Against hypersonic threats: Israeli companies are open to collaboration with European defence industry

By Arie Egozi

While some European defence industries are beginning to develop effective systems to counter the hypersonic threat, Israeli companies are offering their technologies and may collaborate with some of the European companies.

To adapt Europe’s missile defences against developing new Russian threats, German and Spanish missile manufacturers plan to jointly build a hypersonic missile interceptor.

The so-called endo-atmospheric interceptor, which aims to cover threats from 2035 and beyond, will be developed as part of the European Hypersonic Defence Interceptor (EU HYDEF) project.

Israel has realized some years ago that it needs another layer of defence to be ready for the hypersonic missiles threat.

Russia has achieved some milestones in the development of hypersonic missiles but the program has now been stopped due to the war in Ukraine.

It is clear that Israel will have to make changes in its multi-layered defence system against rockets and missiles, to be ready for the possible use of Hypersonic missiles by Iran.

Iran according to sources makes big efforts to get technologies related to Hypersonic missiles probably from North Korea. This country has recently announced that it performed a successful test of hypersonic missiles.

It is known that North Korea has in the past helped Iran in the development of ballistic missiles.

A hypersonic missile travels in 5 10 Mach speeds and can reach a range of 1200 miles.

These facts alone, make the defence against this evolving threat more difficult and create an urgent need for upgraded or new defence systems.

Russia has achieved impressive progress in the development of a hypersonic missile. And as If to demonstrate the evolving threat in the middle east, Russian forces in Syria, last year Russia brought one of their Hypersonic missiles to this war-torn country.

A Russian air force Mig -31 landed in a Syrian airbase fully controlled by The Russians armed with a KH -47M2 Kinzhal, an air-launched Russian hypersonic missile with a range of 2000 km.

There were unconfirmed reports that the Russian tested the missile over the Mediterranean but no solid confirmation was received.

Israeli sources say that the aim of bringing a Russian advanced fighter aircraft, armed with this hypersonic missile was a “power demonstration” to all parties, directly and indirectly, involved in the fighting in Syria namely the U.S and Israel.

Israel has a four-layered rocket and missile protection system that is operational and being upgraded continuously.

Arrow 2 and 3, made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are the upper layers of a system that is designed to defend Israel from rockets and missiles. Additional layers are the Rafael “Iron Dome” and “David’s Sling”.

Now under development is the Arrow 4, designed to intercept the advanced ballistic missiles but not a hypersonic one.

The hypersonic threat is growing and Israeli companies, mainly Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael are working to find solutions. The efforts are based on some combat proven technologies developed by the two companies. Now with the growing interest in developing defence systems against the new threat the Israeli companies are offering to join forces with European companies working on a solution.





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