More than 1,000 missiles fired by Royal Air Force during action over Iraq and Syria, UK government confirms.
Here’s the breakdown from September 2014 in Iraq and from December 2015 in Syria up until 24 January 2016:
The figures were provided in a written parliamentary answer by defence minister Penny Mordaunt in response to a question by shadow labour defence minister Emily Thornberry.
Cost of missiles
Various news organisations have come up with estimates of the cost of this weaponry.
Here’s what an article from The Guardian from 2014 put the costs at:
“The RAF Tornados, based in Britain’s base at Akrotiri in Cyprus, can fire radar-guided anti-armour Brimstone missiles, which are conservatively estimated to cost £100,000 each; heavier Paveway IV bombs, estimated at £30,000 apiece.”
A more recent article from Bloomberg Business reported a higher cost for Brimstone missiles from December 2015, reported:
“The missiles, which cost 175,000 pounds ($263,000) apiece, can be fired from seven miles away and are able to switch to another objective even after launch. Steerable fins guide the supersonic approach, with the impact detonating two warheads, the first of which overcomes so-called reactive armor so that the main charge penetrates the target.”
Back in 2012, The Economist reported:
“The Hellfire, an air-to-ground rocket that weighs a mere 50kg, is $115,000 a pop.”
That equates to £79,651.20.
So, using these figures if 318 Hellfires have been used that equals £25,329,081.60
For 126 Brimstone missiles, the cost could be £12,600,000 (based on a unit cost of £100,000).
For 574 Paveway IV weapons, the cost could be £17,220,000.
Overall, that would be £55,149,081.60.