The first firing of an operational Dual Mode Brimstone missile (Monday 25th June) against a Fast In-Shore Attack Craft (FIAC) proved to be a resounding success and a clear demonstration of the unmatched operational flexibility that the weapon provides for air, naval and land based platforms.
During the trial, which took place at the QinetiQ Aberporth range in Wales, a RAF Tornado GR4 targeted a fast moving FIAC RT (realistic target), successfully engaging and sinking it.
“This latest firing was a great success for the team” said Paul Stanley, MBDA International Market Development Director. “This additional Capability builds upon the data gathered in March and demonstrates Brimstone’s low collateral yet lethal effects against moving and manoeuvring FIACs. It also significantly advances and confirms MBDA’s ability to offer customers as of now an extremely effective, anti swarming FIAC capability using our world leading, combat proven Brimstone missile in its mmW version.”
FIACs are small, fast and agile and a growing maritime threat. There are many variables and difficulties tracking and engaging maritime targets at sea, especially with laser-guided systems. The difference with Brimstone is that the mmW radar actually tracks the target rather than a wandering laser beam or laser return.
The firing marks the culmination of a series of seeker and telemetry gathering trials against maritime targets that have taken place over a period of five years. These trials confirmed the ability of the missile to acquire and track the FIAC in both semi-active laser and mmW (millimetric wave) radar guidance modes in realistic maritime scenarios.
“This makes Brimstone the only currently available weapon capable of providing a fully effective solution against small, fast moving and manoeuvring maritime targets” added Paul Stanley.
Brimstone has already demonstrated its capabilities as the weapon of choice against a range of fixed and moving ground targets during operations in Afghanistan and Libya. These recent trials represent the latest stage of MBDA’s programme to demonstrate the weapon’s wider versatility in engaging maritime targets.