Reaper Drones Might Add Dual-Mode Brimstone Missiles to Their Arsenal

By Andrew Tarantola on at

Just in case the RQ-9 Reaper wasn't effective enough as it is, the DoD is considering adding a hyper-accurate, collateral damage-minimising supersonic missile to its armament. These things are nuts.

Reaper Drones Might Add Dual-Mode Brimstone Missiles to Their Arsenal

The Dual Mode Brimstone by MBDA is a millimetre wave radar and semi-active laser guided missile designed for use against fast-moving targets, both at land and at sea, while minimising the risk of collateral damage. It measures just under six feet long, weighs 110 lbs, and accelerates its tandem shaped-charge warhead to supersonic speeds using a solid-state rocket motor, giving the Brimstone a range of up to 7.5 miles. It can be guided to its target by both an onboard millimetre wave radar and by following the designating laser of forces on the ground.

Recent tests held at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake saw Reaper crews tick off 9 shots of the Brimstone against a variety of static and moving targets, scoring direct hits on each and every one of them. Fired from an average altitude of 20,000 feet and distance of 4.3 miles, the Brimstone even successfully engaged trucks travelling at speeds in excess of 70 mph. The Brimstone has also proven itself effective against numerous vehicles and structures including cars, motorcycles, trucks, tanks, armoured vehicles, bunkers, and naval fast in-shore attack craft (FIAC).

Reaper Drones Might Add Dual-Mode Brimstone Missiles to Their Arsenal

There's no word yet on when exactly the US military could begin deploying Brimstones aboard RQ-9s. But you can be sure you don't want to be anywhere near them once they do. [UAS Vision - Wiki - Brimstone 1, 2]