Will the European hypersonic interceptor from the HYDEF program be developed with Israel?

The European manufacturers in charge of the development of the hypersonic interceptor of the HYDEF program have reportedly received a proposal for assistance from their Israeli counterparts, in particular those involved in the development of the Arrow anti-ballistic systems. In doing so, they suggest that the consortium in charge of this program would encounter difficulties, while at the same time, the developers of the only European anti-ballistic system, the Aster Block 1NT, have engaged in a counter-program announced during from the 2023 Paris Air Show, the Aquila interceptor.

In July 2022, the European Commission decided, against all expectations, to entrust the design of the HYDEF (Hypersonic Defense) program to a European consortium bringing together German, Belgian, Polish, Czech, Swedish and Norwegian companies, led by Spain.

The astonishing arbitration of the European Commission for the development of the HYDEF program

This decision took the second Franco-Italian consortium competing for this project by surprise. Made up around Eurosam, the French MBDA and Leonardo who composed it were, in fact, sure of their fact, being the only ones in Europe to have experience designing an anti-ballistic system with Aster Block 1, then Block 1NT.

ASter 30
The Aster 30 missile and the SAMP/T Mamba system is the only European alternative to the American Patriot.

Berlin increased this distrust a few weeks later, when Chancellor Olaf Scholz unveiled, at the end of August 2022 in Prague, the launch of the European Skyshield program, aimed at designing an anti-aircraft and anti-missile shield around 3 systems: the American Patriot PAC, the Iris -t German SLM, and the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic system whose acquisition Germany was negotiating with Jerusalem.

Here again, France and Italy were excluded from the initiative, also widely acclaimed in Europe with 14 participating countries, as well as the SAMP/T system and the Aster missile. Israeli manufacturers, on the other hand, found themselves, by this German decision, propelled to the pinnacle of suppliers of anti-aircraft systems in Europe, and with full confidence in expanding their market shares on the old continent.

It is in this particular context that Israeli industrialists have just made a most confusing proposal to their European counterparts involved in the HYDEF program, and by transitivity, to the European Commission.

Israeli industry offers help to develop European hypersonic interceptor

Indeed, according to the website defense-industry.eu, they would have offered to participate in the HYDEF program through technology transfers, but also by participating directly in the development of the system itself. We understand, through the article cited, that contacts have already been made with certain European manufacturers on this subject.

arrow 3
Germany has formalized the order for the Israeli Arrow 3 anti-ballistic system as part of the European Skyshield initiative. Questions remain as to the effectiveness of this system, designed to counter Iranian IRBMs, in the face of Russian semi-ballistic or hypersonic trajectory missiles.

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