Interesting video on Brimstone missiles (and other kit) being sent to Ukraine...

Includes at 1.05 confirmation that Brimstone 2, Dual Mode Brimstone, are being sent at present. Which I must say is a surprise as Brimstone 2 only entered service in 2016. Missiles seen so far in Ukraine have been Brimstone 1 (Single Mode). Looks like at least 24 missiles in this shipment.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbdxY-yCYE0
 
Stocks are running pretty low indeed I expect.

I doubt it. There will have been at least 2,000 Brimstone 1 in stock before the start of the war. With further large orders for Brimstone 2 from 2013 onwards, now ordering Brimstone 3A and B. I don't think more than a couple of hundred have been sent to Ukraine yet. I suspect the switch to Dual Mode may be more to a desire to use SAL homing as well.
 
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How is the Polish production going?
Are they set up yet?
What timescale for deliveries?
 
The British Army's decision not to pay the small sums of money to integrate Brimstone 3 to AH-64E is looking increasingly ridiculous...wonder if we're going to see a reverse ferret soon....

Ukraine shows the need for AH to have as much standoff as possible, something that Brimstone 3 does to a far greater degree than JAGM or even Spike NLOS.

Saudi, Qatar, UK and Poland all will be using Brimstone and AH-64E...Poland may also integrate it to AW149 which is the likely winner of the UK's own NMH programme...

View: https://twitter.com/Rotorfocus/status/1569415721259507717

On the contrary, Brimstone 3 calls into question the entire point of the AAC's Apaches to begin with. It's natural they would want to keep Apaches away from something that might start having saner minds questioning why a dedicated, armored anti-tank helicopter is needed to sling long-range BLOS missiles and not simply scrapping them all in favor of more Wildcats for the same job.

If Brimstone 3 is needed, it should be integrated into utility helicopters which will generally not be in close combat scenarios, thus better positioned to use long-range weapons, and the Apaches can make use of their armor and integrated weapons by providing close air support. Which is what Ukraine actually shows: armored helicopters like Mi-28 and Ka-52 operate on the frontlines under potential threat of machine gun and MANPADS, while Hips operate in the rear areas and only in cleared assault zones under escort from gunships.

Might require training the Apache pilots to deliver 70mm rockets from diving and "aerial artillery" angles again though. Standoff is not a particularly pressing concern since the primary driver of standoff: mechanized air defense systems, are not particularly effective in Ukraine against their preferred targets of gunships and drones. Armored helicopters may also be useful in a future frontline counter-UAS capability using airburst grenades from the 30mm chain guns too, which would only further push home the point that they belong on the frontlines where the action is, not 30 miles away slinging fiber optic or datalink guided missiles.

If the helicopter isn't armored enough to survive there, then you need a new helicopter, but that doesn't seem to be an issue for Apache. The main threats are MANPADS, which can be defeated by active protection and laser dazzlers, and light to heavy machine guns, which can be stopped by aircraft armor or redundancy of systems. Apache just needs a helicopter APS instead of flares and a laser DIRCM turret, both of which have been demonstrated. It needs these far more than it needs a very long range missile, too.

Otherwise, Apache is worthless, should be destroyed, and the AAC should operate another 30 Wildcats instead, because the entire raison-d'etre of Apache has been rendered irrelevant.
 
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On the contrary, Brimstone 3 calls into question the entire point of the AAC's Apaches to begin with. It's natural they would want to keep Apaches away from something that might start having saner minds questioning why a dedicated, armored anti-tank helicopter is needed to sling long-range BLOS missiles and not simply scrapping them all in favor of more Wildcats for the same job.
Theoretically only. You can't always be sure where the enemy is and frontlines move.
 
An Apache is rather worse to lose than a Lynx to a suicide bomber or infiltration attack then. A Lynx also has more room inside for SATCOM terminals and other BLOS targeting equipment.

There's a reason Apaches aren't used as command ships for aerosol.
 
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An Apache is rather worse to lose than a Lynx to a suicide bomber or infiltration attack then. A Lynx also has more room inside for SATCOM terminals and other BLOS targeting equipment.

There's a reason Apaches aren't used as command ships for aerosol.
I wasn't talking about asymmetrical attacks. Even if we take a certain current war, the front line isn't always where helicopter pilots think it is and gunfire and missiles pop up from random trees.
 
