearGlide yet.
What is SPEARGlide?

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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BlueD954 wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/550m ... act-signed

I thought it was signed before but here it is SPEAR 3 contract.
Development contracts and integration to F-35 signed previously, and Spear-EW demonstration contract. No news on SpearGlide yet.
What is SPEARGlide?
SpearGlide was mentioned at DSEi 2019 by MBDA and the MoD as a 'spiral' development of Spear alongside Spear-EW. Essentially its a Spear with no jet engine or fuel, but with a larger warhead occupying the space. It uses the same guidance, and is the same shape, weight, same CoG etc. As a result it requires no further integration work on any aircraft and can just be added as an option. It would probably be a little cheaper than Spear, obviously a lower range but with a bigger bang at the end. It's a direct competitor to the Raytheon SDB II Stormbreaker.

Spear-EW follows the same route by being the same shape, weight and CoG as 'standard' Spear. Obviously in that case the MMW/Laser seeker head and warhead are replaced by an EW payload and additional fuel (range for Spear-EW is likely to be c300 miles). I would expect it to require some integration work however to get the best out of the EW payload.

At the same event they also mentioned further 'spiral' developments, which is one of the main aims of the Complex Weapons initiative, basically to wring as much value at low cost out of developed munitions to enhance capabilities and sales. One obvious development (that I've previously banged on about...) that would not break the bank and make a lot of sense would be a SpearSimple. Again same approach, same shape, weight, CoG etc as Spear, SpearGlide and Spear-EW to enable easy integration, but no jet engine or complex guidance. Just basic guidance (GPS, INS and perhaps SAL) and the larger warhead from SpearGlide, perhaps with a greater focus on penetration. Essentially this would be the MBDA/UK equivalent of the excellent US SDB I munition. The aim being a dirt cheap gliding munition. We just can't afford to fire off Spear at everything (SDB II for example is 8-10x more expensive than SDBI). Apart from that the only other payload that I could imagine would be useful on the comparatively small Spear body would be a small E/O payload as a disposable recon UAV that you could fire ahead into a high threat area for a look 'over the hill'. Couldbe very useful particularly for BDA. There are cyber payloads being developed at present to be delivered by artillery rounds but I wonder if Spear would be a good mechanism to deliver these..

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Timmymagic wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/550m ... act-signed

I thought it was signed before but here it is SPEAR 3 contract.
Development contracts and integration to F-35 signed previously, and Spear-EW demonstration contract. No news on SpearGlide yet.
What is SPEARGlide?
SpearGlide was mentioned at DSEi 2019 by MBDA and the MoD as a 'spiral' development of Spear alongside Spear-EW. Essentially its a Spear with no jet engine or fuel, but with a larger warhead occupying the space. It uses the same guidance, and is the same shape, weight, same CoG etc. As a result it requires no further integration work on any aircraft and can just be added as an option. It would probably be a little cheaper than Spear, obviously a lower range but with a bigger bang at the end. It's a direct competitor to the Raytheon SDB II Stormbreaker.

Spear-EW follows the same route by being the same shape, weight and CoG as 'standard' Spear. Obviously in that case the MMW/Laser seeker head and warhead are replaced by an EW payload and additional fuel (range for Spear-EW is likely to be c300 miles). I would expect it to require some integration work however to get the best out of the EW payload.

At the same event they also mentioned further 'spiral' developments, which is one of the main aims of the Complex Weapons initiative, basically to wring as much value at low cost out of developed munitions to enhance capabilities and sales. One obvious development (that I've previously banged on about...) that would not break the bank and make a lot of sense would be a SpearSimple. Again same approach, same shape, weight, CoG etc as Spear, SpearGlide and Spear-EW to enable easy integration, but no jet engine or complex guidance. Just basic guidance (GPS, INS and perhaps SAL) and the larger warhead from SpearGlide, perhaps with a greater focus on penetration. Essentially this would be the MBDA/UK equivalent of the excellent US SDB I munition. The aim being a dirt cheap gliding munition. We just can't afford to fire off Spear at everything (SDB II for example is 8-10x more expensive than SDBI). Apart from that the only other payload that I could imagine would be useful on the comparatively small Spear body would be a small E/O payload as a disposable recon UAV that you could fire ahead into a high threat area for a look 'over the hill'. Couldbe very useful particularly for BDA. There are cyber payloads being developed at present to be delivered by artillery rounds but I wonder if Spear would be a good mechanism to deliver these..
So SPEAR Glide is like a glider?

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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BlueD954 wrote:So SPEAR Glide is like a glider?
It will look exactly like Spear, same wings, but no engine. Range of about 60 miles against a fixed target (dependent on release altitude and speed).

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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QUOTE not working? Quoting from above:
other payload that I could imagine would be useful on the comparatively small Spear body would be a small E/O payload as a disposable recon UAV that you could fire ahead into a high threat area for a look 'over the hill'. Couldbe very useful particularly for BDA.

Smerch has had this sort of payload since the '90s. And a range exceeding our GMLRS. Though rather than looking over the hill, it is used for damage assessment after initial targeting, ie. how many more rockets to fire, to get the desired effect at target.

Btw, what is BDA?
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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Re: MBDA (UK)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:QUOTE not working? Quoting from above:
other payload that I could imagine would be useful on the comparatively small Spear body would be a small E/O payload as a disposable recon UAV that you could fire ahead into a high threat area for a look 'over the hill'. Could be very useful particularly for BDA.

Smerch has had this sort of payload since the '90s. And a range exceeding our GMLRS. Though rather than looking over the hill, it is used for damage assessment after initial targeting, ie. how many more rockets to fire, to get the desired effect at target.

Btw, what is BDA?
Fixed it. Didn't want to requote the whole lot.

