OCCAR, Spanish Missile Systems Sign Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Study Project

HYDEF project is set to establish Europe's first line of defense against hypersonic threats
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 08:00 AM, November 1, 2023
  • 493
OCCAR, Spanish Missile Systems Sign Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Study Project
Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Study

A contract was signed between OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement) and Spanish Missile Systems (SMS) on Oct. 31 for the HYDEF (Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Study) project.

The signing ceremony took place in Bonn, Germany, marking the official launch of this pioneering initiative. This landmark project is set to establish Europe's first line of defense against hypersonic threats, a significant milestone in the realm of military technology.

The HYDEF project, a consortium spearheaded by Spanish Missile Systems (SMS), comprises several prominent companies, including Escribano Mechanical & Engineering, GMV, and SENER AEROSPACIAL from Spain, along with Germany's Diehl Defence. This consortium is bolstered by the participation of 13 companies hailing from seven different European nations, underscoring the collaborative nature of this defense endeavor.

Spanish Missile Systems (SMS) will assume responsibility for the project management within the HYDEF initiative, while Germany's Diehl Defence, headquartered at Lake Constance, will oversee the technical aspects, including the development of the entire defense system and the interceptor itself. The project's overarching objective is to create a comprehensive system capable of detecting and intercepting hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs) and highly agile hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). This will be achieved by integrating various sensors, including some space-based ones, and the interceptor system. The deployment of this system will be based on existing NATO BMD command and control systems wherever feasible, demonstrating the consortium's robust qualifications to tackle this intricate, multi-dimensional challenge of system integration.

Diehl Defence, HENSOLDT and Airbus have previously developed and produced the medium-range ground-based air defense system known as IRIS-T SLM, which has proven its effectiveness in Ukraine, safeguarding the population.

The HYDEF project's foundation was laid with the successful contract signing in July 2022 when the European Commission selected it as the winner of the tender. This victory marked its triumph over competing projects in Europe.

HYDEF is closely aligned with the PESCO EU project "Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance" (TWISTER), focusing on the development of an endo-atmospheric interceptor concept for air defense. This project enjoys substantial funding, amounting to €100 million, highlighting the strategic importance attached to advancing hypersonic threat defense capabilities in Europe.

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