Spain, Germany are jointly designing a hypersonic interceptor
MADRID ($1=1.02 Euros) — The summit between Spain and Germany in La Coruña ended on Wednesday with a joint declaration. The two countries agreed to strengthen European defense capabilities. However, the anti-missile shield was not mentioned. This last point grabbed much of the headlines after the German ambassador to Spain, Maria Margarethe Gosse, commented that there was contact between the two countries at a “relatively low level”, and the Spanish government later denied receiving any proposal or communication about it.
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Beyond the political noise, the truth is that Spain and Germany, on an industrial level, are already jointly designing an air defense system. Companies from both countries have teamed up to design a European interceptor. In the future, it will be a key part of the anti-missile shield that Germany will lead.
In recent months, the importance of having a system with these features in Europe has grown exponentially. The reason: Russia and its use of hypersonic missiles against targets in Ukraine near the border with Poland.
The project, known as HyDef [European Hypersonic Defense Interceptor], is coordinated by the Spanish company Sener Aeroespacial and will receive 100 million euros from the European Union. The money comes from the European Defense Fund [EDF]. The goal is the conceptual development of a hypersonic interceptor to deal with future high-speed air threats. Intercepting next-generation ballistic missiles will also be a goal of the interceptor.
Spain is represented by five companies. These are Escribano, GMV, Instalaza, INTA and Navantia. On the German side, it is Diehl who will provide the technical capacity regarding the missile. Completing the consortium is Norway’s Nammo, which will contribute its propulsion expertise. Also participating are Ruag Space [Sweden], the Polish institutes ITWL and Lotnictwa, LK Engineering [Czech Republic], and Sonaca [Belgium].
Three years of training and definition
A three-year investigation into the technologies that will make a difference in future endoatmospheric interceptors is under consideration. It all starts with defining the concept of a European system with similar characteristics to respond to hypersonic threats.
The European Union specifies that the aim is to develop an interceptor with an eye on the weapons systems, sensors, and threats that will exist in 2035. The project will lead to the concept, risk reduction, and demonstration of an endo-atmospheric interceptor. The interceptor is expected to operate at various levels after the missile takes off. It should be highly maneuverable with a new aerodynamic and propulsion system. A new flexible guidance system is also being developed, as well as new advanced sensors.
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