A series of images show the effects of Dual Mode Brimstone missiles fired by an MQ-9 Reaper drone. By the way, the trucks in the opening image are different ones.
With nine direct hits on high speed, maneuvering vehicles, MBDA has successfully demonstrated its Dual Mode Brimstone missile on an MQ-9 Reaper.
The tests were conducted in December 2013 and January 2014 at the U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, on behalf of UK Ministry of Defence by the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Air Warfare Centre Unmanned Air Systems Test and Evaluation Squadron, Defence Equipment & Support Weapons Operating Centre, United States Air Force’s BIG SAFARI Organisation, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated and MBDA.
According to an MBDA release, “the firings were taken from realistic ‘middle of the envelope’ profiles; typically 20,000ft release altitude and 7km – 12km plan range, with the platform being remotely piloted in operationally representative beyond line of sight (SATCOM) conditions, with tracking and designation of targets being conducted in a mixture of manual-track and auto-track modes.”
These small guided missiles have a range of 7.5 miles and use a millimeter wave (mmW) radar seeker with a semi-active laser (SAL) that enables final guidance to the target by either the launching platform or another plane, and are perfect for small targets, individuals, buildings and fast-moving vehicles.
With a warhead of 9 kg, capable of destroying a vehicle with very low collateral damage risk, and an accuracy of about 1 – 2 meters, the dual-mode (radar – laser) Brimstone missile proved to be the weapons of choice of the RAF Tornados when engaging ground vehicles, attracting the interest of other coalition partners.
As Brimstone is an extensive redevelopment of the AGM-114 Hellfire it can be used on fast jets, helicopters and UAV’s: the Dual Mode Brimstone can provide Reaper crews with a weapon that reduces collateral damage risk while preserving first pass, single shot lethality against high speed manoeuvring targets on land and at sea.
Image credit: MBDA