On October 31, 2023, the contract between OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement) and Sistemas de Misiles de España (SMS) for first European programme for defence against hypersonic threats, the HYDEF (Hypersonic Defence Interceptor Study) was signed in Bonn, Germany. The consortium consists of 14 entities from seven European nations, including Polish research institute, Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

The members of the HYDEF programme have a long experience in developing and producing high performance components for air defence applications. In detail, the following companies are part of the HYDEF Consortium: Belgium with SONACA; Czech Republic with LKE; Germany with Diehl Defence (Technical Coordinator); Norway with Nammo; Poland with Łukasiewicz –Institute of Aviation and ITWL; Spain with SMS (Programme Coordinator), EM&E, GMV, Instalaza, INTA, Navantia and Sener; and Sweden with Beyond Gravity (former RUAG). With this geographically balanced and technologically complementary consortium, new integrated and competitive cross-border supply chains will be developed to foster interoperability and standardization of new air defence capabilities.

“This project represents a noteworthy initiative in which a unified Europe is pooling its resources and expertise to safeguard the European airspace against potential threats posed by high-maneuvering hypersonic weapons. Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation plays a vital role in this pioneering endeavor, leveraging its extensive experience in aerodynamics and propulsion technologies. There is an undeniably challenging road ahead of us, as well as our valued partners, but I firmly believe that once it is passed, Europe will markedly enhance its security” says Przemysław Drężek, Project Technical Coordinator in Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.

The Spanish company SMS is responsible for the programme management within the HYDEF programme. The German system house for air defence systems Diehl Defence, headquartered at Lake Constance, is in charge of the technical implementation from the development of the overall system to the interceptor itself. In the future, the overall system will be able to detect and intercept hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs) as well as highly agile hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). All this will be realized through the networking of various, partly space-based sensors and the interceptor system which will be deployed on the basis of existing NATO BMD command and control systems wherever possible. The consortium is optimally qualified to solve this highly complex and multidimensional task of system interconnection.

The HYDEF programme is based on the successful signing of the contract in July 2022, when the European Commission announced the HYDEF programme as the winner of the Europe-wide tender.

HYDEF is closely linked to the PESCO EU programme “Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance” (TWISTER) and deals with the development of an overall endo-atmospheric interceptor concept for air defence. This programme has a total amount of 110 million euros, of which 100 million euros are co-funded by the EU European Defence Funds (EDF).


The Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation is one of the most modern research facilities in Europe, with traditions dating back to 1926. The Institute closely cooperates with global tycoons of the aviation industry, such as: Boeing, GE, Airbus, Pratt & Whitney, and institutions from the space industry, including the European Space Agency. Strategic research areas of the Institute are aviation, space and unmanned technologies. It also provides research and services for domestic and foreign industries in the field of materials, composite, additive, remote sensing, energy and oil&gas technologies. More: ilot.lukasiewicz.gov.pl/en/

The Łukasiewicz Research Network offers businesses attractive, broad and competitive technological solutions. Łukasiewicz provides a unique “challenge system” powered by a group of 4,500 scientists, who take up a business challenge and present the entrepreneur with potential solutions. At the same time, it provides access to cutting-edge capabilities and unique scientific infrastructure in the country. Most importantly – the entrepreneur does not bear the cost of preparing the conception of the research works. Łukasiewicz conveniently meets the expectations of the business. The entrepreneur can contact Łukasiewicz through an online form on our website https://lukasiewicz.gov.pl/en/business/ but also directly in over 50 locations of Łukasiewicz Institutes and their branches throughout Poland. Each site provides the same, high quality, product or service. Łukasiewicz focused on research areas such as: Health, Smart and Clean Mobility, Digital Transformation and Green and Low-emission Economy.

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