Will MEADS military program be terminated?

According to a report drafted by KPMG, it would be premature for the German government to decide on the continuation of MEADS missile defense system’s development, considering that such a decision could be costly and counterproductive. Germany is currently considering which future military technologies to develop, notably in the cyber-defense field.

The MEADS has been developed for 10 years through MEADS International, a joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Florida, for a cost of approximately USD 3,4 billion in the United States for 58% by Lockheed Martin and in Germany for 25% and in Italy for 17% by MBDA.

As an extensive modernization of older systems Patriot, Hawk and Nike Hercules in the framework of NATO NAMEADSMO, the MEADS is a mobile air and missile defense system that is transportable on a C-130 aircraft and able to shoot down any flying target on a full 360-degree angle using its Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR). With no blind spots, the MEADS can defend up to 8 times the coverage area of older systems and allows a substantial reduction in deployed personnel – for both operation and maintenance – and equipment.

According to news agencies, the United States withdrew in 2012 from the program because of budget cuts. However, such a statement seems inaccurate since on September 24, 2014, a test showed the program’s maturity and still indicated Lockheed Martin as a partner. Similarly, the program’s management codenamed NAMEADSMA is still located in Huntsville, Alabama.

The effectiveness and the reduction of operational costs plead for the program’s continuation, while other sources stress that existing systems – with minor upgrades in the future – are sufficient to address current and future threats.