MBDA fires Brimstone missile from Apache helicopter

WASHINGTON, MBDA and Boeing have successfully completed a series of physical trials and firings of the Brimstone missile on Britain’s future fleet of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, MBDA announced Wednesday.

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The tests were conducted to confirm the feasibility of integrating the missile with Britain’s future Apache fleet, the company said in a statement.

The trials validate a prior U.K. study contract that confirmed integration was expected to be low risk, MBDA said.

The program was funded through a U.K. Ministry of Defense contract that was awarded to MBDA in September. It includes a range of environmental and sensor compatibility trials, as well as functional and avionic trials to demonstrate new software and functionality implemented into the platform and cockpit by Boeing.

The firings demonstrated the capability of the weapon’s guidance modes.

The weapon releases were from hovering, moving and maneuvering/banking scenarios against main battle tanks and pickup truck targets.

All firings used fully telemetered missiles instead of those with a warhead to confirm performance.

The missile telemetry gathered confirmed that weapons separated with active fin control off the rails with no tip-off concerns, MBDA said.

Data collected from the firings will be used to enable future optimization of Brimstone for the AH-64E, the company said.

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