The US government has endorsed integration of the US Patriot PAC-3 MSE missile into a next-generation German missile defense system, Pentagon spokesman Mike Andrews confirmed on Friday without providing additional details.
It was in 2015 that Germany’s Defense Ministry first announced it had chosen the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) developed by Lockheed Martin Corp and European missile maker MBDA over Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defense system, but it took years to develop the next-generation integrated air and missile defense system, called TLVS.
“This is a significant step forward. The impasse has been solved,” Reuters cited an anonymous source as saying.
Additionally, a spokesman at the German Defense Ministry has not provided any details, only saying that both sides were committed to signing a deal.
“There is new momentum. Both sides are clearly committed to successful completion of the TLVS program,” he said.
That, however, required US government approval for the integration of the PAC-3 MSE missile, one of the unnamed sources told Reuters.
The MEADS system was developed with $4 billion in funding from the United States, Germany and Italy, however, the US Army later halted its participation in the program.
Germany reportedly hopes to ink a contract for TLVS in 2019 and to employ the system in 2025. Sources claim the final cost of the TLVS system is likely to be several billion euros higher than the initially expected 4 billion ($4.56 billion).