The Brits may be a little hesitant to engage in war these days but they sure haven’t stopped tinkering with their kit yet. You get the feeling that they are always looking to develop some critical pieces of hardware for various wings of their military so that come the war, they can squeeze the pressure points of their foes. The Brits specialize in low yield, minimal collateral damage aspect too, in sensitive environments. Have a look at these 3 amazing tech they have come up with to stay in the race.
1. Brimstone Dual-Mode air-to-ground missile system
Brimstone uses Hellfire’s chassis, but under the hood its a very different beast altogether. It has a unique dual-mode guidance system of both laser designation and millimetre wave radar. Laser guidance allows specific enemy targets to be picked out in cluttered environments, the mmw radar ensures accuracy against moving targets. The missile can be set to use either system or, and this is the clever part: both at once.
You see, one of the problems with traditional laser-guided weapons is “jitter” the laser designator can’t stay exactly on the target all the time, especially when either the target or the designator is moving. So the laser allows man-in-the-loop targeting – important in areas where friendlies or civilians may be in the vicinity. The mmw radar smooths out the jitter effect even when both designator and target are moving erratically.
How do we know that it is “better” or “more advanced” than anyone else’s kit? Because the USA asks us specifically to bring this weapon system when they request RAF assets on coalition campaigns.
2. Meteor Air-to-air missile system
The Meteor BVRAAM (beyond visual range air to air) is a generation ahead of anything else in the sky. The air-breathing ramjet powerplant means that it is the first to enter service. Meteor is a true very-long-range missile, a class that, since the retirement of the Phoenix-and-F-14 combination, is entirely absent from the U.S. military. “No-escape zone” is the term associated with this where for the area in which an enemy aircraft will not be able to use pure agility to evade a missile.
With the Meteor launched in pursuit of a target — a tail-chase engagement — the Meteor is five times as lethal as a conventional equivalent such as the American AMRAAM.
Unlike a normal rocket motor, a ramjet can throttle for more or less power. The Meteor, therefore can conserve its precious energy until the last moment, rather than exhausting itself in the boost or cruise phases. Instead, as it nears the target, the BVRAAM just keeps getting faster. An on-board datalink adds another string to the Meteor’s bow. Using the datalink means that target information updates while the missile is already streaking towards its quarry. Re-targeting data can even come from a third party other than the launch platform.
What little the manufacturer has said regarding Meteor indicates a range significantly greater than 62 miles and sustained speeds of at least Mach 4. But what really makes this missile special, and gives it a place in this list is the tail-only controls. This type of control configuration gives the missile a lot less drag than those with lots of fins.
3. Accuracy International L115A3 Sniper rifle
This rifle holds the world record for the longest-distance sniper kill, at 2,475m. Confirmed by GPS, Craig Harrison (UK) of the UK’s Household Cavalry killed two Taliban insurgents with his L115A3 in Afghanistan. And, in case you were in any doubt as to how good this rifle is, that wasn’t a one-off shot — the sniper in question hit two targets, and then managed to shoot the machine gun they were using — that’s a tiny target, shot three times in a row from well over a mile away.