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SPEAR3
SPEAR3triplet.jpg
A triplet of SPEAR 3 missiles
Type Air-to-surface missile
Electronic warfare system
Anti-ship missile
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer MBDA UK
Manufacturer MBDA UK
Specifications
Weight 220 lb (100 kg)[1][2]
Length 71 in (1,800 mm)
Diameter 7.1 in (180 mm)

Maximum range 130 km

Engine Turbojet engine[3]
Operational
range
80 mi (130 km)[4][5][6] or 140km [7]
Guidance
system
Radar, infrared and laser homing.
Steering
system
Flight control surfaces
Launch
platform
Typhoon (in progress)
F-35B (contracted)

The Select Precision Effects At Range (SPEAR) Capability 3 is a future British air-to-ground and possibly anti-ship missile.[8][9] It had been planned to be operational in 2025.[10] However, in November 2021, Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin told the House of Commons Select Defence Committee that full operating capability for SPEAR-3 on F-35 might not occur until 2028.[11]

Background

MBDA UK was awarded an Assessment Phase contract for SPEAR 3, a standoff attack weapon.[12] This is specified to have a range of at least 100 km, although current figures for SPEAR indicate a range over 130 km (80+nm).[13][N 1] The weapon will make substantial reuse of technologies from the Brimstone precision strike missile that is used for engagements at shorter ranges. The 2 m (6.6 ft) weapon will fly at high-subsonic speed using a turbojet and wing kit,[14] and will feature a multimode seeker with INS/GPS guidance and datalink.[14] The assessment phase concluded with flight trials in 2014[14] on the Eurofighter Typhoon.[15] The missile is set to use the same Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet as the JSOW-ER.[13][N 2] MBDA has shown artwork of a three-missile launcher on a single Typhoon weapon station,[14] and four will fit with a Meteor air-to-air missile in each internal weapons bay of the F-35B.[14][16] In May 2016, the MOD awarded a £411 million contract to MBDA for the development of the air-launched SPEAR 3 missile.[17] SPEAR 3 will be integrated with the F-35 Block 4 software package and is also planned to be used on the Eurofighter Typhoon.[18]

SPEAR 3 missile - wings deployed

Trials

In March 2016, a SPEAR trials missile was launched from a Eurofighter Typhoon trials aircraft operated by BAE Systems at the QinetiQ Aberporth range in Wales. The missile transitioned through separation from the aircraft to powered flight before completing a series of manoeuvres, ending in a terminal dive to the desired point of impact. The missile accurately followed the planned trajectory and was well within simulation predictions; all trial objectives were achieved.[19]

SPEAR EW

MBDA is also proposing a SPEAR Electronic Warfare version (SPEAR EW), a SEAD attack version for the RAF.[20] Networked swarm capability for SPEAR missiles is in development.[21]


See also

External links

References

  1. "SPEAR datasheet". https://www.mbda-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/spear.pdf. 
  2. "SPEAR - MBDA". https://www.mbda-systems.com/product/spear/. 
  3. "High Performance Propulsion for Tactical Missiles and UAV's". Whitney AeroPower. 19 May 2016. https://www.pw.utc.com/Content/Press_Kits/pdf/me_TJ150_pCard.pdf. 
  4. "UK MoD funds further development of Spear 3 missile". Flight Global. https://www.flightglobal.com/uk-mod-funds-further-development-of-spear-3-missile/120635.article. 
  5. "MBDA SPEAR 3 missile would bring true anti-ship capabilities to RAF and FAA F-35s". Naval Recognition. 22 July 2014. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/year-2014-news/july-2014-navy-naval-forces-maritime-industry-technology-security-global-news/1911-mbda-spear-3-missile-would-bring-true-anti-ship-capabilities-to-raf-and-faa-f-35s.html. 
  6. "No UK Spear Cap 3 Decision on F-35 until 2018". Defense News. 28 May 2015. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/05/27/britain-spear-cap-3-missile-weapon-f-35-sdb-2018-mbda-raytheon/28009331/. 
  7. "SPEAR3 — FLEXIBILITY AND AN ALMIGHTY PUNCH". Eurofighter Typhoon. https://world.eurofighter.com/articles/spear3-flexibility-and-an-almighty-punch. 
  8. "£411m invested in F-35s new anti-ship/tank/building mini-cruise missile". Navy News. https://navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/14885. 
  9. "Aimpoint selection: the UK's SPEAR Cap 3 air-to-surface weapon". IHS Janes. http://www.janes360.com/images/assets/853/47853/the_UK_s_SPEAR_Cap_3_air-to-surface_weapon.pdf. 
  10. The British pick MBDA’s Spear 3 cruise missile for their F-35s. Defense News. 6 January 2021.
  11. https://www.navylookout.com/royal-navy-rows-back-on-plans-to-acquire-new-anti-ship-missiles-before-2030s/
  12. "UK Study Contract Awarded to integrate Brimstone 2 onto Typhoon". Bae Systems. 29 March 2010. http://www.baesystems.com/en/article/uk-study-contract-awarded-to-integrate-brimstone-2-onto-typhoon. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Administrator. "MBDA SPEAR 3 missile would bring true anti-ship capabilities to RAF and FAA F-35s". http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/year-2014-news/july-2014-navy-naval-forces-maritime-industry-technology-security-global-news/1911-mbda-spear-3-missile-would-bring-true-anti-ship-capabilities-to-raf-and-faa-f-35s.html. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Hoyle, Craig (27 June 2012). "PICTURES: MBDA sharpens Spear missile design for F-35 integration". https://www.flightglobal.com/pictures-mbda-sharpens-spear-missile-design-for-f-35-integration/105874.article. 
  15. "House of Commons Written Answers Hansard". UK Parliament. 21 May 2013. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130521/text/130521w0003.htm#1305224000027. 
  16. "MBDA MISSILE CAPABILITIES F-35 LIGHTNING II". https://www.mbda-systems.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/JSF-Data-Sheet_Layout-1.pdf. 
  17. "£411 million investment in new missile for UK's new jets sustains 700 UK jobs". UK Ministry of Defence. 18 March 2016. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/411-million-investment-in-new-missile-for-uks-new-jets-sustains-700-uk-jobs/. 
  18. "Storm Shadow dropped from UK's F-35B follow-on integration plan". IHS Janes. http://www.janes.com/article/57304/storm-shadow-dropped-from-uk-s-f-35b-follow-on-integration-plan. 
  19. "MBDA SHOWCASES THE SPEAR PRECISION STRIKE MISSILE FOR THE F-35". MBDA. 12 July 2016. http://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/mbda-showcases-the-spear-precision-strike-missile-for-the-f-35/. 
  20. "MBDA working on new SPEAR-EW electronic warfare weapon". MBDA. 11 September 2019. https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/17630/. 
  21. "SPEAR Mini-Cruise Missile Getting An Electronic Warfare Variant To Swarm With Is A Huge Deal - The Drive". https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29789/spear-mini-cruise-missile-getting-an-electronic-warfare-variant-to-swarm-with-is-a-huge-deal. 
  1. "The UK MOD and MBDA believe they can achieve north of 62 nautical miles for SPEAR." - Navy Recognition July 2014
  2. "SPEAR 3 has two small side intakes for its Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet." - Navy Recognition July 2014

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