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MBDA unveils Aquila: Europe’s hypersonic interceptor

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MBDA is proposing a novel Aquila interceptor, aiming to provide European nations with the aims for the protection of high-value assets and operational deployments in the coming decades.

The European weapons manufacturer MBDA unveiled the new hypersonic missile interceptor concept at the Paris Airshow.

As a result of five years of research, Aquila is industrially supported by the HYDIS² consortium, led by MBDA, which brings together 19 industry partners and 30 subcontractors from 14 European countries.

The aim of HYDIS² is to develop different interceptor ideas and advance the essential technologies to create the most effective interception solution that meets the requirements of the four member states – France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands – and aligns with the European TWISTER capability program.

Aquila presents a departure from traditional ballistic threats, in order to safeguard European nations and armed forces.

Reportedly, the Aquila project fits within a €80 million ($87 million), three-year concept phase funded by the European Defense Fund (EDF).

“This project offers a significant European benefit, contributing to European resilience and technological sovereignty by enhancing cooperation and interoperability between EU countries. This project will also contribute to reinforcing the sovereign missile systems industry in Europe, by sustaining and developing critical expertise, technologies, and materials; thus boosting European industrial competitiveness,” said Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA.

“The technologies in the hypersonic domain are evolving, and it is a priority for MBDA to remain at the forefront of innovation, guiding Europe towards the most efficient solution to counter hypersonic threats.”

France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands have already confirmed their support and commitment by signing a Letter of Intent and agreeing on Initial Common Requirements, MBDA stated.