A critical part of understanding how naval systems will deal with hypersonic threats is to understand the response of our ships, radars and systems. We have now added highly realistic hypersonic simulation capabilities to the existing wargaming models of in-use platforms. Our in-use platforms have a 25-year pedigree in modelling both airborne weapon threats and a ship’s own defensive systems, providing a graphical and realistic wargaming experience. We can now include hypersonic weapons and test thousands of different attack scenarios and potential countermeasures.

Our understanding of hypersonics is built on solid foundations. Over the last decade, BAE Systems Australia has grown a significant capability in this area, with an experienced team across the whole engineering spectrum including electrical/electronics, software for auto-pilots, thermal effects, aerodynamics, materials and mechanical systems, as well as countermeasures and the complete hypersonic vehicle system itself.

Andrew, Technology Lead for the project, explained: “We’ve done a lot of modelling and simulation work to predict how a naval task group could be vulnerable to a hypersonics threat. With current in-use platforms you can model a ship’s air defenses – trying different radars, and hard and soft kill methods to disable the missile – then simulate threats at that task group that have specific maneuverability, detection signatures, sensors and payloads. Being able to repeat that scenario and tweak things like the different ship defense layers and missile characteristics such as terminal speed, allows you to better understand vulnerabilities and the impact of defensive measures. As the capabilities of the hypersonic missiles that exist today change, or we find out more about them, we can continually update the model for accuracy.”