The HYDEF (HYpersonic DEFence) Interceptor Programme was launched in response to the 2021 European Defence Fund (EDF) call on the topic “Endo-atmospheric Interceptor” in the category “Protection against High Velocity Aerial Threats”.
HYDEF is closely linked to the PESCO EU programme «Timely Warning and Interception with Space based TheatER surveillance» (TWISTER) and deals with the development of an overall endo atmospheric interceptor concept for air defence.
This programme is funded with a total amount of €110 million, of which €100 million are co-funded by the EU European Defence Fund (EDF) and the other €10 million are funded by the five Participating States: Belgium, Germany, Norway, Poland and Spain.
The main objective of HYDEF Programme is to research and define the concept of one European interceptor that incorporates the latest technologies in propulsion, aerodynamics, advanced guidance, cutting-edge sensors and actuator systems. These technologies will allow the interceptor to achieve maximum manoeuvrability and the capability to neutralize hypersonic threats. The challenge of intercepting manoeuvring ballistic missiles and hypersonic threats will require the study of state-of-the-art technologies and novel functional chains inside the missile, gathered in the objectives of the call.
On 31 October 2023, the contract between OCCAR and SMS (as Programme Coordinator) was signed, becoming the first European programme for defence against hypersonic threats. The HYDEF Consortium consists of 14 companies from seven different European Nations, all of which have a long experience in development and production of high-performance components for air defence applications. The Consortium integrates the following members: SONACA from Belgium; LKE from Czech Republic; Diehl Defence from Germany; NAMMO from Norway; ILOT and ITWL from Poland; SMS, EM&E, GMV, Instalaza, INTA, Navantia and Sener from Spain; and Beyond Gravity from Sweden.
The Programme coordination within the HYDEF Consortium is led by the Spanish company SMS, based in Madrid, Spain, while the Technical Coordination, from the development of the overall system, is the responsibility of the German air defence systems company Diehl Defence, based in Lake Constance.
Over the next three years the HYDEF Consortium will work on the first phase of the programme, the concept study, which main objective is to assess the feasibility. This first phase will be divided into two main activities, leading to MDR (Pre-Feasibility) and PRR (Feasibility or Phase A), plus a parallel activity on the early maturation of critical technologies and designs.
HYDEF Participating States