04:45 GMT19 February 2020
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    The German government will purchase a new air defense system and four new battleships over the coming years at a total price tag of nearly 8 billion euros ($8.9 billion), the Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.

    Military chief General Volker Wieker said Germany plans to acquire the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). The system – developed by European defense firm MDBA and Lockheed Martin of the United States – will replace the military's current Patriot system by 2025.

    Germany has used the Patriot system since 1989. The unit’s manufacturer, United States-based Raytheon, had updated its version of the Patriot, but ultimately lost in its quest to secure a new contract with the Germans.

    German media reports that the military wants to purchase eight or 10 units, but the government has not yet announced its plan. The MEADS acquisition will cost around 4 billion euros, the Associated Press reported.

    Germany also plans to spend 3.9 billion euros on four multipurpose battleships, with the Defense Ministry welcoming bids from across Europe, per the AP. The first should be delivered in 2023.

    According to its developers, the MEADS system has a 360-degree firing arc, which means it could successfully defend against multiple rocket attacks from different directions at the same time.

    missile defense system, Raytheon, Germany
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