MBDA Missile Systems (Chalet B165) said it carried out the first surface-to-surface salvo engagement of multiple fast-attack vessels with its Brimstone Sea Spear missile, equipped with a millimetric-wave radar seeker.
On May 29 at the West Freugh test range in Scotland, the company launched three Brimstone missiles from a surface platform in rapid salvo against a simulated attack formation of five representative fast in-shore attack craft (FIAC), including four moored and one moving remotely-powered vessel. The three missiles acquired and engaged their respective targets at a range-constrained distance of between four and five kilometers.
MBDA UK is proposing Brimstone Sea Spear as a surface attack missile for deployment against FIACs and other small surface threats in all weather environments. The salvo test “was our opportunity to say and show that [Brimstone] is a discriminate weapon,” said MBDA’s Frank Morgan, who provided a program update on Monday at the Paris Air Show.
On April 6, the company conducted a test launch against a single static vessel with a missile containing a telemetry unit to transmit data instead of a warhead. The missile scored a direct hit on the vessel’s control cabin, causing the target craft to sink. The April and May tests were a continuation of the June 2012 anti-FIAC trial conducted from a British Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 using a dual-mode Brimstone with millimetric wave and semi-active laser seeker.
MBDA executives said the program is currently focused on developing the Brimstone Sea Spear missile for deployment from a surface-based platform, however, it can be applied to airborne and other platforms. It offers a force protection weapon that can engage fast-attacking craft outside the range of medium-caliber naval guns.