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Germany in talks with Lockheed, MBDA for missile defense program

By Ed Adamczyk
Germany in talks with Lockheed, MBDA for missile defense program
Germany regards a missile defense system proposed by Lockheed Martin and MBDA Deutschland as inadequate, but negotiations will continue until the end of the year the country's defense ministry said. Photo courtesy of German defense ministry

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Germany is showing reluctance to approve a missile system developed by Lockheed Martin and MBDA Deutschland, a defense ministry report indicates.

A joint proposal by the defense contractors for a high-profile missile system, known as TLVS, was submitted in June for a second time, but unclassified portions of a biannual assessment indicate that the German defense ministry has unspecified reservations about the proposal.

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The proposal calls for a four-phase approach that includes development, integration, testing and delivery of a fielded multi-mission system offering capabilities and performance enhancements beyond the currently-in-use MEADS program.

"The analysis of the second offer shows that the proposal still falls short of the government's requirements because key elements and services were not included, some of which had been previously agreed," the document stated.

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While a Lockheed Martin official said last week that a contract is expected in third quarter 2020, the document said negotiations are expected to go on until the end of the year as certain performance requirements were also not addressed in the Lockheed-MBDA bid.

The TLVS system includes Lockheed's Patriot Advanced Capability missile as its primary missile, but lacks a means to integrate the IRIS-T missile system as a secondary interceptor missile, the report said.

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The bid by Lockheed and MBDA does not offer documentation to include the IRIS-T, which is German-made by Diehl Defense and is less expensive than the Patriot system.

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The cost of the complex proposal has not been announced. If it can be made to work, the TLVS system would position Germany as a NATO leader in missile defense, the report said.

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