Germany joins nascent European push to shoot down hypersonic missiles

December 2, 2020

Defense News:


Germany has joined a European Union-endorsed project aimed at intercepting a new generation of hypersonic missiles too fast for existing defensive systems.

Nudged by France, Berlin changed its status from an observer nation to a participant country in the so-called TWISTER effort, on Oct. 24, a Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed to Defense News. The acronym is short for Timely Warning and Interception with Space-Based Theater Surveillance. EU officials included the effort in the November 2019 roster of projects under the bloc’s Permanent Structure Cooperation, or PESCO, scheme.

The project aims to field a space-based, early-warning sensor network and an interceptor moving at a velocity of more than Mach 5, at an altitude of up to 100 kilometers, sometime around 2030. That’s according to missile-maker MBDA, which has claimed the interceptor portion of the plan as a pet project.

The objectives of TWISTER “align with German interests,” the Defence Ministry spokesman said. Officials hope that a complementary research effort, under the auspices of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, could help boost the project, he added. The spokesman declined to provide details…


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