Editor’s Note: SPEAR Cap 3 is set to be part of the offensive armament of British F-35s, both for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy’s squadrons. A standoff weapon by design, it features a selective effect warhead and can attack a wide range of mobile targets, day or night. While this may not seem that like big of a deal on this side of the pond, it’s in the same vein as what we’ve shown with the Israeli F-35: partner nations are making sure there is room in the aircraft and its software to allow for their own indigenous systems and weaponry.

Britain’s Defence Ministry is expected to extend MBDA’s assessment phase contract on the SPEAR Capability 3 missile program, leaving no room for the moment for Raytheon Systems to secure a foothold in the requirement for it’s Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), according to a source familiar with the program.

No formal decision has been announced to continue solely with development of MBDA’s Selective Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) missile development, but the MoD’s Investment Approvals Committee (IAC) has considered the business case in the last few weeks and opted to recommend to higher officials that they continue with work being undertaken by the European complex weapons maker, said the source.

British MoD Looks to SPEAR 3 For F-35
This graphic depicts SPEAR being employed from a RAF F-35 Lightning II. (Courtesy of MBDA)

“The IAC met a couple of weeks ago and they have recommended to progress the MBDA option. At this stage their considerations don’t appear to include the SDB II,” the source said.

A Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed the IAC had received a business case for the next stage of the weapon’s development but declined to give details.

Selective Precision Effects at Range Capability 3, better known as SPEAR Cap 3, is one of several weapons being developed for the British military under the SPEAR umbrella.

The original article in its entirety may be viewed at Defense News right here.

(Featured graphic courtesy of MBDA)