To join the HYDEF program, the Israeli Rafael relies on “friends in Europe”.

A rumor reportingan Israeli proposal made to Europeans, to support the development of the HYDEF hypersonic interceptor program, currently being designed by a large consortium of European companies led by Spain, was relayed by the very serious site, a few years ago days.

Un new article, from the same site, gives more details on this subject. It would, in fact, be the Israeli Rafael, designer of the Iron Dome and the David Sling, who would have started discussions with “friends in Europe” to strengthen, and above all accelerate, the European program.

Rafael wants to accelerate the HYDEF hypersonic interceptor program

According to the statements of the Israeli industrialist, it would, in fact, have the capacity to significantly accelerate the European program, through co-development based on the experience acquired in the development of the David Sling, an anti-aircraft system and anti-ballistic missile comparable to the SAMP/T or the Patriot PAC, but also in its participation in the development of the Arrow exo-atmospheric ballistic interceptors, piloted by IAI and Boeing.

David SlingRafael
Chosen by Finland, the David Sling long-range anti-aircraft system from the Israeli Rafael offers performances comparable to that of the Patriot PAC or the SAMP/T Mamba.

The proposal is, in fact, most credible. From the launch of the HYDEF program, and its attribution to the European consortium, rather than to the proposal made by MBDA France, Thales and Leonardo, who had together developed the Aster and the SAMP/T, questions had emerged regarding the experience of the industrialists selected in this field.

More particularly, to actually develop a hypersonic interceptor, they would probably have to go through all the developments that Eurosam had carried out, to design the Aster 30, then the two anti-ballistic missiles Aster Block 1 and Block 1NT. In other words, this consortium left several years late, where, precisely, delays are of strategic importance around this program, given the deterioration of the international security situation.

Faced with this evidence, the European Commission launched a second program, with almost identical specifications, this time called HYDIS, and managed by the same players who developed Aster, with the obvious objective of ultimately merging the two programs. Especially since MBDA, Thales and Leonardo have learned the lesson of their initial approach which was perhaps too autonomous, and certainly perceived as arrogant by European authorities.

European support at work to support the Israeli offer

For Rafael, however, another possibility exists. Indeed, through his experience with the David Sling system, he has skills and know-how close to those actually available to the three main members of Eurosam who developed the Aster. They are therefore able to compensate for the relative lack of experience of the European consortium in charge of HYDEF, and therefore to avoid the merger of the two programs.

HYDEF Twister program
The design of an interceptor capable of engaging hypersonic gliders represents a strategic challenge for the Europeans.

If this approach may seem at odds with the objectives of the European Commission and its 2022 Strategic Compass, it is no less supported in Europe itself. Indeed, by Rafael's own admission, the Israeli industrial group would be in discussions with “friends in Europe” to support this option.

Towards a merger of the HYDEF and HYDIS program, with the piloting of the European hypersonic interceptor in the sights

It is true that if the two European programs were to merge, it is more than likely that it would be one of the two main players in the second, France or Italy, and one of their manufacturers, respectively Leonardo or MBDA/Thales, who would obtain control of the unified European program, through their greater experience on the subject.

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