Dual Mode Brimstone Achieves Direct Hits in MQ-9 Reaper Testing

Dual Mode Brimstone Achieves Direct Hits in MQ-9 Reaper Testing
Dual Mode Brimstone Achieves Direct Hits in MQ-9 Reaper Testing

Recent testing demonstrated that MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) armed with MBDA’s Dual Mode Brimstone (DMB) can defeat high speed and maneuvering targets with a single missile shot.  This represents a significant extension of DMB’s value.  DMB is the combat-proven weapon of choice on jet aircraft for defeating erratically moving targets, including in urban environments with restricted rules of engagement.  DMB has been demonstrated on Reaper and is available to U.S. operators for defeating the most challenging land and sea targets.

In testing conducted at the US Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, California from December 2013 – January 2014, a Brimstone-equipped MQ 9-Reaper scored nine direct hits against stationary and maneuvering targets traveling at speeds as fast as 70 MPH from up to 7 miles away at altitudes as high as 20,000 feet – realistic “middle of the envelope” shot profiles.  The testing also demonstrated how Brimstone’s dual mode Semi-Active Laser and Active MMW radar seekers work in tandem to ensure direct hits, even while manually designating and tracking targets beyond line of sight (SATCOM) conditions.

All of the test objectives were met:  demonstrating safe carriage, safe release, system targeting and end game performance, while gathering data to support optimization and final integration activities.

The successful testing demonstrates that DMB’s dual mode seeker enables RPAs to deliver the same low collateral damage effects with the same precision as demonstrated by the RAF with Brimstone on Tornado GR4 fighter aircraft in Afghanistan and Libya. In over 300 combat shots, Brimstone has achieved an unparalleled 98% success rate.


The testing was undertaken on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defense/Royal Air Force with support provided by the United States Air Force’s Big Safari Organization, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. and MBDA. These tests are another important step in Brimstone’s ongoing spiral development, broadening its application to deliver a true multi-role and multi-platform land/maritime attack capability. For example, click here to learn more about DMB’s maritime capabilities.

Combined with ongoing testing against maritime Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC), these tests further demonstrate the Brimstone missile’s unique value as a truly multi-role missile family for land and maritime attack from jet aircraft, RPAs, maritime patrol aircraft, rotary wing platforms and surface platforms. DMB is a battle-proven system, available now for integration onto US aircraft and surface vessels.

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