BDA - Battle Damage Assessment. Essentially post strike reconaissance to see what effect a strike has had on a target, will it need a re-attack etc.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Can SPEAR3 really damage both ships and armoured vehicles? Naturally the armour of a warship is different from a land vehicle.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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BlueD954 wrote:Can SPEAR3 really damage both ships and armoured vehicles? Naturally the armour of a warship is different from a land vehicle.
Very few ship have armour these days, and certainly not enough to resist the size of warhead a Spear will carry. For armoured vehicles you have to remember that it will be a diving attack, not an attack onto frontal armour. But even then its larger than a 155mm shell and there aren't many/any tanks that can protect against a direct hit. Remember its twice the size of warhead that Brimstone carries....and that cuts through armour like butter.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Timmymagic wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:Can SPEAR3 really damage both ships and armoured vehicles? Naturally the armour of a warship is different from a land vehicle.
Very few ship have armour these days, and certainly not enough to resist the size of warhead a Spear will carry. For armoured vehicles you have to remember that it will be a diving attack, not an attack onto frontal armour. But even then its larger than a 155mm shell and there aren't many/any tanks that can protect against a direct hit. Remember its twice the size of warhead that Brimstone carries....and that cuts through armour like butter.
Armoured vehicles have APS these days. How do SPEAR3 and Brimstone fare against APS?

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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BlueD954 wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:Can SPEAR3 really damage both ships and armoured vehicles? Naturally the armour of a warship is different from a land vehicle.
Very few ship have armour these days, and certainly not enough to resist the size of warhead a Spear will carry. For armoured vehicles you have to remember that it will be a diving attack, not an attack onto frontal armour. But even then its larger than a 155mm shell and there aren't many/any tanks that can protect against a direct hit. Remember its twice the size of warhead that Brimstone carries....and that cuts through armour like butter.
Armoured vehicles have APS these days. How do SPEAR3 and Brimstone fare against APS?
Most APS doesn't cover the top of the vehicle from a diving attack. Even with the few that do, no one is claiming to be able to stop a Hellfire and above sized munition.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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I wonder which one, APS or EFP (like the ones carried by Bonus) will outrange the other?
- add the mentioned fact that the APS sensors typically do not look straight up
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Re: MBDA (UK)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:I wonder which one, APS or EFP (like the ones carried by Bonus) will outrange the other?
- add the mentioned fact that the APS sensors typically do not look straight up
Depends on the munition used to defeat the threat. If its blast based EFP will outrange, if its a more advanced mortar or missile based munition it could reach a smaller EFP. But some EFP's have ranges of 200m. There's no APS that can intercept at that range.

As to sensors for APS. I suspect after seeing loitering munitions killing tanks in Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia any APS that doesn't offer full 360 degree protection will get short shrift from purchasers. More advanced APS sensors may be paired with autocannon's on IFV's to become mini-SPAAG's to protect formations from UAV's and LM's.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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I see that as the way forward
" More advanced APS sensors may be paired with autocannon's on IFV's to become mini-SPAAG's to protect formations from UAV's and LM's"
as one that won't make MBTs unaffordable.

A bit like the Russians have the Terminator tanks cover their rocket-flamethrower tanks, as the latter approach to within range. Them in the middle, a Terminator (not that many were made) on each flank.
- understandably, if the protegees https://www.businessinsider.com/russia- ... ?r=US&IR=T take any kind of hit, the inferno will not be where it was intended
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 (UK)

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

BlueD954 wrote:TD on the history of the 5 SPEARs

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/spear-missile-system/
Does it say what is SPEAR1 capability as 2 +3 are parallel, for different uses but sharing some technology, and 4+% are different missiles, sequentially time wise, but meant for the same uses?
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 (UK)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote: Does it say what is SPEAR1 capability as 2 +3 are parallel, for different uses but sharing some technology, and 4+% are different missiles, sequentially time wise, but meant for the same uses?
Paveway IV variants - one has a seeker for moving targets and the other has a penetrator warhead (as penetrating as a 500lb bomb can be). They are treated as different weapons for F-35 integration. The last drop chart I saw had SPEAR 1 seeker and SPEAR 1 penetrator as seperate entities to be rolled out during different F-35 Blk 4.X software releases

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Thx, I should have remembered that.

We were at one point ahead with the better seeker (abt the time of the Libya intervention)
... could it be that the penetrator is 'std' US stuff, and thus liable to updates at unknown frequencies?
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 (UK)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:
BlueD954 wrote:TD on the history of the 5 SPEARs

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/spear-missile-system/
Does it say what is SPEAR1 capability as 2 +3 are parallel, for different uses but sharing some technology, and 4+% are different missiles, sequentially time wise, but meant for the same uses?
Read the article dont ask me.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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I thought I would give you a chance to clarify your non-meaningful response to my earlier pots (which was SPEAR2... and did not relate to my post at all).

Tried to be polite and gloss it over; oh, well, You are trying to be impolite. Try harder, if that is the case.
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 (UK)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:I thought I would give you a chance to clarify your non-meaningful response to my earlier pots (which was SPEAR2... and did not relate to my post at all).

Tried to be polite and gloss it over; oh, well, You are trying to be impolite. Try harder, if that is the case.
I am polite The article and others denote which SPEAR is what and from which company.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Defiance wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote: Does it say what is SPEAR1 capability as 2 +3 are parallel, for different uses but sharing some technology, and 4+% are different missiles, sequentially time wise, but meant for the same uses?
Paveway IV variants - one has a seeker for moving targets and the other has a penetrator warhead (as penetrating as a 500lb bomb can be). They are treated as different weapons for F-35 integration. The last drop chart I saw had SPEAR 1 seeker and SPEAR 1 penetrator as seperate entities to be rolled out during different F-35 Blk 4.X software releases
That is correct.

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