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Weapons

MBDA positions ‘disruptive’ interceptor solution for TWISTER missile defence project

22 November 2019
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MBDA’s endo-atmospheric interceptor solution is intended to address a wide range of threats, including manoeuvring intermediate range ballistic missiles, hypersonic or high-supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders, and more conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft. Source: PESCO

MBDA is positioning a developmental disruptive endo-atmospheric missile concept for the interceptor component of the nascent European Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance (TWISTER) missile defence capability project.

The Council of The European Union (EU) on 12 November signalled its approval for the implementation of TWISTER within the framework of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) accord. Introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, and formally established in December 2017, PESCO is an EU treaty-based framework and process, which enables willing and able member states to jointly plan, develop, and invest in shared capability projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces.

PESCO is run closely with the European Defence Fund (EDF) to help reinforce member state defence capabilities and accelerate the development of those defence capabilities. For projects that are started through the PESCO system, member states can also get additional funding from the EDF. As a collaborative construct, PESCO focuses on finding programmes that are joint- or inter-operable systems and concepts, making it easier for multiple partners to operate a single system and improve co-operation.

TWISTER, one of 47 Projects that is being developed within the context of PESCO, currently comprises two key components: a space-based early detection capability and a next-generation interceptor component.

Co-ordinated by France, the project is seeking to develop, with support from the EDF, a European multirole interceptor to address emerging threats and be brought into service in the 2030 timeframe. Currently, five Member States - Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain - have already committed to the project.

"The spectrum of threats on the European territory is evolving towards more complex and evolving air threats, notably in the missile domain," said PESCO. "The project therefore aims at strengthening the ability of Europeans to better detect, track, and counter these threats through a combination of enhanced capabilities for space-based early warning and endo atmospheric interceptors.

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