An Apache is rather worse to lose than a Lynx to a suicide bomber or infiltration attack then. A Lynx also has more room inside for SATCOM terminals and other BLOS targeting equipment.

There's a reason Apaches aren't used as command ships for aerosol.

Unfortunately its likely that Wildcat costs more than Apache E and is available in smaller numbers for the UK.
 
An Apache is rather worse to lose than a Lynx to a suicide bomber or infiltration attack then. A Lynx also has more room inside for SATCOM terminals and other BLOS targeting equipment.

There's a reason Apaches aren't used as command ships for aerosol.
I wasn't talking about asymmetrical attacks.

Then you aren't talking about actual risks to gunships. Even in the current European war, the attacks on grounded aircraft have been by infiltration by small units, generally more comparable to Camp Bastion than a AAA gun. An Apache would be vaporized just as easily as a utility helicopter.

An Apache is rather worse to lose than a Lynx to a suicide bomber or infiltration attack then. A Lynx also has more room inside for SATCOM terminals and other BLOS targeting equipment.

There's a reason Apaches aren't used as command ships for aerosol.

Unfortunately its likely that Wildcat costs more than Apache E and is available in smaller numbers for the UK.

Britain can always buy UH-60s which are cheaper than Apache E.
 
Then you aren't talking about actual risks to gunships. Even in the current European war, the attacks on grounded aircraft have been by infiltration by small units, generally more comparable to Camp Bastion than a AAA gun. An Apache would be vaporized just as easily as a utility helicopter.
Some AAA would but even a 7.62mm MG will shred a utility helicopter, and a .50cal will make very light work of it.
 
Task Force Hawk never did anything notable because of the threat of .30 and .50 caliber machine guns. 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment was rendered combat ineffective by a distributed ambush of .50 caliber machine guns. Apaches are likely not armored enough to be survivable, which calls into question the concept of the armored gunship/attack helicopter itself, but as it stands "it might not survive a bullet" is far less damning than "it needs to cower behind a hill 30 kilometers away".

If the Apache needs to carry BLOS missiles, it will be easier to abandon the Apache entirely, and go back to using armed Lynx. An armed Lynx might even be able to support more than one gunner station, allowing it to fire multiple missiles from multiple axes, or maybe a separate UAS operator, letting it split workload better. The possibilities are endless. None of which is good for Apache crews or operators.

The chances of UK buying FVL gunships is pretty much nil anyway. I expect it will be replaced by Wildcats eventually.
 
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I wouldn't count on the certainty that the UK (or US for that matter) won't end up in a war where Apaches would prove useful providing close support with guns and rockets versus firing BLOS missiles in some Ukraine-like scenario.
 
Yes, as I said, not integrating a BLOS missile is the best for an Apache. It's literally built to survive gunfire on the frontlines.

If it needs BLOS missiles, why even have it. What's the point if you're not using Apache on the frontline? A long range missile just makes utility gunships even more viable because they can base gunships and assault choppers out of the FARP or something. Range simply obviates the need for things like armor and redundant survivability features.
 
Yes, as I said, not integrating a BLOS missile is the best for an Apache. It's literally built to survive gunfire on the frontlines.

If it needs BLOS missiles, why even have it. What's the point if you're not using Apache on the frontline? A long range missile just makes utility gunships even more viable because they can base gunships and assault choppers out of the FARP or something. Range simply obviates the need for things like armor and redundant survivability features.
The irony is of course is that Britain did not consider the AH-64A Apache survivable enough to meet GST.3971 when delivering LOS missiles due to the lack of a mast-mounted sight, lack of attention to signature reduction and reliance of OH-58/LHX for laser designation. It was only BLOS capability of APG-78 and AGM-114L that led to it's procurement.

See this document
 
Task Force Hawk never did anything notable because of the threat of .30 and .50 caliber machine guns. 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment was rendered combat ineffective by a distributed ambush of .50 caliber machine guns. Apaches are likely not armored enough to be survivable, which calls into question the concept of the armored gunship/attack helicopter itself, but as it stands "it might not survive a bullet" is far less damning than "it needs to cower behind a hill 30 kilometers away".

