03:10 GMT +317 November 2018
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    A US Patriot anti-missile battery is set up at a base in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, file photo

    US Approves Integration of Patriots Into Next-Gen German Air Defense – Reports

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    The decision comes on the heels of high-level talks between German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this summer, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

    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.

    READ MORE: As Demand Soars, US Arms Maker to Double Production of Enhanced Patriot Missiles

    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.

    In mid-August, Germany’s Defense Ministry asked the top US weapons manufacturer, Lockheed, and Europe’s MBDA to submit a second, more detailed proposal to develop a successor to its Patriot missile defense system.

    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).

    Tags:
    Patriot missile, deal, air defense, missile, approval, MBDA, Lockheed Martin, Germany, United States
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