MEADS International believes Germany’s selection of its Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) over Raytheon’s [RTN] Patriot for its next-generation air and missile defense system will be the first of many among NATO and worldwide allies.

“We think it’s going to open the opportunities for multiple NATO European countries as well as countries in the Pacific region and also the Middle East,” Lockheed Martin [LMT] Director of Business Development for MEADS Marty Coyne told Defense Daily in an interview Tuesday. Lockheed Martin is a partner in MEADS International with MBDA Germany. “There’s an appetite for a modern 360 degree air missile defense system.”

MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar Photo: MBDA Germany.
MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar
Photo: MBDA Germany.

Coyne said multiple nations have told MEADS International they are closely watching Germany’s selection process for its next-generation air and missile defense system. Coyne said Germany’s role as a designated framework nation in NATO for missile defense could persuade other NATO states to contribute to a regional missile defense system.

MEADS International announced Tuesday that Germany chose MEADS as the basis for its TVLS, a next-generation network-based tactical air and missile defense system. This will replace Raytheon’s Patriot air defense system originally fielded in the 1980s, according to a MEADS International statement. Lockheed Martin will share in development of Germany’s TVLS with MBDA Germany.

Raytheon spokesman Michael Nachshen said Tuesday in a statement that the company has not received formal notification from Germany on its plans for TVLS acquisition and will continue to fully support Germany’s consideration of alternatives prior to a final contract award. Nachshen said Germany remains part of the 13-nation strong Patriot partnership, which he said allows Germany to enjoy 100 percent of Patriot modernization upgrade and improvement benefits while contributing a fraction of the community shared costs.

Though Coyne said timelines aren’t concrete as MEADS International and Germany haven’t had their first industrial meeting, he predicts a potential contract award by the fall of 2016. Coyne expects a six-to-nine month phase of program requirements discussion before the program enters contract negotiations and award.

Coyne believes Germany will procure 12 or fewer MEADS units for its TVLS as it wants to replace 12 Patriot units, though he said this number is subject to negotiation. Coyne said it could be less because MEADS provides a larger defended area than the legacy Patriot system.

Coyne said multiple missiles are capable with the program. Germany, he said, wants to utilize Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 missile for the stressing targets like ballistic and cruise missiles while using Diehl’s IRST-SL as a secondary missile for less challenging targets. Coyne said part of MEADS’ attraction to customers is the ability to integrate radars, missiles or launchers of their choice. This, he said, also makes the program more affordable for nations with more modest budgets, allowing them to contribute to a larger missile defense umbrella while buying it at the component level.

MEADS International and Raytheon will go head-to-head for Poland’s Narew missile defense program. Raytheon, for this competition, is teaming with Kongsberg to offer the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile (NASAMS) (Defense Daily, Jan. 8). Poland in April selected Raytheon’s Patriot for its Vistula, or Tarcza, air missile defense program estimated to be worth $5 billion, according to analyst Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners.

Patriot beat out the SAMP/T system offered by the EUROSAM Consortium of MBDA and Thales. MEADS International had been under consideration, but was dropped earlier in the program. Poland is in the midst of a 10-year, $45 billion defense modernization program (Defense Daily, April 21).