If the Apache needs to carry BLOS missiles, it will be easier to abandon the Apache entirely, and go back to using armed Lynx. An armed Lynx might even be able to support more than one gunner station, allowing it to fire multiple missiles from multiple axes, or maybe a separate UAS operator, letting it split workload better. The possibilities are endless. None of which is good for Apache crews or operators.

The chances of UK buying FVL gunships is pretty much nil anyway. I expect it will be replaced by Wildcats eventually.
First I've ever heard of AH-64s not being able to take .30 cal. Up to 23mm is quoted. Also pretty sure AH-64s have operated in cannon range of foot mobiles, who would surely have had some 7.62m PKMs and snipers. A lot of .50 cal MGs is a different story, but then you're not likely to miss them all.

Yes, as I said, not integrating a BLOS missile is the best for an Apache. It's literally built to survive gunfire on the frontlines.

If it needs BLOS missiles, why even have it. What's the point if you're not using Apache on the frontline? A long range missile just makes utility gunships even more viable because they can base gunships and assault choppers out of the FARP or something. Range simply obviates the need for things like armor and redundant survivability features.
Versatility. You're trying to pigeon-hole all conflicts and scenarios into one nice slot. The first thing that happens when someone has a bright idea like this is that a situation arises where a helicopter is lost to some trivial fire and people say, "if only it had some armour." Has a utility helicopter ever been lost in a situation that an AH-64 would have survived? Yes. Hence, case proven.

Next up. Why are MBTs needed? A modern ATGM will destroy them, so may as well just use SUVs.....
 
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Yes, as I said, not integrating a BLOS missile is the best for an Apache. It's literally built to survive gunfire on the frontlines.

If it needs BLOS missiles, why even have it. What's the point if you're not using Apache on the frontline? A long range missile just makes utility gunships even more viable because they can base gunships and assault choppers out of the FARP or something. Range simply obviates the need for things like armor and redundant survivability features.
The irony is of course is that Britain did not consider the AH-64A Apache survivable enough to meet GST.3971 when delivering LOS missiles due to the lack of a mast-mounted sight, lack of attention to signature reduction and reliance of OH-58/LHX for laser designation. It was only BLOS capability of APG-78 and AGM-114L that led to it's procurement.

See this document

Longbow isn't BLOS? It's quite literally LOS, because it's a radar. Radars need to see targets to hit them.

Hiding behind trees and using a mast mounted sensor to attack LOS targets isn't BLOS.

Hiding 30 kilometers away and firing television guided missiles is. What is what Brimstone SPEAR 3 (and Spike-NLOS) is. Integrating that into a heavily armored gunship is a waste of time when you use a much less heavily laden and thus more agile and capable utility helicopter and achieve the same result, and more, and cost less.

Yes, as I said, not integrating a BLOS missile is the best for an Apache. It's literally built to survive gunfire on the frontlines.

If it needs BLOS missiles, why even have it. What's the point if you're not using Apache on the frontline? A long range missile just makes utility gunships even more viable because they can base gunships and assault choppers out of the FARP or something. Range simply obviates the need for things like armor and redundant survivability features.
Versatility.

Because a dedicated tank buster helicopter is more versatile than an armed utility helicopter, yes?

You can make an argument for virtual attrition, which is a good one, except that for the most part utility helicopters are cheaper to operate and cheaper to maintain than gunships, have better hot/heavy performance, and outside of surviving direct engagement by small caliber machine guns, can do everything the gunship can.

Putting long range missiles onto a armored attack helicopter defeats the purpose of the armored attack helicopter. Save the money by scrapping the attack helicopters, using their budget funds to acquire more utility helicopters, and integrate the missile onto those. You'll come out with a profit that can be spent on other things.

The first thing that happens when someone has a bright idea like this is that a situation arises where a helicopter is lost to some trivial fire and people say, "if only it had some armour."

What a strange statement.

The only time Apaches have been lost in combat is when engaged by "trivial fire" i.e. NSVs and DShKs. The Iraqi Republican Guards dismantled the 11th AHR in a counter-helicopter ambush and Task Force Hawk never did anything, because the vaunted suppression of air defense corridors by MLRS was impossible, due to heavily forested and urbanized terrain.

