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UK-supplied Brimstone operational in Ukraine

Video footage has emerged of Ukrainian forces firing UK-supplied Brimstone missiles against Russian tanks in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

The footage posted on 17 May shows ground-launched Brimstone missiles striking Russian tanks in the east of Ukraine.

The weapon system has been adapted to be fired from small land platforms on the battlefield rather than from fighter aircraft, drones or naval ships.

This would be the first time a ground-launched Brimstone missile has destroyed a target. 

James Heappey, UK Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, confirmed on April 28 that “hundreds” of Brimstone missiles would be sent to Ukraine and stated that the first of these were due to arrive in the “next few weeks.”

By 12 May it was reported that training on a ground launch system was taking place in Ukraine.

The air-launched ground attack missile first entered service with the Royal Air Force in 2005.

Brimstone missile

Type:Air-to-surface missile; surface-to-surface missile
Manufacturer:MBDA UK
Produced:1999 – present
In service:March 2005 – present
Country of origin:United Kingdom
Operators:Royal Air Force, Saudi Royal Air Force, German Air Force, Ukrainian Armed Forces
Operational range:Brimstone 1: 20+ km (12+ mi) from fixed-wing, 12 km (7.5 mi) from rotor-wing; Brimstone 2: 60+ km (37+ mi) from fixed-wing, 40+ km (25+ mi) from rotor-wing
Guidance:Millimeter wave (mmW) radar mmW, semi-active laser (SAL)
Engine:Solid-fuel rocket
Max speed:Mach 1.3
Missile length:1.8 m
Missile diameter:180 mm
Missile weight:50 kg
Warhead weight:6.3 kg
Warhead:High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) tandem shaped warhead, command fuze and impact
Launch platform:Air-launched, surface-launched
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