Aerial Warfare

European Commission Partners with Rafael to Counter Hypersonic Threats


European Commission Partners with Rafael to Counter Hypersonic Threats

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European Commission Partners with Rafael to Counter Hypersonic Threats
European Commission Partners with Rafael to Counter Hypersonic Threats

The evolving threat landscape in Europe, particularly concerning advanced weaponry wielded by Russia, has spurred a shift in attitude towards preparedness for potential attacks. This change has paved the way for collaboration between Israeli defense firm RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and a European consortium focused on countering the looming danger posed by hypersonic missiles. Following the conflict in Ukraine, Germany has taken proactive steps by acquiring Israeli Arrow 3 systems designed for intercepting ballistic missiles. In line with recent statements by the European Commission, the urgency to address the evolving threat spectrum, particularly in the realm of hypersonic attack missiles, has become apparent.

Establishing a robust European interceptor capability is deemed essential for safeguarding European territories, citizens, and potential conflict zones where European intervention may be necessary. Furthermore, such a capability would bolster NATO’s resilience, as highlighted by the European Commission’s decision to entrust project management to the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). OCCAR inked a Grant Agreement totaling EUR 100 million from the European Defence Fund (EDF) on October 31, 2023. Simultaneously, an associated Linked Procurement Contract worth EUR 10 million was signed with SMS – SISTEMAS DE MISILES DE ESPAÑA SL, acting as the consortium coordinator on behalf of EU HYDEF Participating States, including Belgium, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Spain.

Hypersonic missiles encompass a new family of threats, including hypersonic atmospheric cruise missiles, gliders, and cruisers that travel at incredible speeds while maintaining exceptional accuracy and maneuverability. Developing a comprehensive defensive response to hypersonic threats presents numerous complex challenges, including detection and tracking difficulties that necessitate a synchronized sensor system capable of accurately identifying and locating the threat throughout its trajectory. Furthermore, accurate trajectory prediction demands an interceptor that can swiftly reach the target, minimizing uncertainty associated with target location. Lastly, the interceptor must exhibit exceptional maneuverability and operate on a non-ballistic trajectory to effectively pursue and neutralize the hypersonic threat.

RAFAEL has developed an advanced interceptor, named “Sky Sonic,” as a groundbreaking defensive response to the growing threat of hypersonic missiles. The Sky Sonic interceptor represents a major technological leap in hypersonic missile defense. Designed with exceptional maneuverability and high-speed capabilities, it effectively neutralizes hypersonic missiles, which travel at ten times the speed of sound, with unmatched precision and stealth. RAFAEL, known for its pioneering contributions in the field of defense systems such as the renowned “Iron Dome,” “David’s Sling,” and the cutting-edge “Iron Beam” laser-based system, is proud to be at the forefront of developing an effective solution to counter hypersonic threats.

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