Armor doesn't protect Apache, at least not against most of its own threats. The fact that 800+ Apaches were built and have been maintained at dwindling quantities protects it, which is why it hasn't been replaced. It exists, an alternative doesn't, and would need to be acquired. When the Apache -Es start to get long in the tooth, the UK will replace them with a utility helicopter like TOW-armed Lynx, because it probably won't buy FVL, which will likely have displaced Apache in the US by that time.

For a more accurate scenario of modern actions by attack helicopters, look at the performance of the Mi-28 and Ka-52 in Ukraine. Their armor is not exactly helpful in surviving Martlets and Iglas. They have to hide behind hills and small terrain features, engage with BLOS television guided missiles (Hermes), or fire unguided rockets at high angles to get plunging fire onto the enemy, and generally try to avoid being hit. Even then, Ka-52 is still the better gunship as it's more agile, and yet it's being lost quite prodigiously and the Russians are hesitant to use them near the FLOT.

One wonders how much more effective Hermes-A might be integrated onto a Mi-8M with a GSR and control cabin in the back. Probably quite a lot, considering the original JSTARS installation was on a small helicopter. Something similar with a couple computers, a pair of radio operators, and a gunner-pilot setup might be able to form a mobile reconnaissance-fire complex all on its own. The Hermes kills the SAMs, the radar targets the artillery, and the gunships...don't do anything?

If gunships are weapons + sensor, then the ultimate gunship is going to be something like a cargo helicopter with a fat empty space for control consoles, hot/heavy performance for carrying 8-20 long range missiles, and no armor to improve the former. At least in the current era.

Gunships proper can continue flailing around but they'll die at rates comparable to UAS in the CAS role, as Turkey has seen in its current war in Syria, and Russia in Ukraine, and this is uneconomical when pilots are fewer and further between than they've ever been.

The days of the armored helicopter are going to go away if they can't grow more armor, at least on the big end of the wars. What that entails is debatable I suppose, it could be higher altitude, anti-missiles like HAPS, or literal physical armor, or possibly all three, but it's clear that the current crop of 50 year old attack helicopters aren't exactly suited to the modern battlefield, as it's rather saturated with MANPADS and air defense systems that kind of eat them.

Attack helicopters currently are just competing with cheap drone systems like MQ-9 and TB-2 and seem to be losing though, at least in the mid-intensity range where MPADS and heavy machine guns are proliferated massively. I suspect they would fare no better than that in a high-intensity combat where nuclear weapons are used, though.

However, they remain the absolute kings of low-intensity fights where free hunting and loiter capability are valuable and the primary threat is automatic rifles and the occasional singular machine gun. So, at the very least, attack helicopters are useful for patrolling for light infantry and obliterating a dozen dudes and a truck. Their sensors are valuable here, they can actually take the heat of fire, and they are rarely heavily damaged.

All in all, as to fighting colonial wars and destroying poorly armed third world farmers, that seems to be their current natural niche. Since that is also the most common type of war in general, attack helicopters will probably stick around, they'll just be useless to "blunt armored offensives" or whatever. Too slow to get out of their own way and too low altitude to avoid getting swatted by accurate radar- and infrared guided weapons.

But armies that have to actually manage scarce resources, like the UK's, won't be able to afford attack helicopters. They're mere a luxury afforded only by the most massive, well-funded militaries that have near-limitless political and fiscal wealth to expend on conveniences, rather than necessities. If attack helicopters aren't actually useful in mid- to high-intensity war, and the UK wants an army that can fight anything more dangerous than, say, Sierra Leone, it will need to nix them and probably buy more Chinooks, more Wildcats, or something similar but more flexible and...versatile.

All in all the lack of Brimstone 3 for Apache is a smart move. It correctly assesses that gunships are not particularly useful outside of small wars like Iraq or Afghanistan and unlikely to be decisive in a big one. Integrating Brimstone 3 onto Wildcat would be even better, but the UK has neither the airframes to absorb that attrition, nor the political impetus to have both Apache and BLOS equipped gunships.

Perhaps spinning Apache -E as a drone hunter? That might help gunships regain some measure of relevance outside of small wars.
 
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Yes, as I said, not integrating a BLOS missile is the best for an Apache. It's literally built to survive gunfire on the frontlines.

