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UK Starts Project to Develop Its First Hypersonic Missile

UK Commences Development of its Inaugural Hypersonic Missile
UK begins program to develop first indigenous hypersonic missile
UK begins program to develop first indigenous hypersonic missile

The United Kingdom has chosen several different groups, both big and small, to take part in a competition to create a new super-fast missile system. The country has picked 90 suppliers for a $1.25 billion (£1 billion) project called the Hypersonic Technologies & Capability Development Framework (HTCDF) agreement. These suppliers will have the chance to compete for eight different parts of the project over the next seven years, according to a statement from the UK’s Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S).

The organizations that have been chosen for the eight-part project, led by MOD’s Team Hypersonics (UK), will now have the opportunity to bid for contracts. This project was announced late last year after the UK said it wanted to speed up the development of its super-fast missile system while also strengthening its collaboration with Australia and the United States through AUKUS.

The UK’s hypersonic weapon program has gotten a lot of interest. Paul Wilson, the Program Director for Team Hypersonics (UK), said, “We had a fantastic response from those wanting to be part of what is an iconic national endeavor. In an unsettled world, the battle space is continually evolving, and the UK MOD recognizes the need for agility to ensure we can rapidly develop and deliver the capabilities our Armed Forces need to protect our interests and those of our allies.” This comes after the UK Prime Minister announced plans to spend 2.5 percent of the country’s money on defense by 2030, which would mean an extra $94 billion (£75 billion) spent on defense over the next six years.

The HTCDF was created to quickly find suppliers to help with the research, development, and testing of super-fast missile technologies. Almost half of the suppliers chosen are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with most of them being based in the UK. The HTCDF will open up to new suppliers every 6 to 12 months to make sure the UK can keep up with new technologies and capabilities in the market. The UK MOD Defense Sourcing Portal (DSP) will announce opportunities to join the Framework.

James Cartlidge, the Minister for Defense Procurement, said, “Hypersonics will be a landmark capability of the future and it is essential we keep pace with the developments of our adversaries. The Framework sends a clear demand signal to the UK industry of our intention to develop hypersonic. Hypersonic means that something moves a lot faster than the speed of sound. China and Russia are ahead in developing hypersonic weapons, and Russia has even claimed to use some in the war in Ukraine. The US and UK seem to be behind in the race to develop hypersonic capabilities, so the move by the UK seems to come at an important time. The UK appears to be moving in the right direction by investing in this technology, which is likely to be a crucial factor in future wars.

Related Stories:

https://des.mod.uk/des-to-award-contracts-on-1-billion-framework-to-develop-uks-first-hypersonic-missile/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/04/27/britain-deploy-homegrown-hypersonic-missile-by-2030/

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/britain-developing-homegrown-hypersonic-missile/

https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/industry-to-begin-bidding-on-contracts-within-uk-htcdf/

https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/air-warfare/uk-brings-90-companies-into-125-billion-hypersonic-missile-programme/

Take Action:

https://breakingdefense.com/2023/04/air-force-cracks-open-door-on-hypersonic-arrw-weeks-after-indicating-it-was-shut/

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