Race on for protection against hypersonic missiles

SpaceWar.com reports: “Defence firms are racing to meet demand for systems to protect against attacks using tricky-to-intercept hypersonic missiles, with several on display at this week’s Paris Air Show.

Flying at multiples of the speed of sound, ‘everything’s going faster, that’s what changes the game,’ said Lionel Mazenq, of European missile maker MBDA’s Future Systems division.

‘They change course. It’s hard to know whether they’re coming towards you, it’s challenging to predict their behaviour,’ he added — although the new missiles ‘can be intercepted, especially in the terminal stage’ of their flight.

MBDA said Tuesday it had launched a three-year programme to develop an interceptor dubbed Aquila, with 19 partner firms from five EU nations — France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Brussels is expected to chip in with 80 million euros ($87 million) from the European Commission.

But no MBDA interceptors are expected to fly before 2030…”

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