If it needs BLOS missiles, why even have it. What's the point if you're not using Apache on the frontline? A long range missile just makes utility gunships even more viable because they can base gunships and assault choppers out of the FARP or something. Range simply obviates the need for things like armor and redundant survivability features.
The irony is of course is that Britain did not consider the AH-64A Apache survivable enough to meet GST.3971 when delivering LOS missiles due to the lack of a mast-mounted sight, lack of attention to signature reduction and reliance of OH-58/LHX for laser designation. It was only BLOS capability of APG-78 and AGM-114L that led to it's procurement.

See this document

This is an interesting article on the whole attack helicopter issue




Reading it, you cant help but wonder if there was a degree of 'ooohhh big shiny thing that the US has therefore we must have' came into play.
 
It probably wasn't that clueless. The Mk.1s were old as hell and well used. They needed a replacement. Apache -E is in production. Crews and maintainers are trained to use it. "We're getting Apache -Es." "OK."

The hard choice would be buying something that isn't Apache.

edit: Oh wait lol you mean the original Apache buy. Yeah that's absolutely a keeping up with the Joneses thing. Same reason why FRES existed after TRACER instead of just buying Warrior. Just a weird copy-cat of the local superpower patron, which that only France has managed to pull off with any semblance of success.

No reason they couldn't just put a sensor ball on a Lynx or if they really needed NOE attack capability.

One of the goofy Westland stealth helicopters would have been the better buy in terms of performance.

In terms of necessity, more Chinooks I guess?

That goofy PHOENIX robocopter is the best boy though he is absolutely precious.
 

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What is what Brimstone SPEAR 3 (and Spike-NLOS) is.
Neither Brimstone or Spear have an EO/IR capability I'm afraid. Suspect Spear will get Tri-Mode at some point in the future. The Land Precision Strike missile should come with an EO/IR seeker as an option though, in addition to the MMW/SAL seeker head from Brimstone 3.
 
Because a dedicated tank buster helicopter is more versatile than an armed utility helicopter, yes?

You can make an argument for virtual attrition, which is a good one, except that for the most part utility helicopters are cheaper to operate and cheaper to maintain than gunships, have better hot/heavy performance, and outside of surviving direct engagement by small caliber machine guns, can do everything the gunship can.

Putting long range missiles onto a armored attack helicopter defeats the purpose of the armored attack helicopter. Save the money by scrapping the attack helicopters, using their budget funds to acquire more utility helicopters, and integrate the missile onto those. You'll come out with a profit that can be spent on other things.
They can both do things the other can't and there's no reason not to equip them both with Brimstone 3. The choice is then down to the unique needs of user.

I could also argue that putting BLOS missiles on a helicopter defeats the purpose of helicopters, since I can carry bigger and better BLOS missile payloads on ground vehicles, and if I'm using a helicopter for artillery, then why not use artillery. Artillery doesn't crash (unless the driver is a convict who has had far too much vodka), less maintenance. Ground vehicles can also carry more armour. Leave transport/cargo helicopters for transport and cargo.

The first thing that happens when someone has a bright idea like this is that a situation arises where a helicopter is lost to some trivial fire and people say, "if only it had some armour."


What a strange statement.

The only time Apaches have been lost in combat is when engaged by "trivial fire" i.e. NSVs and DShKs. The Iraqi Republican Guards dismantled the 11th AHR in a counter-helicopter ambush and Task Force Hawk never did anything, because the vaunted suppression of air defense corridors by MLRS was impossible, due to heavily forested and urbanized terrain.
Sustained fire from AP .50cal will take down any helicopter but even an ordinary assault rifle bullet can kill a utility copter pilot. That's down to poor battlefield intelligence to get in range of a large .50cal ambush. In such situation a utility helicopter is a larger, less manoeuvrable target that would be gutted 10 times as fast.

Armor doesn't protect Apache, at least not against most of its own threats.
Ridiculously broad statement. Fairly sure it does. In 1991 only 1 AH-64 was lost to a close range RPG, clearly they didn't feel too confident about using an AK against it.


I find no references to DShK but 42% of Hind losses are also against DShK, so that's no slight on the AH-64's armour.


So sure DShK might beat attack helicopters at close range, but with better battlefield intel and tactics, they can be engaged on chain gun from 1500m away and save a BLOS. Substitute in a utility helicopter and you have no 30mm and someone can shoot you from a few hundred metres away with an AK, which every man an his dog has at least 3 of.
 
