More delays for German air defense system buy

March 8, 2017

Defense News:

Göttingen – Germany will not conclude a contract for the procurement of the air defense system pitched by Lockheed Martin, MBDA Deutschland and Italy’s Leonardo before the September elections, the Ministry of Defence today informed members of German Parliament’s Defense Committee.

Originally, the TLVS program to develop the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, in Germany,  was to be negotiated and signed in the current legislative period. But the proposal from prime contractor MBDA won’t be finalized before the Parliament’s last sessions of the budget and defense committees by the end of June.According to sources with inside information about the situation, even the planned deadline for the new offer in March is unlikely to be met. Also still being negotiated are plans for  MBDA and Lockheed Martin to establish a joint venture for the implementation of TLVS/MEADS.  MBDA declined to comment on the issue.

A few weeks ago, the defense policy spokesman of the Social Democrats in the Bundestag, Rainer Arnold, called for a stronger integration of Lockheed Martin into the process. The U.S. company should “not merely be a supplier among many,” but could help with its knowledge and personnel in the area of system integration, Arnold said. He also demanded that MBDA’s parent company Airbus and Lockheed Martin provide further guarantees. According to Arnold, MBDA’s offer was incomplete as the price tag for Lockheed’s and Diehl’s missile systems was missing.

The defense expert of the opposition Green Party in the Bundestag, Tobias Lindner, criticized today the shift of the contract to the next legislature period. Minister Ursula von der Leyen wants to pass on the sole responsibility of the delay to the industry, he said, it should have been clear that the new framework conditions for contracts – implemented by the minister – would lead to lengthy negotiations. For Lindner, it is questionable whether the project will actually be executed in the coming legislature.

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