2008: Britain has added a dual-mode
(radar and laser) seeker to its Brimstone missiles. The Brimstone is basically
an American Hellfire with a British seeker (a miniature, millimeter wave,
radar). The 107 pound Hellfire/Brimstone has a twenty pound warhead and is
particularly popular as armament for larger UAVs and Helicopter gunships.
Hellfire was first developed 25 years ago as an anti-tank weapon, but has
proved to be very useful against enemy infantry hiding out in buildings or
caves. The current version has a range
of eight kilometers.
seeker makes it easier to use the missile in "fire and forget" mode. The laser
seeker is more accurate (to within a meter or two of the aim point.) The British
also use Brimstone on "fast movers" (jet fighters like the Tornado). For this,
there is a special launcher that holds three Brimstone missiles. The launcher
hangs from one of the Tornado hardpoints. This launcher will also be used on
the new Eurofighter.