The Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance (Twister)

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,095
Reaction score
5,704
df-twister_mbda-promo.jpg

CAPTION: The complex nature of intercepting hypersonic weapons may predicate air-breathing propulsion technologies to provide additional range, speed and energy.
Credit: MBDA



The Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance (Twister) project, led by France and supported by Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, is one of 13 new multinational programs that were given the backing of the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative in November. It says it aims to develop a European system that can “detect, track and counter” more complex missile threats and give member nations a “self-standing ability to contribute to NATO’s ballistic missile defense.”

Currently, only a handful of European nations can counter ballistic missiles, including European users of the Raytheon Patriot (Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain), as well as France and Italy with the Eurosam SAMP/T. But none of those systems is ready to deal with the new generation of threats emerging from Russia and China, including hypersonic gliders, hypersonic and high-supersonic cruise missiles, and maneuverable next-generation combat aircraft.
“We have seen the hypersonic threat coming,” says Rainer Stockhammer, team leader for Twister at European missile manufacturer MBDA. “Over the last five years we have performed studies into these new threats, which are new in terms of both novelty and maneuverability, and now we are in a position to answer this PESCO call.”

MBDA is now positioning itself for a role in developing the endoatmospheric interceptor that could be the backbone of the wider Twister system in the 2030s, describing the future system as “disruptive” and “technologically demanding.”

The company will not discuss what architecture it is studying for the future interceptor, but Stockhammer says MBDA’s experience with the Aster family of vertically launched surface-to-air missiles and the Meteor air-breathing, beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile has given it a “good position . . . to be able to develop a solution.”

The company’s artist’s impression depicts a missile clearly equipped with air intakes, which would suggest the use of a ramjet like on the Meteor.

Use of a ramjet would provide not only more range and speed, but also more energy in the final stages of an engagement to maneuver against hypersonic gliders and other maneuverable reentry vehicles.

“We know what kind of accuracy and range we need from the sensing part,” says Stockhammer. “Now we will look at a way to manage the unpredictability and look at engagement planning. . . . This is where we are investing.”

MBDA has also been looking at the command-and-control mechanisms required for such a system and how it would interface with existing and future sensors.

Individual governments will ultimately decide how they will equip with the future interceptor, but MBDA expects it to arm ships and a ground-based air defense system, with the expectation the system may have to squeeze into existing launch boxes and vertical launch tubes on surface ships.
The interceptor will be just one component of Twister. The PESCO initiative also calls for space-based early warning, but no details have emerged about the European industry approach to this yet. PESCO and EDF rules call for cooperation between industry, particularly small and medium-size enterprises, as well as between member states.
 
Last edited:

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,095
Reaction score
5,704
Good question. If it wasn't an EU program, I would be suspecting something along the lines of a relatively low yield nuclear warhead.
 

Desertfox

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
220
Reaction score
83
I know using a relatively slow defensive missile against a non-maneuvering target is doable but how do you hit a Mach 15 maneuvering target with a Mach 4 missile?
"Maneuvering" is a relative term when you are going at Mach 15. If the missiles are for terminal defense the HGV will not be going Mach 15 at that point.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,234
Reaction score
2,816
I know using a relatively slow defensive missile against a non-maneuvering target is doable but how do you hit a Mach 15 maneuvering target with a Mach 4 missile?
"Maneuvering" is a relative term when you are going at Mach 15. If the missiles are for terminal defense the HGV will not be going Mach 15 at that point.

I wouldn't call a Blackbird maneuverable either. Now imagine trying to shoot it down with a subsonic SAM.
 

TAOG

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
60
Reaction score
71
I know using a relatively slow defensive missile against a non-maneuvering target is doable but how do you hit a Mach 15 maneuvering target with a Mach 4 missile?
In 2018, a Lockheed-assisted paper published on AIAA showed a notional interceptor which was redesigned from THAAD that can knock-out a 14-15 mach maneuvering HGV at the gilde-terminal phase. That redesigned interceptor has a ~6 mach maximum speed only.

1.png 2.png 3.png 4.png
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,234
Reaction score
2,816
Well, if we could correctly predict all his possible maneuvers, and saturate the area with enough warheads to cover the trajectories...

Never worked with the Blackbird. (And they weren't even using subsonic missiles.)
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,234
Reaction score
2,816
I know using a relatively slow defensive missile against a non-maneuvering target is doable but how do you hit a Mach 15 maneuvering target with a Mach 4 missile?
In 2018, a Lockheed-assisted paper published on AIAA showed a notional interceptor which was redesigned from THAAD that can knock-out a 14-15 mach maneuvering HGV at the gilde-terminal phase. That redesigned interceptor has a ~6 mach maximum speed only.

View attachment 624889View attachment 624890

So 50% faster than a ramjet powered SAM and less range than a PAC-3 MSE. No, what you really needs is more like this:

 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
6,179
Reaction score
4,643
I know using a relatively slow defensive missile against a non-maneuvering target is doable but how do you hit a Mach 15 maneuvering target with a Mach 4 missile?

In the early days of ASAT, there were talks of mounting a mach 2 Sparrow on a mach 15 Polaris and shoot mach 28 (= orbit) satellites with that...
 

natewillcome4you

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
172
Reaction score
135
I know using a relatively slow defensive missile against a non-maneuvering target is doable but how do you hit a Mach 15 maneuvering target with a Mach 4 missile?

In the early days of ASAT, there were talks of mounting a mach 2 Sparrow on a mach 15 Polaris and shoot mach 28 (= orbit) satellites with that...
... Please elaborate
 

Similar threads

Top