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I'm also fairly sure this argument is a red herring. I mean, why hasn't Brimstone been integrated on Reapers/Predators yet? That's not a helicopter and could definitely benefit from greater strike range. There was a plan to put it on Protector RG MkI, but what happened to that?
 
I'm also fairly sure this argument is a red herring. I mean, why hasn't Brimstone been integrated on Reapers/Predators yet? That's not a helicopter and could definitely benefit from greater strike range. There was a plan to put it on Protector RG MkI, but what happened to that?
Trials were undertaken on Reaper, but the UK had a stock of GBU.12 and Hellfire Romeo's so no real desperate need.

But it is the main weapon, with Paveway IV, for Protector RG.1. Integration work is underway. When delivered it will use those weapons exclusively in UK service.
 
What about putting a Brimstone inside a long range drone? Some of them carry 50kg warheads, so stick a Brimstone in instead for the finish. Or putting one inside a GMLRS/GMLRS-ER?
 
Or putting one inside a GMLRS/GMLRS-ER?

This! Get Boeing and SAAB involved as they've already done similar work in using surplus M26 MLRS rocket-motors to launch SDB Is attached to it with an adapter.
SDB1 is a GPS/INS guided weapon (there is a laser guided version with the laser seeker from LJDAM but its fielded in quite small numbers, principally by SOCOM). So its great for fixed targets. Essentially Ground Launched SDB creates a GMLRS like capability with longer range and smaller cost, albeit with smaller warhead. It also has some advantages (and disadvantages) with its flight profile (and speed). It is dependent on there being a stock of the unguided M26 surplus rockets however. All in all its a very sensible idea, unguided M26 rocket motor sections could be put into production comparatively cheaply and added with the small cost (for a PGM) of SDB1 you could purchase 2-3 for the cost of single GMLRS-ER. Makes sense economically and tactically as not all targets need to be serviced by a larger munition.

But....as soon as you start adding complexity like a Spear or SDB2 to it I'd argue the utility drops significantly. It's all well and good hitting fixed or static targets with GMLRS or GLSDB. But does anyone have the capability to really target moving targets at that sort of range? Outside of a manned aircraft or complex UCAV like Reaper I'd say no. Realistically you'd need eyes on the target throughout the engagement to accurately place the munition so that its own internal guidance can take over. And if you've got those sorts of eyes on....you probably should have a munition already on hand that can do the job quicker and cheaper...For it to work the Kill Chain would need to work incredibly rapidly. A Spear for example could take 15 minutes to arrive at max range, and thats if everything went really quickly. How far could a target move in that timeframe? Well outside of Spear's MMW radar range....it would arrive at the target location and find nothing there...The only thing that would make sense would be something detected via a system like the sadly retired Sentinel R.1, that could then data-link with the Spear or SDB2 to provide target updates. But at that range could you really be sure of what you were aiming at? Could it be a civilian vehicle? SDB2 would probably be even more difficult to use than Spear as its lack of power would mean the point at which a targeting decision would need to be made would be even shorter due to it having to manage its energy throughout its glide.

The solution in the near term for moving targets at range would be the eminently sensible MBDA LPS...fired from Boxer, Land Ceptor or M270/HiMARS. 80km and its high speed, data-linked, man in the loop capability would be a lot more manageable than 200-300km with SDB2 or Spear.

I've long argued that Spear should, and hopefully will, develop further ('spiral' developments have repeatedly been mentioned). We already know about Spear, Spear-EW and SpearGlide (essentially a Spear SDB2 equivalent, same seeker and guidance but unpowered and larger warhead as a result of freed up space). But there really needs to be an SDB1 competitor, I've called it SpearSimple before. Just GPS/INS, and maybe a laser seeker if its really, really low-cost. Cheap as chips to round out the product family so that it covers all eventualities (a SpearRecon with a simple EO/IR sensor could make sense as well for high threat areas or BDA). For the UK who tends to only have comparatively very expensive PGM's like Brimstone, Paveway IV, Spear and Storm Shadow it would make a lot of sense for greater stockpile depth. But only for air launch from F-35 and Typhoon. The costs to replicate the GLSDB solution would be better spent elsewhere. Personally I'd just buy GLSDB as is and treat it as a sealed (so called wooden) round for the Army.

