German defense ministry has reportedly made a decision to purchase Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) developed by MBDA and Lockheed Martin as a successor to Raytheon’s Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, according to German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
The decision on Meads will mean the end of the Patriot missile system. Raytheon was working on an improved version of its air defense system.
“The Defense ministry has agreed on the Meads under several conditions. MBDA should provide reports on the progress in the preparation of the new system on a regular basis. It must show that the schedule and technological and financial requirements. If MBDA is unable to comply by the conditions, the Federal Government has the opportunity to withdraw the approval,” the news daily quoted unnamed sources as saying.
The Department of Defense however did not confirm or deny the report. "The decision is, as we announced it, drop by the end of the second quarter (end of June)," a ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report. "We are still talking with all manufacturers."
The decision is regarded as one of the main armaments policy choices of the legislature. About four billion Euros would be payable to MBDA. Germany has already invested more than a billion Euros in the development of the missile system. This would be the first major procurement decision by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU).
Early this week, Germany transferred four patriot missiles batteries to Israel as part of a military aid program.
Meads is designed to protect against attacks by aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles with a range of up to thousands of kilometers.