The German Federal Ministry of Defence has confirmed selection of the medium extended air defence system (MEADS) as the basis for Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem (TLVS) programme.

The TLVS is a next-generation, network-based tactical air and missile defence system, designed to replace the Patriot air defence systems initially deployed by Germany in the 1980s.

Built by MEADS International, a joint project between Lockheed Martin, MBDA Italia and MBDA Deutschland, MEADS was chosen over the Raytheon-built Patriot system for the $4.5bn deal.

Announcing the company’s full commitment to the success of TLVS, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control president Rick Edwards said: "It reflects our continuing commitment to international partnerships and ongoing support for the German Government’s leadership role in European missile defence."

MBDA Deutschland managing director Thomas Homberg said: "With this decision in favour of MEADS, Germany has opted for a powerful, state-of-the-art, long term ground-based air and missile defence system sufficient to meet the threats both of today and of the future.

"It is now our shared responsibility, together with the armed forces, to provide a solid basis for the introduction of the system."

"Germany has opted for a powerful, state-of-the-art, long term ground-based air and missile defence system."

The German programme is expected to be supported by Lockheed’s subsidiaries in Dallas, Texas, Huntsville, Alabama, Orlando, Florida, and Syracuse, New York, US.

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.

The system is capable of providing enhanced area coverage with fewer system assets, lowering requirement for deployed personnel and equipment.

In 2013, MEADS became the first air and missile defence system to complete a dual intercept of targets attacking simultaneously from opposite directions at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, US.

Image: MEADS will replace the German Army’s Patriot air defence systems initially fielded in the 1980s. Photo: copyright 2015 Lockheed Martin Corporation.