The Netherlands has decided to modernize its existing Raytheon-made Patriot air and missile defense batteries instead of buying a new system like Lockheed Martin’s Medium Extended Air Defense System.
The decision doesn’t help build the momentum that Lockheed and MBDA Deutschland — who are jointly developing MEADS for Germany — are hoping to gain for MEADS among NATO countries.
Instead of buying MEADS, an industry source said, the Dutch will modernize their Patriot batteries between 2017 and 2021, extending the system’s life to at least 2040.
The Dutch reasoned, according to the source, that modernizing Patriot would be better than waiting for a system that likely won’t be completed inside of 10 years.
The Patriot system was reaching the end of its lifespan, according to translated testimony from Netherlands Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert during a Dutch Parliament Defense Committee hearing.
And, according to Hennis-Plasschaert, the Netherlands’ decision was also fueled by the fact that Germany, which plans to ultimately field MEADS, will keep Patriot at least until 2025 and the need to have systems that work together is important.
Hennis-Plasschaert also said that upgrading Patriot was a better investment and that replacing it with MEADS would be too costly, especially when considering upkeep of both systems until 2040…