OCCAR and MBDA Sign Agreement, Poised to Present European Anti-Missile Defence by 2026

Defence Industry

New Delhi: Europe’s endeavour to develop a system of defence against hypersonic missiles gathered momentum with the signing of a firm agreement between European intergovernmental Organisation For Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and MBDA.


Estimated at 140 million euros, the project will get 80 million euros from the European Defence Fund. The initial stage of work will involve the study of various concepts of interceptors and the development of critical technologies throughout the next three years. The program is titled HYDIS² — Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Study 2.

The project’s start is being considered as one of the important steps towards the realisation of Europe’s own anti-missile defence. The aim is to create an atmospheric interceptor that will be able to protect against manoeuvring ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles, and hypersonic glide vehicles.


According to media reports, the European Defence Fund financing goes straight to MBDA’s project known as Twister with the Aquila interceptor. At the time of agreement, MBDA’s project had been receiving national funding – from the United Kingdom.

With the estimated implementation deadlines and details of this anti-missile defence program becoming public, media reports and sources indicate that the project HYDIS² is not just about concepts but aims to reach the TRL 6 level of readiness i.e. making a working beta prototype and demonstrating the technology in action in its operational environment.

big bang

As per estimate, the evaluation and presentation of technologies should begin as soon as 2026 and last for quite a long time, until 2029–2030. Post that, the final design and production stage will begin, with the initial readiness of the anti-missile system for deployment planned no earlier than 2035.

The Twister project has seen a slight shift in priorities since the purchase of Israeli Arrow 3 anti-missile defence system by Germany in September 2023 for $3.5 billion, as an interim solution. Due to be delivered by 2025, the Arrow 3 which uses exo-atmospheric interception is expected to achieve full operational readiness featuring omnidirectional capability by 2030.