As to sticking Brimstone on an M26? You'd find exactly the same targeting issues, but with even more of the difficulties that its shorter range and speed would bring...
 
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But....as soon as you start adding complexity like a Spear or SDB2 to it I'd argue the utility drops significantly. It's all well and good hitting fixed or static targets with GMLRS or GLSDB. But does anyone have the capability to really target moving targets at that sort of range?
If you have a drone in the loop, you could data from that to create the target image for Brimstone, or if the Brimstone is in the drone, it can pass the target image directly. It could prove particularly useful against air defences.
 
But....as soon as you start adding complexity like a Spear or SDB2 to it I'd argue the utility drops significantly. It's all well and good hitting fixed or static targets with GMLRS or GLSDB. But does anyone have the capability to really target moving targets at that sort of range?
If you have a drone in the loop, you could data from that to create the target image for Brimstone, or if the Brimstone is in the drone, it can pass the target image directly. It could prove particularly useful against air defences.
Thing is the range of Brimstone on the end of an M26 would be in the order of 140km+. At that range any UAV is likely to be a big one, which could then just carry a munition itself. But also given the experience in Ukraine you'd have to say that operating a UAV deep over enemy territory, unless its an RQ-180 high end low observable one, is not going to be likely.
 
Of course the UAV requirement for spotting becomes a fair bet simpler if you you dont bother with optical spotting.

The OV1 Monohawk had a Side Looking Radar with a range of over 100 miles for a car back in the 60s. The crews use to use the highways near their station post for training.

You can get similar if not better from a modern system quarter of the size if the Dragoneye pod anything to do by.

So you have realtime updates with TV like resolution and frame rate.

And able to look behind foliage and spot camouflage netting.

Can easy see a MLRS system with Brimstone having such a drone spotting the enemy well behind the FLOT while basically over the battery.
 
Thing is the range of Brimstone on the end of an M26 would be in the order of 140km+. At that range any UAV is likely to be a big one, which could then just carry a munition itself. But also given the experience in Ukraine you'd have to say that operating a UAV deep over enemy territory, unless its an RQ-180 high end low observable one, is not going to be likely.
Wouldn't need anything nearly that big. You could even fire a scout drone out to target via the MLRS.

 
Spain is purchasing Brimstone for their Tranche 2 and 3 Typhoon. This will be the Brimstone 3 variant, presumably the, almost finished, new 3B.

43m EUR is not a huge amount. Suspect with documentation, manuals, training, mounts, test equipment, support etc etc.. its a c200 missile purchase.

This will mean Brimstone users are/will be:

United Kingdom
Saudi Arabia
Qatar
Poland
Spain
Oman

It will be interesting if Brimstone will start to pick up momentum following the Ukraine War...it would help if the AAC integrated it on Apache somewhat...

Germany is often quoted, after people refer to Wikipedia, as having Brimstone... but they don't. They did show some interest at one point, but have opted for rebuilt Sidewinder 9L's with a new laser seeker head called LaGS as a short term measure to give them a small munition for their Tornado fleet (probably a sensible short term measure, saves upgrade costs on a platform due to retire in due course). The reason for this confusion is that technically Germany did order a tiny amount of Brimstone. But these were purely for the Typhoon manufacturers to support the UK's integration effort for Brimstone for the RAF. They're also ordering SDBII for the 35 F-35A that will replace Tornado on the nuclear mission rather than Spear. At the same time the Typhoon EK keeps getting CGI'd with Spear/Spear-EW...all in all a rather confusing position...

Google Translation of text
Finally, although it is practically the most interesting due to its novelty, the Brimstone air-to-surface missile will be acquired for an estimated value of 43 million euros and will be integrated by CLAEX in the C.16 (Eurofighter) , just as the RAF did in their Typhoon.

View: https://twitter.com/ReinaldoDMM/status/1594663957247426562
 
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Is the Brimstone 1 still in production?

No. Long since superceded by Brimstone 2 and now Brimstone 3A. 3B will take over from 3A shortly as the sole production variant.
Apart from increasing range, accuracy and other performance metrics one of the main purposes of the Brimstone 2 and 3 variants was to remove obsolescence, make the missiles IM-compliant and ITAR free.
 

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