Belgian company Sonaca selected to design counter hypersonic missiles
Sonaca, a Walloon company (southern part of Belgium), was selected, along with twelve other companies, to participate in the development of the first European defense system against hypersonic missiles, Raphaël Meulders reports in La Libre Belgique.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link
SONACA will be in charge of the development of the entire structure of the different stages of the interceptor, including the coordination of thermal, mechanical, and aerodynamic studies (Picture source: SONACA)
A hypersonic missile is capable of maintaining speeds higher than Mach 5, that is to say, five times the speed of sound, clearly around 6,000 km/h minimum. Ultra-fast, difficult to detect and very precise, hypersonic missiles are considered the weapon of the future.
On the European side, countries are preparing to be able to protect themselves against this new threat: hypersonic missiles are much more difficult to neutralize than conventional missiles. All of Europe's vital forces have been called upon for this major task. Among them, the Sonaca, a worldwide known Walloon aerospace manufacturer settled in Gosselies, near Charleroi (close to Brussels South Airport), in the southern part of Belgium. Sonaca has been selected, along with twelve other companies representing seven European countries, to participate in the development of the first European defense system against hypersonic missiles.
Concretely, Raphaël Meulders comments, the Walloon company will be in charge of the development of the entire structure of the different stages of the interceptor, including the coordination of thermal, mechanical, and aerodynamic studies. A team of seven engineers will work on this project for three years, also relying on Belgian universities, research centers and SMEs. The technological challenges will be numerous: the companies must develop materials capable of withstanding the extremely high temperatures, forces, and frictions that occur at hypersonic speeds. These materials must also be light enough to give the interceptor sufficient maneuverability to counter missiles.
Difficult, but far from impossible for Sonaca, Raphaël Meulders comments, which intends to rely on its experience in the leading edges of the wings, "the most exposed part of a missile", but also in aerospace to take up the challenge. The first phase of this project represents a budget of 110 million euros, 100 million of which will be financed by the European Defense Fund. "Our Belgian Defense companies are among the best, which is reassuring in the current geopolitical situation", explained the Belgian Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder (PS) during her visit this Monday afternoon to the Gosselies factory. of Sonaca.