MEADS missile defense project goes to Lockheed joint venture

The governments of the United States, Germany and Italy have awarded a $3.4 billion contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. and its partners in a joint venture to design and develop the Medium Extended Air Defense System.

The joint venture, MEADS International Inc. of Orlando, Fla., also includes European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. of the Netherlands, MBDA-Italia and Lenkflugkoerpersysteme of Germany.

The nine-year contract was approved April 20 by the German Parliament, after previously winning approval from the United States and Italy.

'The MEADS program and its promise of unprecedented capability for the warfighter are moving forward,' Jim Berry, president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a news release. 'We will now complete development of the system and prepare it for production. That's important for our tri-national forces who have asked for greater mobility, interoperability and lethality.'

MEADS is a mobile system designed to replace the Patriot system in the United States and Germany. It includes a lightweight launcher, fire control and surveillance radars, and 'plug-and-fight' battle management command and control capabilities, the news release said.

It can defend against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.

Lockheed Martin will perform work on MEADS at its locations in Orlando, Fla., Dallas, Huntsville, Ala., and Syracuse, N.Y. Fifty-eight percent of the funding for the program is from the U.S. government.

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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