You’ve probably heard of the Hellfire missile, but you may not be aware of a similar weapon known as the Brimstone. Hundreds of these systems have been provided to Ukraine by the United Kingdom. Brimstone can be launched from the air, the ground, or a vehicle at any time of day or night, and in any weather. It works well against tanks and armoured vehicles, as well as small boats.
In roughly one second, two brimstone missiles can be launched. The ever-ingenious Ukrainians modified the Brimstone to be shot from a vehicle even though it was originally intended to be launched from drones and aircraft. It is even more deadly due to its ground mobility.
Combat tested in the Middle East and South Asia
Since 2005, the supersonic Brimstone has been in use in Britain. It was employed by the Royal Air Force in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are pricey since each one costs more than $200,000. Over time, they have been purchased by Saudi Arabia and Germany. The missile has laser and radar guidance systems and is fire-and-forget.
Little but Still Worthy
The Brimstone missile from the United Kingdom is a beyond-line-of-sight missile. The missile is only six feet long, weighs 200 pounds, and the armor-piercing warhead is only 14 pounds, but it has demonstrated in Ukraine that it can kill tanks up to 12 miles away. The missile is launched from a three-round launcher, which is often installed on a civilian “technical” truck.
Its praises are sung by Special Operators.
The first users of brimstones were special operations forces from Ukraine. To understand how it worked, the troops were probably trained in Britain. The weapon has been described in a colourful manner by the impressed Ukrainians. When questioned by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a special operations soldier by the name of Pavlo Kashchuk had nothing but praise for the Brimstone.
“They claim that there is some panic among the Russians. Even at the back, tanks might have their turrets destroyed. There are reports of brand-new ghost NATO planes, but hold on, it’s just good ol’ Brimstones in the deft hands of Special Operations Forces operatives plus a little bit of military ruse,” he remarked.
Political Situation in Britain Is Important
The Brimstone is a favourite band of former prime minister Boris Johnson, who has since resigned but will continue in that role until a replacement is found. Johnson saw to it that cargoes were sent to the Ukrainians at the start of the conflict. It remains to be seen if new political leadership would send more Brimstones to Ukraine after Johnson’s replacement is chosen in September because several Conservatives in Britain are vying to be the leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister.
Could Russian shipping be targeted with it?
The Sea Spear, a marine variation of the Brimstone, is also capable of destroying small boats. The British would probably have to fulfil this as a separate order. Since ground launchers placed on trucks are seen in the majority of social media videos, it is unclear if Ukraine is utilising this model.
Could these high-tech vehicles be placed along the water’s edge to confront Russian ships in the Black Sea? To pull that off would undoubtedly require an experienced crew. The Sea Spear might be able to deliver greater anti-ship punch to the Ukrainians. However, the range is probably too short and the warhead isn’t large enough to seriously hurt larger ships, thus it’s more likely to destroy Russian rescue tugs working close to the coast.
By using the Brimstone against the Russian military, Ukrainian troops are demonstrating their intelligence and competence. The quick-firing missile’s stock, though, is probably getting low. The Tories will have to determine this fall if they still support Ukraine to the same extent as Boris Johnson did while Britain undergoes a political shift. The next prime minister must keep sending the Brimstone, one can only hope.