Go to section

Germany will order MBDA Brimstone 3 missiles

The Bundestag has approved the funding for the purchase of a large batch of MBDA Brimstone 3 anti-tank guided missiles to arm Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, the Budget Committee (Haushaltsausschuss) of the German Bundestag approved the funding for the purchase of a large batch of MBDA Brimstone 3 anti-tank guided missiles to arm the Eurofighter Typhoon multirole aircraft.

Photo: MBDA

The Federal Ministry of Defense of Germany had planned the integration of this weaponry with the aircraft since 2016, as confirmed by the then Inspector of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), General Karl Müllner. At that time, it was planned that the first batch of missiles could be delivered in 2019. However, this did not happen.

In accordance with current law, all contracts exceeding 25 million EUR (ca. 26.84 million USD) must be approved by the German parliament. Yesterday, the project for the framework agreement named Angetriebener Effektor kurzer Reichweite (powered short-range effector) was approved, providing for the purchase of up to 3,266 Brimstone 3 missiles, as well as the first executive contract for the acquisition of a batch of 276 missiles of this type for approximately 376 million EUR (403 million USD). Additionally, 29 missiles for flight testing and 75 full-scale mockups for training and telemetry purposes are included.

In addition, the package will include hardpoints for integration with the aircraft, auxiliary and diagnostic equipment, tool kits, and training materials. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2028. The contractor will be MBDA Deutschland, part of the European consortium MBDA.

The German side will not incur additional costs for the integration of Brimstone 3 with the Eurofighter Typhoon, as these have already been integrated with British FGR4 aircraft. Additionally, on January 29 of this year, the 18th Report of the Federal Ministry of Defense was published, which stated that the integration work is underway.

At that time, the spokesperson for MBDA Deutschland stated that the purchase of Brimstone would go hand in hand with the construction of a final assembly line and a service center in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria. The company already announced last year that it had achieved new production capabilities at its German facility.

Currently, the Luftwaffe has a total of 133 Typhoons (three aircraft have had accidents: two were destroyed and written off on June 24, 2019, and one was damaged on June 23, 2014, but later restored to service). Of these, 38 of the oldest Tranche 1 versions will be replaced by the same number of Tranche 4 versions under the Quadriga project. Additionally, 15 will be modified to the Eurofighter EK electronic warfare version, and another 20, possibly in the Tranche 5 version, will be purchased.

It is worth noting that on July 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of State approved the potential sale to Germany of 969 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air radar-guided missiles along with associated equipment for up to 2.9 billion USD (2.7 billion EUR). These missiles will be used to arm the aforementioned Typhoons, as well as the newly ordered 35 F-35A Lightning II aircraft.

Photo: MBDA

Brimstone 3

The latest version of the missiles from the Brimstone family was developed under the CSP (Capability Sustainment Programme) modernization program based on a contract signed on March 27, 2018, between the UK Ministry of Defense and MBDA UK, valued at 400 million GBP (ca. 540 million USD). The modernization will extend their operational use beyond 2030. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has integrated them with Typhoon aircraft and plans to do the same with the new Protector RG Mk.1 (MQ-9B SkyGuardian) strike drones.

The work included integrating a new warhead capable of targeting using semi-active laser guidance or 94 GHz radio waves, an improved autopilot to increase strike precision, and a new Roxel Vulcan rocket motor. The modernization also covered the missile’s electronic systems. The strike range was increased by 20%, and the efficiency of the missile’s power cell was increased by 30%. Detailed performance information remains classified. When launching the missile, the pilot can select the mode in which the missile will target the objective.

As early as March 20, 2019, it was reported about the first successful tests of the approximately 50-kilogram Brimstone 3 missile at the FMV Vidsel test range in the Norrbotten region of northern Sweden under arctic conditions at temperatures below -30°C. The missile is offered for export and has been integrated with ground platforms, with plans for integration with naval platforms.

As a side note, components for the Brimstone missile family are produced at the Polish Mesko plants, which are part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). The missiles are also a component of the Polish Ottokar-Brzoza wheeled tank destroyer program.


Nobody has commented on this article yet.

Leave a Reply