Posted 6 декабря 2022, 11:51
Published 6 декабря 2022, 11:51
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Prior to this, back in March, London sent Kiev about a hundred Brimstone missiles of the first modification. This measure of support was presented very loudly. They wrote that Ukraine received a formidable high-precision weapon that would destroy Russian armored vehicles and turn the tide of hostilities.
But the peculiarity of the Brimstone system is that it was created mainly for airborne. We need aircraft that can lift a rocket to a height of at least six thousand meters. Only in this case, Brimstone-1 hits at a distance of 30 kilometers, and its upgraded version of the second generation - at 60. Launching from a helicopter significantly reduces this figure, and when using a ground launcher, we can talk about ten kilometers, or even less.
It was the ground method that Ukrainian specialists resorted to, since there were few planes and helicopters left. In addition, integrating Brimstone into Soviet aircraft is not an easy task, if at all solvable. The British did not send any other branded launchers, so the Ukrainians loaded the first batch of Sulfur onto auto platforms.
The results of the application were lower than expected: the missiles did not hit the targets (for accurate guidance they require accurate intelligence data, and for laser guidance they need the support of spotters from the air or ground). Therefore, many cases have been recorded when rockets fell, practically without damaging themselves. The fuses didn't work.
Brimstone-1 was developed by MBDA in the late 1980s. But the missiles entered service only in 2005, and they were almost immediately sent for modernization. By the time they were put into service, they had become obsolete and many shortcomings were revealed.
The first successful modernization was ready only in 2013, and after a couple of years, the missile system was finally handed over to the armed forces.
The dimensions and appearance of the advanced version have not changed. All the same cylindrical body with a length of 1.8 meters and a diameter of 180 millimeters with a hemispherical head fairing and two sets of planes for stabilization and guidance. The starting weight has not changed either - 50 kilograms.
But the filling was changed all, because it was to her that there were main claims. Brimstone -2 received a new more powerful solid fuel engine. An advanced inertial navigation system guides the missile to a previously reconnoitred area, while the search for a programmed target and precise guidance are performed by an active millimeter-wave radar homing head and a semi-active laser sensor, which requires illumination to operate.
Like its predecessor, the missile is armed with a tandem HEAT warhead weighing 6.3 kilograms. The British replaced the old explosive with a new higher power. As a result, the rocket, judging by the reports of the designers, can penetrate armor 800 mm thick with dynamic protection.
The rocket turned out not bad, but it is not able to demonstrate its qualities in Ukraine. Due to the lack of the necessary air carriers, Kiev will not be able to realize the most important conditions for firing at maximum range. Trucks, as with the first version of the Sulfur, will have to be driven closer to the front, at great risk of falling under fire from not the most long-range artillery.
In addition, the system needs separate means of reconnaissance and target designation. Shooting at random with the expectation that the rocket itself will find a victim is a pointless exercise.
However, the Ukrainian military can find special use for laser guidance. This was indirectly pointed out by the specialized British edition of the Defense Journal. The journalist presented the laser sensor mounted on the rocket as a means to "avoid civilian casualties when using Brimstone-2 in urban areas". That is, the Ukrainian military will not even need to train spotters. It is enough to give them laser designators, and strikes against government bodies and important infrastructure will become more targeted.