New Brimstone Missile

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by enlightened1, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    The Ministry of Defence has released the first cockpit footage of a new precision missile which can kill a Taliban fighter with such a small explosion that nearby civilians are unharmed.

    The Dual Mode Brimstone guided missile is shown blasting a gunman who has dug himself a firing position or 'murder hole' in the base of a thick mud walled compound in the heart of a village in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

    Whereas the 1,000lb bombs commonly used in such air strikes would have flattened the settlement and could have killed dozens of people, the Brimstone's warhead kills the enemy gunman while barely damaging the rest of the compound, and the surrounding streets are untouched.

    [​IMG]

    The pilot is able to programme the missile's fuse from the cockpit before firing it, selecting the level of destructive power by adjusting the way the warhead detonates.

    The Royal Air Force is anxious to distance itself from claims that coalition air strikes are killing thousands of Afghan civilians each year, and to demonstrate the care taken by its pilots to prevent so-called 'collateral damage.'

    While Britain's Harrier jets and Apache helicopters have dropped hundreds and bombs and missiles on Taliban targets in recent years, the MOD has made a point of not releasing cockpit footage or photographs of air strikes in recent years to avoid handing propaganda opportunities to the enemy.

    The footage, recorded by the on-board targeting system of a Harrier GR9 strike jet, shows an incident in June this year when a Dual Mode Brimstone was fired in combat for the first time.

    British troops clearing a series of compounds in Helmand Province came under fire from a single enemy gunman hiding in a 'murder hole' beneath a compound wall.

    [​IMG]

    Rather than risk casualties by trying to assault his well-protected firing position, they called on British aircraft overhead.

    An airborne surveillance aircraft used its sensors to pin-point the gunman's exact location, and the Harrier pilot unleashed the Brimstone from thousands of feet overhead, recording the moment of impact - exactly on the target.

    While the blast coats the compound in dust, it causes minimal damage, and the cluster of civilian homes is unaffected.

    Civilian casualties from air strikes have become a major political problem for the U.S-led coalition in Afghanistan, and are widely exploited by the Taliban to undermine support for the allies among ordinary Afghans - as well as causing divisions between the coalition and the Afghan government.

    Earlier this month a major air strike near the northern town of Kunduz killed as many as 100 people on the ground, including 40 civilians.

    RAF insiders insist the issue is widely misrepresented, claiming most Afghan civilian casualties are caused by the Taliban's roadside bombs and rockets, while explosions of any kind are often wrongly blamed on 'air strikes.'

    Group Captain Colin Basnett, commander of the RAF's Tornado Force serving in Afghanistan, said: 'The Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone is an incredibly precise weapon and its introduction into service has significantly increased the capability of the Tornado Force to strike moving or static targets, whilst also reducing the risk of civilian casualties and unwanted damage to property.'

    Watch the video here
     
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  3. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    so much cost for one enemy holed up!! does not make sense. there must be better ways. the missile may be smart but no one would waste them for a minimal gain.
     
  4. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    No ppgj..you missed the point,
    The pilot is able to programme the missile's fuse from the cockpit before firing it, selecting the level of destructive power by adjusting the way the warhead detonates, which means no collateral damage. Earlier PGMs used in such ops used to bring the whole neighborhood down along with the insurgents. It's not necessary that a room will have only a gunman, there might be a lot of them, or it might be a weapons depot anything.

    Think of it in the Israeli-Gazan context, you will understand.
     
  5. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    [​IMG]

    Specifications

    * Length: 1.8 m
    * Diameter: 17.8 cm
    * Weight: 48.5 kg
    * Range: 20+ km
    * Speed: Supersonic
    * Control: Aerodynamic surfaces on missile
    * Propulsion: Solid-rocket
    * Guidance: 94 GHz Millimetric wave radar (MMW) & digital autopilot
    * Warhead: HEAT tandem warhead - initial charge triggers reactive armour followed by the main high explosive anti-tank shaped charge jet
    * Fuze: Crush fuze (detonation on impact)
     
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Another million dollar missile that takes down $10 dollar huts.
     
  7. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    To save priceless innocent lives
     
  8. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Intelligence failure negates that anyway. You can still end up killing civilians whom you suspect to be disguised terrorists.
     
  9. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    Lol, If there is intelligence failure that is... & what's wrong in trying anyway?
     
  10. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    What's wrong is that with so much of unit cost, they would rather carry out ground operations that are more precise, that always have backup plans in the events of intelligence failures. All the US is really trying to save is its 'priceless?' soldiers, not necessarily innocent civilians.
     
  11. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    Air to ground/Anti tank missiles usually cost between $200k & $5k. You can read more on that here & here . I'm sure those who operate & have produced this missile wouldn't have done so if it wasn't cost effective or feasible.

    Why risk the lives of your soldiers when you can avoid both civilian and military casualty. That's killing two birds in one shot... Mind you there is so much confusion in a gunfight/ground intervention that even soldiers can mistakenly kill civilians.
     

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