A triplet of SPEAR 3 missiles
Electronic warfare system
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||See Users|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|Length||71 in (1,800 mm)|
|Diameter||7.1 in (180 mm)|
|Maximum range||130 km|
|80 mi (130 km) or 140km |
|Radar, infrared and laser homing.|
|Flight control surfaces|
|Typhoon (in progress)|
The Select Precision Effects At Range (SPEAR) Capability 3 is a future British air-to-ground and possibly anti-ship missile. It had been planned to be operational in 2025. 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.
MBDA UK was awarded an Assessment Phase contract for SPEAR 3, a standoff attack weapon. 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).[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, and will feature a multimode seeker with INS/GPS guidance and datalink. The assessment phase concluded with flight trials in 2014 on the Eurofighter Typhoon. The missile is set to use the same Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet as the JSOW-ER.[N 2] MBDA has shown artwork of a three-missile launcher on a single Typhoon weapon station, and four will fit with a Meteor air-to-air missile in each internal weapons bay of the F-35B. In May 2016, the MOD awarded a £411 million contract to MBDA for the development of the air-launched SPEAR 3 missile. SPEAR 3 will be integrated with the F-35 Block 4 software package and is also planned to be used on the Eurofighter Typhoon.
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.
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- "£411m invested in F-35s new anti-ship/tank/building mini-cruise missile". Navy News. https://navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/14885.
- "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.
- The British pick MBDA’s Spear 3 cruise missile for their F-35s. Defense News. 6 January 2021.
- "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.
- 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.
- "House of Commons Written Answers Hansard". UK Parliament. 21 May 2013. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130521/text/130521w0003.htm#1305224000027.
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- "£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/.
- "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.
- "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/.
- "MBDA working on new SPEAR-EW electronic warfare weapon". MBDA. 11 September 2019. https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/17630/.
- "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.
- "The UK MOD and MBDA believe they can achieve north of 62 nautical miles for SPEAR." - Navy Recognition July 2014
- "SPEAR 3 has two small side intakes for its Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet." - Navy Recognition July 2014
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