Home' Defence Review Asia : DRA July-August 2017 Contents DefenceReviewAsia | JULY/AUG 2017 31
greater range and speed.
The flagship product of MBDA beyond visual
range missiles, the Meteor, has yet to be operational
in Asia-Pacific, until India’s Rafales are delivered.
Unlike most conventional missiles, which are slowing
down at the “endgame”, the Meteor remains powered
throughout the flight. In the endgame it is travelling far
faster than a solid fuelled missile, resulting in a high-
energy weapon with great manoeuvrability - preventing
the target from evading it.
“Most modern fighters like the Typhoon and
those coming out from Russia and China are
extremely manoeuvrable, so the Meteor is able to
out perform them,“ said Russ Martin, MB DA’s UK
Military advisor. The Meteor is also aimed to counter
Chinese aircraft equipped with ram-jet missiles like
the PL-21 that has range beyond 150 km and will be
carried on the J-11B and J-20 jets.
Martin is also confident that the Meteor has a higher
single-shot-kill -probability (SSKP) than the AIM-120
AMRAAM, which is currently the ‘go-to’ beyond visual
range missile for most Asia-Pacific air forces.
AIR TO SURFACE
MBDA thinks their successful Brimstone precision
strike air-to-surface missile - already well proven in
Libya and other parts of the Middle East - would be
suitable for this part of the world.
A key difference of Brimstone compared to
competitors is that the missile can be fired even
from very fast moving aircraft. RAF Tornados have
utilised the Brimstone in the Middle East since
2009 as well as in Afghanistan and more recently
against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It was reported that
the Brimstone has struck small moving targets
such as 4x4 vehicles, motorbikes and snipers
with a high degree of accuracy and little or no
collateral damage. MBDA felt that the capabilities
of the Brimstone could be applied in the region,
in response to seaborne threats from fast moving
and highly manoeuvrable speedboats. According
“The pilot can sometimes struggle locking on a
high speed target and the radar takes over at the
end to take out the human error. That’s why it has a
high probability of kill from the dual seeker not seen
on the Hellfire.”
The company is also offering the in-development
SPEAR (Selective Precision Effects At Range)
small standoff strike weapon. SPEAR has a range of
around 100 kilometers (60 miles) against land and
naval targets, using a GPS/INS guidance system.
The RAF has already test fired its first SPEAR on
July 2016 and the development phase is expected
to complete by 2020.
Against ships, the Eurofighter’s Marte ER and
Rafale’s Exocet MM40 Block 3 have varying
lethality, with the latter deadlier against large ships
and land targets beyond 200 km. M BDA says
both missiles are sea skimming and can be pre-
programmed with waypoints to both confuse the
intended target and avoid obstacle in crowded sea
lanes in South East Asia.
Riddle says that the Korean-Indonesia joint fighter
project the KF-X is looking for a short-range to air-
to-air missile. MBDA will be offering the ASRAAM to
He also said that they are looking to push the
Meteor BVRAAM to the Royal Thai Air Force for the
JAS-39 C/D Gripen. Saab has also added that they
are in talks with Thai authorities to further enhance
their Gripen fleet and update to a MSN 20 variant,
enabling them to carry the Meteor.
MBDA has already opened a market in Singapore
with their Mica-VL on the Littoral Mission Vessel,
Aster 15/30 VL on the Formidable-class frigates
and SAMP/T variant, which are due for delivery
within this year or next. MDBA hopes to supply the
Brimstone for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s
AH-64D Apache Longbows. Already 20 years in
service, the RSAF’s Apaches are undergoing local
upgrades, and MBDA said they are in talks with
Singapore for further opportunities. The company
has successfully integrated the missile on the British
Apache in 2016.
MDBA says they are currently contracted by the
UK Ministry of Defence to supply the Sea Venom
ANL anti-ship missile for the AW159 Wildcat and
replace the end-of-service Sea Skua missile, and the
Jernas surface to air missile with the EMADS. They
hope that the Malaysian military, which operates
both the Sea Skua and Jernas will mirror a similar
platform evolution route.
SPEAR also features a multi-effects warhead and GPS/INS guidance with a data link for inflight data transmission.
Credit: MBDA illustration
22/06/2017 1:15 PM
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