In 2010, MBDA launched CWSP (Compact Warfare System Package) to provide fast patrol boats and logistics ships with an integrated combat system for both self-defence and the means to secure sensitive coastal zones. In this respect, CWSP’s common architecture has up to now incorporated MBDA’s automated, twin turret Mistral missile SIMBAD-RC air defence system and a twin launcher Marte Mk2/N missile system for the anti-ship role. However, in recognition of the growing complexity of operations in the littoral, MBDA is now offering CWSP with an additional capability, namely that provided by Brimstone to counter agile high speed craft operating in potentially large numbers often in well co-ordinated formations. These Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC), when operating together, can overwhelm the defences of well armed naval craft equipped with medium calibre gun systems.
In May 2013, MBDA successfully carried out a surface-to-surface, rapid salvo firing of three Brimstone missiles in a trial scenario representing just such a FIAC attack. Each of the missiles hit its intended target. This trial followed on from two previous Brimstone successes against FIAC targets. With its all-weather, fire-and-forget, single button push salvo firing capability, Brimstone is therefore both a logical and significant addition to the capability already offered by CWSP.
Brimstone, in its air launched version, has proven its unerring accuracy during UK RAF combat operations in Libya and Afghanistan. This level of accuracy is now being offered in a surface-to-surface version in which Brimstone is deployed within sealed canisters in a modular launcher (single to six pack configurations are possible) housed on a vessel’s weather deck. In its maritime version, Brimstone’s on-deck footprint is minimal making it suitable for installation on a wide range of craft.
CWSP, which has been self-funded by MBDA, benefits from the company’s extensive experience in air defence C2 systems as well as in air defence and anti-ship guided weapons. This experience has enabled MBDA to offer its customers a turnkey combat system solution providing the high fire power of missiles and guns combined within a modular architecture incorporating radar and EO sensors, user friendly C2 as well as air and surface engagement and mission planning modules.