Brimstone is an advanced, rocket-propelled, radar-guided weapon and can seek and destroy armoured targets at long range.
For indirect mode, weapons are launched when the targets and their position are not visible to the attacking aircraft, whereas in direct mode, the pilot uses an on board sighting system to select the target. The target can lie off the aircraft's track obviating need for the pilot to manoeuvre to release weapons.
Dimensions & Specifications
Sensor: Millimetric Wave Radar(Legacy), Millimetric Wave Radar/Semi Active Laser (DMB)
Dual Mode Brimstone is a precision (DMB) ground attack missile originally developed in response to an urgent operational requirement for RAF fighters deployed in Iraq.
Conversion of the basic anti-armour weapon involves modification to the existing millimetric wave seeker with the addition of a semi-active laser. The man-in-the-loop weapon is now being used against a range of vehicle and fixed targets.
Ground acquisition and target recognition are achieved by a millimetric wave radar seeker. The weapon locks onto a target after launch and is designed for the attack and destruction of armoured targets. Steerable fins guide the missile towards the target with final impact causing a tandem charge warhead to detonate. The first, smaller warhead nullifies reactive armour, allowing the follow-through charge to penetrate the main armour. It is designed to be carried by the Tornado GR4 and Typhoon F2. The weapon can be used in Indirect and Direct modes. For Indirect attack weapons are launched when the targets and their position are not visible to the attacking aircraft. In Direct mode the pilot can use an on-board sighting system to select the target, which can lie off the aircraft's track, so that pilots do not need to manoeuvre to release weapons. The weapon flies at low level, using its on-board navigation systems to head for the target and searching, using its radar, to distinguish between valid and non-valid targets. Brimstone can be programmed to start searching only in target areas, limiting risks to friendly forces.
MOD wanted a weapon that could operate in all weathers, day and night, be effective against the future predicted Explosive Reactive Armour arrays and be a genuine 'fire-and-forget' weapon.
After a strong competition between four rival projects, a contract was let with MBDA in 1996. Total expected costs of introducing the weapon into service is about £850 million.
The weapon went into service on the Tornado GR4 in 2005. Work continues to ensure the weapon reaches its full potential.
The centre of WWII RAF operations from 1942.