Germany on verge of signing new MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR missile defence system contract

The German Defence Ministry, led by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, called on Lockheed Martin Corp and Europe’s MBDA to develop final proposals for the next generation of missile defence systems in order to replace the country’s current MIM-104 Patriot models.

The move was hailed as a vital step towards the official signing of the contract, which is currently slated for two years’ time.

A spokesman for the German Ministry of Defence, said: “This is another step forward towards a final contract in 2019.”

Roland Kuntze, spokesman for MDBA, added: “This is a significant milestone toward achieving a contract award.

“This lays the groundwork for consideration by parliament in 2018.”

Gregory Kee, managing director of TLVS, stated that the ongoing negotiations had helped manufacturers and developers to better understand the risks faced by the German army, and the requirements of the Defence Ministry

He said: “The comprehensive negotiations phase decisively increased our common understanding regarding risks and possible solutions and will ensure the TLVS tender fully addresses the requirements of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment.”

The new missile defence system is known as TLVS in German, and was chosen four years ago over Raytheon’s Patriot model.

TLVS is being developed by MBDA and Lockheed, with $4billion of funding from Germany, Italy and the US.

The project holds the prospect of creating hundreds of new high-tech jobs in Germany and the US once the official contract is signed.

The new missile defence system is the first large-scale project as part of Germany’s new defence acquisitions process, known as Agenda Rüstung.

Reforming Germany’s defence acquisition system was a key objective for the Defence Minister, after Germany faced repeated criticism for failing to spend sufficient amounts of money on defence, and failing to meet the NATO target of 2 percent of GDP.

German Chancellor Angela Merkle and Ms Von der Leyen nevertheless vowed to continue boosting Germany’s defence budget in July.

They plan on increasing defence spending by 4 billion euros to 42.9 billion euros in 2019. (£38.4 million).

Chancellor Merkel commented on the move, stating: “It would be reckless not to prepare for alliance defence.”