LONDON, (BM) – New missiles for the Queen’s fighters. The British F-35B will soon be equipped with a new batch of air-to-surface missiles worth a total of about half a billion British pounds, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. The British Ministry of Defense made the order to the British branch of the company MBDA. London will order SPEAR 3 missiles [Select Precision Effects At Range Capability 3 – ed.]
According to military experts from the kingdom, these missiles will become the British fifth-generation fighters’ primary weapon. London expects to use this type of air-to-surface rocket for at least ten years.
SPEAR 3 missiles are a new development of military engineers. One of the first tests of the rocket was nearly four years ago in Wales. The Royal Air Force then tested the missile on a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. The tests passed successfully. One of the main characteristics of this type of missile is its precision in terms of trajectory. Exactly this missile model has another version, which is designing for electronic warfare.
The missile is a military development based on the obsolete Brimstone. According to official characteristics, SPEAR 3 has a range of up to 100 km. However, many military experts claim that this information is manipulated, as the missile in test and combat conditions shows a range of over 130 km. According to the Polish media Defense 24, the range of this missile is 140 km.
SPEAR 3 flies at subsonic speeds thanks to a turbojet propulsion kit. The length of SPEAR 3 is approximately 2 m. This rocket has a multimode finder and GPS navigation.
The idea of equipping British fifth-generation fighters with such weapons is not new. Years ago, the British government tasked the missile developers to modify it and make it compatible with the software package of the American F-35 Block 4. According to various military analysts, this missile will become a significant weapon for European Eurofighter Typhoon fighters.
“The development of next-generation missiles will allow us to protect our personnel and ground resources from aircraft thousands of meters above … Our commitment to purchase this weapons system will provide hundreds of highly skilled jobs in the UK and demonstrate armaments experience internationally,” Jeremy Quinn – British Secretary of Defense, said.
SPEAR 3 is ready. The tests passed successfully. Financial analysts say such a deal would be a driving force for the British economy, as it expects to provide at least 700 new jobs. Approximately 500 people will be involved in the development, renovation, and future development of this type of missile. The deal will engage 200 people more in the field of supply. The contract between the British government and the manufacturer is for seven years.
The Polish media Defense 24 claims that such an agreement is an unmistakable signal of the British Air Force’s importance and their future in the coming years. The UK has 21 F-35B fighters, the last three of which were delivered a year ago.
London buys ammunition for billions by an agreement for the next 15 years
As we reported on December 1, 2020, BAE Systems has announced that it has obtained a long-term contract from the British Ministry of Defense for the supply of various types of ammunition to the British armed forces. The contract was concluded for a period of 15 years and concerns 39 types of ammunition.
In total, the £ 2.4bn contract for the British military covers the supply of ammunition over the next 15 years. The new contract replaces the existing one, it is to be officially concluded at the end of 2022, with the expiry of the old one, which will allow the maintenance of ammunition supplies and the manufacturer’s support in this regard.
The announcements from BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defense do not provide details of the ammunition obtained [although it is known that the contract covers 39 types of ammunition of various calibers, including artillery and tank, and covers about 50% of the value of all types of ammunition obtained by the British]. However, detailed data on jobs that will be allowed to maintain the implementation of the 15-year contract are provided.
The contract also allows for the maintenance of approximately 4,000 jobs in Great Britain. BAE Systems directly employs 1,260 people who manufacture or test and evaluate ammunition at five UK sites; Glascoed in Monmouthshire, Radway Green in Cheshire, Washington in Tyne & Wear, Bishopton near Glasgow and Ridsdale in Northumberland. The agreement is also expected to help maintain a further 1,500 jobs in the UK supply chain and support a further 1,300 jobs at local retail and service outlets.
The agreement is expected to allow BAE Systems to invest £ 70 million in the renovation and modernization of production lines, with 75% of this value being invested by 2026. The company will also spend up to £ 350m on the purchase of raw materials and machine components from UK companies.
“This key multi-billion pound contract will provide our troops with firepower at the front for many years, while guaranteeing investment in UK industry, local jobs and national infrastructure. Defense underpins hundreds of thousands of jobs in all four corners of the country, and continued investment is critical as we work together to become better and stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic” the UK Defense Minister Jeremy Quin said.
“This contract secures the future of a highly technical and immensely important industry industry that represents thousands of jobs in several regions in the UK. By investing in new technologies and skills to further develop our knowledge, we can continue to provide the armed forces with the necessary sovereign capabilities at competitive prices” BAE Systems president Charles Woodburn said.
The implementation of the contract called “Next Generation Munitions Solution” [NGMS], is to start in January 2023 and will replace the current contract called Munitions Acquisition, the Supply Solution [MASS], which started in 2008. Both contracts are part of a permanent partnership between BAE Systems and the British armed forces, especially the ground forces.
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