By David Oliver
At DSEI 2021, MBDA’s Brimstone long-range, all-weather precision strike missile was shown arming three differed armoured vehicles including two Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV). General Dynamics displayed the ARES armoured personnel carrier (APC) variant of the Ajax family armed with an MBDA Brimstone guided missile launcher carrying four missiles installed at the rear of the vehicle.
The German Rheinmetall Group presented its Mission Master XT autonomous UGV in combination with a fire support module with the Brimstone for the first time. Rheinmetall says the Brimstone can be used against a variety of targets. According to the manufacturer, the missile, which has already been introduced into the British armed forces, can be used both on the line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight principle against stationary and moving targets including main battle tanks and all known defensive aid suites. It can operate in two engagement modes: radar and semi-active laser (SAL). Mounted on the Mission Master XT, this system can salvo-fire to engage multiple targets concurrently or a single target with total precision.
MBDA unveiled at DSEI 2019 how Brimstone has been added to the Milrem Robotics THeMIS UGV. Carrying six Brimstone missiles, this development comes in response to the British Army’s ‘Prototype Warfare’ drive, which includes a renewed need to counter massed armour formations in high-intensity warfare.
The Estonian THeMIS is a versatile and robust unmanned system with low noise and heat signatures that can negotiate demanding terrains while keeping the operator in a safe distance. It has been acquired by eleven countries including seven NATO members and has been successfully deployed operationally to Mali with the Estonian forces.
Andy Allen, MBDA UK Head of Land Domain Sales and Business Development said “The Brimstone cassette magazine, with its high weapon loadout, is optimised to counter mass armour.” Pairing Brimstone with a flexible and mission deployed UGV such as the THeMIS provides the tactical commander with the capability to rapidly and remotely deliver high volumes of precision anti-armour effects, importantly in all weathers, against all known DAS and at extended ranges.”
Photos courtesy Milrem Robotics and Rheinmetall