MBDA Missile Systems (Outdoor Exhibit 10, Chalet D1) said yesterday that it would assemble the first copy this week of the Brimstone 2 missile, which is now in series production. The missile incorporates a dual-mode, millimeter-wave radar and semi-active laser seeker, an “insensitive munition” (IM) rocket motor and warhead and a new, stronger airframe.
At a briefing on Wednesday here at the airshow, MBDA executives said the company received its first production batch of rocket motors from Roxel on June 10 and warheads from TDW on June 30. Cliff Kimpton, MBDA market development executive, said Brimstone 2 would provide a “step change” improvement in the missile’s performance.
Brimstone 2 will enter service next year on British Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s. In June MBDA signed a contract with BAE Systems to support the evaluation of the missile on the Eurofighter Typhoon. MBDA plans to deliver “many hundreds” of the missile, said Adrian Monks, head of short-range surface attack.
In December and January, the RAF and the U.S. Air Force sponsored trials of the dual-mode Brimstone fitted on the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft at U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California. MBDA executives declined to provide further information about Brimstone testing on the Reaper, or whether the U.S. will be involved in testing Brimstone 2.
Douglas Denneny, vice president for business development with the group in Arlington, Virginia, said the U.S. military is “very aware” of progress with the Brimstone 2. The U.S. Navy has allocated $4 million in its Fiscal Year 2014 budget to explore integrating some model of Brimstone on the F/A-18 Super Hornet.