Cohort is facing a backlog of orders worth £353.9m after a surge in demand
The rising tensions between China, its neighbours and the United States has boosted orders for British developers of hypersonic missile defenses and submarine equipment.
Cohort, a company that supplies military hardware to UK allies and the Ministry of Defence, reported that sales in the six-month period ending October were up 22pc at £94.3m. With £119m of new orders, it has a backlog of £353.9m, a record.
Andy Thomis said that the UK’s defence deal with Australia, and the US (dubbed Aukus) could provide more opportunities.
He said, “We have had significant wins in Australasia and we are supplying anti submarine equipment in South East Asia.”
“The two most important regions are Asia Pacific and Europe. They reflect the major things happening in the world. In China, there is a new assertiveness in that country and in Ukraine.”
Mr Thomis stated that even though Aukus is “a little away”, it could result in more sales for his company, which manufactures sonar equipment and sensors for the subs the three nations are building together.
The agreement will also lead to the cooperation of the three nations on other defence technologies, including ways of repelling ultra-fast missiles, and protecting data cables and pipelines.
Today, ships aiming to defend themselves against missiles will turn in the direction of the weapon’s path and fire decoys with the aim to confuse the targeting system.
The new hypersonic weapons from Russia and China travel at speeds exceeding a mile per minute, so a warship has no time to alter its course. The ships may be faced with more than one threat, which limits their reaction time.
Rockets typically fly at Mach 3 or less, while hypersonics can travel up to Mach 5, which is about 3,800mph.
They are also extremely fast and have a flight path that is unpredictable, making them difficult to track. The Kremlin has developed weapons such as the 3M22 Zircon anti-ship missile, which Mr Putin described in 2018 as “invincible”. Last year, a Russian warship tested it.
China is said to have fired a hypersonic missile around the world in a 2021 test.
Cohort has developed a range of large rapid-fire vehicles that can be directed at these deadly missiles to jam them.
He said, “We think this is the greatest threat to anyone who may be faced with Russian or Chinese forces on sea.” “We are talking to potential clients about its initial applications.”
He said that anti-drone technologies offer other opportunities.