U.K. to invest $1.3B to Develop Hypersonic Missile

Hypersonic weapons are known for their ability to travel at speeds exceeding Mach 5 within the atmosphere, with advanced maneuverability and targeting capabilities.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 03:28 AM, May 15, 2024
  • 605
U.K. to invest $1.3B to Develop Hypersonic Missile
Hypersonic missile illustration

Great Britain has announced an investment of £1 billion (approximately $1.3 billion) in the development of a national hypersonic missile, aiming to close the technological gap in this advanced field.

The announcement was made on the Defense Procurement Agency's website, part of the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain. As part of this initiative, the United Kingdom has selected 90 industrial enterprises and scientific institutions to compete for contracts under the Hypersonic Technologies & Capability Development Framework program. These entities will vie for eight lots, all funded within the overall £1 billion budget. The areas covered by the contracts include the creation of hypersonic weapons concepts, rocket modeling and testing, design and integration of technologies, development of a missile glider, a combat unit, a hypersonic engine, on-board computer development, and the development of a guidance system.

The funding for these contracts will span seven years, with the anticipated development results potentially emerging in the 2030s. At this stage, there are no specific requirements for the type of weapons to be developed, leaving details regarding the missile's parameters, launch methods, and potential carriers undetermined. Typically, hypersonic weapons are known for their ability to travel at speeds exceeding Mach 5 within the atmosphere, with advanced maneuverability and targeting capabilities. These characteristics make them a formidable addition to any nation's defense arsenal.

In related news, Lockheed Martin showcased its new MAKO multipurpose hypersonic missile at the Sea Air Space 2024 defense exhibition. This missile is designed for versatility, capable of striking both surface targets, such as destroyers and frigates, and ground targets, including fortifications and enemy positions. Initially, the MAKO is being developed for use with F-35 fighters, with plans for eventual integration on other American and European fighters.

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