Ukraine forces appear to use Brimstone missiles against Russia
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UK-supplied Brimstone 2 missiles provide Ukraine with “new tactical options” with which to punish Vladimir Putin’s invading troops, a defence analyst has said. The Ministry of Defence is supplying the weapons to Ukraine, with pictures taken by the British Armed Forces Network showing them being loaded on to a plane at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire recently.
Prior to this, Britain supplied a consignment of previous-generation Brimstones to Volodymyr Zelensky in May.
However, Nick Brown, Director of Defence News at defence, intelligence provider Janes said Kyiv’s acquisition of the upgraded projectiles was highly significant.
He told Express.co.uk: “The original-generation Brimstone missiles that the UK donated to Ukraine were designed to be launched toward enemy vehicles in a fire-and-forget mode, with the missiles finding their targets using a millimetre-wave radar.”
However, he added: “Brimstone 2 is also known as Dual-Mode Seeker, adding a semi-active laser seeker alongside the radar.
“This enables the user to designate specific individual targets, making the weapon more discriminative and opening up new tactical options, including the engagement of static targets or structures, as well as accurately hitting fast-moving targets in cluttered environments.
“Multiple missiles can also be ripple-fired from a concealed position, and then guided onto multiple targets in quick succession by a forward operator with a laser designator, in a ‘laser anointing’ mode.”
Each Brimstone 2 missile costs £175,000, and uses a laser fired by either troops, aircraft or vehicles to track down targets.
They have a range of 7.5 miles when launched from land and 37 miles if launched from a jet, and are equipped with a 6.3kg (13.9lbs) warhead.
Britain was the first country in Europe to provide the lethal aid which has enhanced Ukraine’s capabilities after Russia’s invasion on February 24.
Since that date, the MoD has provided a range of equipment to Ukraine including Brimstone missiles.
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In addition to equipment, the UK is training thousands of volunteer recruits of Armed Forces of Ukraine using battle-proven British Army expertise, with the aim of providing combatants with the necessary battlefield skills to defend their homeland. In total, more than 7,400 personnel have so far been trained.
Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand the Netherlands, and Lithuania have all joined the training programme, and Australia announced it will support from 2023.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a £50million package of military aid during a visit to Kyiv at the weekend.
He commented: “I am proud of how the UK stood with Ukraine from the very beginning.
“And I am here today to say the UK and our allies will continue to stand with Ukraine, as it fights to end this barbarous war and deliver a just peace.”
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The US yesterday confirmed it was sending an additional $400 million (£330 million) in ammunition and generators to Ukraine, and was pulling the gear from its own stockpiles to get the support to Kyiv as fast as possible with the arrival of winter.
Including the latest aid, Washington has committed more than $19 billion (£15.75 billion) in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine since the start of the war.
The new package of aid will be provided through presidential drawdown authority, which allows the Pentagon to take weapons from its own stock and quickly ship them to Ukraine.
The latest package includes 200 generators, an undisclosed amount of additional rounds for both the advanced NASAMS air defence systems and the HIMARS artillery systems, as well as 150 heavy machine guns with thermal sights to shoot down drones, 10,000 120mm mortar rounds and 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition.
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