Germany has decided to purchase the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), according to reports from Deutsche Welle. This is a joint program involving Lockheed Martin and MBDA. The German Ministry of Defense has yet to confirm this decision. A formal announcement will come before the end of June.
Previously, the United States decided not to procure MEADS. Washington claimed the program was too far behind schedule. Germany made a similar decision in 2011. Instead, Germany planned to procure a different system to replace its Patriot air defense systems.
These decisions did not cause Lockheed Martin and MBDA to give up on MEADS. The requirements for a system like MEADS remain. Germany was expected to incorporate parts of MEADS into any future Patriot replacement.
If Berlin moves ahead with MEADS, it will help to support defense jobs in Germany. MBDA employs over 1,200 people in Germany. How many MEADS fire units Germany will procure is uncertain. Procurement of this new system could be in quantities similar to those previously planned for MEADS. In the past, the German Army had been considering the purchase of upwards of 24 systems and well over 1,000 missiles.
German procurement of MEADS could help stimulate interest among other European militaries. Even the United States might now take a second look at MEADS.