PARIS–Lockheed Martin [LMT] is readying for an official proposal from Germany next week to replace its Patriot missile defense system with the first ever 360-degree, network integrated air & missile defense system, a company official told Defense Daily Tuesday.
German officials are expected to release a formal RFP for the TLVS, the first of its kind system to respond to missile threats in 360-degree, with an eventual timeline to field the first capabilities for the proposed multi-billion dollar program in 2022.
“We’ve been working with the Germans on helping then define what the threats are, what the requirements are. We are about a week away from getting the RFP for that system,” Frank St. John, Lockheed executive vice president for missiles & fire control, told Defense Daily at the Eurosatory conference in Paris. “We’re looking forward to responding that requirement. And by the end of the year, we’ll submit our proposal back to the German government. Hopefully by the end of the first quarter of next year we’ll be under contract for that, a new modern, integrated air & missile defense system.”
Germany settled on a sole-source award for their Patriot replacement after participating in the multi-nation Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program to test next-generation missile defense capabilities with Lockheed and Italy’s MBDA Italia.
The MEADS program was organized as the Department of Defense continues exploring the Integrated Air and Missile Battle Command System (ICBS) program to replace Raytheon’s [RTN] Patriot system.
Capabilities developed under the MEADS formed the basis for the Germany’s TLVS program, which is intended to be highly mobile, networked with an advanced command & control system and incorporate 360-degree coverage capabilities to combat modernized cruise and hypersonic missiles.
“This will be the first in Europe…quite honestly, it will be the first in the world to do the 360-degree and to do the networked capabilities within the missile defense system,” St. John said.
The TLVS will incorporate a short range interceptor built by Germany’s Diehl, Lockheed’s PAC-3 interceptors, surveillance and fire control radars, and battle management systems that are entirely networked together.
St. John expects a 360-degree, networked missile defense system to be the norm for major defense purchasers over the next 3-5 years, rather than investing in updates for current Patriot systems.
“Other countries have different radars, different command & control systems.The nice thing about the architecture we have with TLVS is that for each of those countries we can say ‘hey, here is TLVS as we’re doing it for Germany, but if we unplugged the German command & control system and plug in your system the rest of these pieces will still work together,” St. John said.
St. John expects the radar capability to be the first TLVS component delivered by 2022.