MBDA’s Brimstone precision strike missile is being planned as the UK’s guided missile solution for the Royal Air Force’s Protector Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) programme. If confirmed, the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Certifiable Predator B will enter service with the British weapon.
The integration plan is included as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Main Gate selection of the aircraft and, if agreed, the missile will be integrated and fielded in line with the Platform’s introduction to service.
MBDA will now work together with UK MOD, US DOD and GA-ASI towards a programme which would see the missile undergo integration onto the Air System with trials and firings towards the end of the decade. The missile has already successfully completed a series of trial firings on MQ-9 Reaper during early 2014 that saw the weapon engaging 110 kmph and manoeuvring targets with extreme precision from the RPAs; unmatched by any other weapon since.
The missile promises to arm Protector with the ability to strike fast moving, manoeuvring targets with both man in the loop post launch guidance and also autonomous post launch all weather capabilities. This confirms that the missile is a true multiplatform weapon that can operate across fast jets, RPAS and, most recently, helicopters.