France announces the launch of a hypersonic demonstrator

If ONERA was at the forefront of high speeds in the early 2000s, it is clear that its technological lead has melted like snow in the sun in recent years. In addition, the performance of new anti-aircraft systems, such as the Russian S-400 and S-500, poses a growing threat to the credibility of the air component of deterrence.

This is the reason why, and to the surprise of many, the Minister of the Armed Forces notified ONERA of a contract for the design and study of a hypersonic glider demonstrator, the first flight of which is expected at the end of 2021. The objective of this program will be to develop a vehicle reaching mach 10 and retaining a maneuvering capacity, like the Russian Avangard system. It should be remembered that, concerning hypersonic missiles, France is engaged with Great Britain in the development of the Future Anti-Ship Missile / Future Cruise Missile, which will have to enter service in the next decade to replace the MM40 exocet missiles and the SCALP EG cruise missiles. , and which will reach mach 7.

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