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UK to award GBP1 billion for development of sovereign hypersonic strike

A UK Ministry of Defence image attached to a 13 May announcement of a GBP1 billion framework for the development of a hypersonic weapons capability. (Crown copyright)

The UK is to award contracts valued at GBP1 billion (USD1.26 billion) to companies and organisations across the country and overseas for the rapid development of a sovereign hypersonic strike capability.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) made the announcement on 13 May, saying this “agile route is part of a broader drive across [the ministry] to increase the speed of defence procurement and stay ahead of our adversaries” The awards will be made across industry and academia under the Hypersonic Technologies & Capability Development Framework (HTCDF) agreement first disclosed in December 2023.

“The organisations accepted onto the eight-lot framework, which is led by MoD's Team Hypersonics (UK), will now be eligible to bid for contracts; the maximum value of the framework across the next seven years is up to GBP1 billion. The award of contracts on the framework will be managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the UK MoD,” the ministry said.

The MoD did not name the successful bidders but did note their whereabouts. Of the 90 successful applicants, 84 came from the UK, with the remainder coming from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the US.

“The transformational framework was announced late last year after the UK government indicated its intent to accelerate the development of a sovereign UK hypersonic strike capability while bolstering AUKUS collaboration with Australia and the United States,” the MoD said.

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