Wednesday 29 May, 2024
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UK development of hypersonic strike capability moves to next phase

The UK’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organisation is set to award contracts for the development of a sovereign hypersonic strike capability.

Ninety organizations from industry and academia have been selected to join a £1 billion Hypersonic Technologies & Capability Development Framework (HTCDF) agreement.

The Framework has been established to facilitate the rapid development of advanced hypersonic missile capabilities for the UK. The Framework is divided into eight lots and is led by MOD’s Team Hypersonics (UK). The organizations that have been accepted onto the Framework will have the opportunity to bid for contracts, and the maximum value of the Framework over the next seven years is up to £1 billion.

The management of contract awards under the Framework will be overseen by commercial experts at DE&S. The delivery of projects has been designed with speed in mind, and the Framework has adopted mechanisms that align procurement and development goals, thereby preventing the traditional challenges that hinder the acquisition of capabilities. This approach to developing an agile route to market is part of a larger effort by the MOD to accelerate the pace of defence procurement.

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s statement setting out plans to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030 – meaning an additional £75 billion spent over the next six years – the biggest strengthening of the UK’s national defence in a generation.

Team Hypersonics (UK) Programme Director Paul Wilson said: “We had a fantastic response from those wanting to be part of what is an iconic national endeavour. In an unsettled world, the battlespace is continually evolving, and the UK MOD recognises 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.”

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