Germany has reportedly selected the medium extended air defence system (MEADS) to modernise its future air and missile defence system, instead of the Raytheon-built Patriot missile defence system.
German television station ARD reported that MEADS has been selected for the $4.5bn programme. The system is built by MEADS International, a joint project between Lockheed Martin, MBDA Italia and MBDA Deutschland.
In addition, the Syracuse Post-Standard quoted New York Senator Charles Schumer as saying that the German embassy had informed him about the selection.
Schumer said: "Today is a great day for Lockheed’s Syracuse operation. Central New York will greatly benefit from this contract with Germany.
"Adding and maintaining jobs in the region is one of my top priorities and I’m confident that this news means great things for the local economy."
However, Lockheed, which operates a large plant in Syracuse, is yet to confirm the reports.
Germany has long been considering whether to modernise its future missile defences with MEADS or its existing Patriot system.
According to Reuters, Lockheed chief executive Marillyn Hewson told an investor conference that a MEADS contract award from Germany is likely to ‘open the door’ for orders from other countries.
The MEADS is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defence system developed to protect troops and critical assets against threats, such as tactical ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles in the battlefield.
Intended to replace the ageing Patriot systems in the US and Germany, as well as the Nike Hercules system in Italy, the system can provide enhanced area coverage with fewer system assets, lowering requirement for deployed personnel and equipment.