Kiev forces have begun to use Brimstone precision-guided missiles recently donated by the UK against the Russian military.
On May 6, photos showing the remains of a Brimstone missile, specifically the tail section, in an unspecified front in the Donbass region surfaced online. There is still no information on the target that was struck by the missile.
The Brimstone, which was developed by MBDA UK, can be launched from ground or air. The missile utilizes a dual guidance system with active millimetric-wave radar and semi-active laser. The missile’s warhead is a 6,3 kilograms tandem shaped charge with different delay and proximity fusing modes.
The maximum range of the ground-launched version of the Brimstone is unknown, but the air-launched version can reportedly hit targets more than 20 kilometers away. The range of the ground-launched version will likely be much shorter as it won’t benefit of from the speed and the altitude of an aircraft.
In April, James Heappey, the UK’s armed forces minister, announced that “hundreds” of Brimstone missiles will be supplied to Kiev forces. Back then, Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said that the missiles being sent to Ukraine “will be used over the ground”.
The Brimstone is a lethal missile. However, its guidance system requires laser illumination of the target from ground or air. Due to this, Kiev forces will not likely be able to benefit from the missile’s maximum range. The missile will likely be used only along the frontline where military scouts and drone can detect and illuminate targets with laser.
The UK has been leading Western efforts to support Kiev side by side with the US. So far, Britain has shipped loads of weapons to Ukraine, including thousands of anti-tank weapons, hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles and dozens of armored vehicle.
Like the rest of Kiev’s Western allies, the UK hopes that its military support will prolong the war in Ukraine and weaken the Russian military.