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EU green lights TWISTER space-based missile defense system development

Photo: MBDA

The Council of the European Union has approved the development of the TWISTER (Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance) as part of the wider Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework.

This international missile defense project which already includes five European countries, seeks to develop, with support from the European Defence Fund, a European multi-role interceptor to address emerging threats and be brought into service by 2030.

This new endo-atmospheric interceptor will address a wide range of threats including, maneuvering ballistic missiles with intermediate ranges, hypersonic or high-supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders, and more conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft.

According to missile systems specialist MBDA, who is involved in the project, the interceptor will integrate existing and future land and naval systems.

“MBDA enthusiastically welcomes the Council’s decision,” says MBDA CEO Éric Béranger, “and will commit all its energy and extensive missile defence experience in future collaborative and cross-border R&T and R&D activities.”

“These high-end interceptors are technologically demanding and their development will represent a qualitative leap forward for Europe’s entire missile sector. Our industrial model as a European champion gives us the critical mass necessary to deliver this challenging project through cooperation with our European industrial partners.”

The TWISTER project is the second missile systems project to be supported under the new European defense agenda following the Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) capability program which became part of PESCO in November 2018 and for which MBDA has put forward its 5th generation ground combat system.