MBDA and Lockheed Martin have formed a new joint-venture (JV) to pursue the Tactical Air Defence System (Taktische Luftverteidigungssystem: TLVS) requirement for the German armed forces.
The new JV, named TLVS GmbH, was announced on 8 March and formally brings together for the German requirement the two partners that have been working on the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) since the early 2000s, although the programme itself dates back to the early 1990s.
Germany decided in June 2015 to buy the MEADS for its TLVS tactical air defence requirement. As noted by Thomas Gottschild, managing director of MBDA Deutschland, the JV has been established now to enable the companies to better negotiate with Germany’s procurement office for the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) for the supply of the ground-based missile and air defence system.
Dietmar Thelen from MBDA and Gregory Kee, director of TLVS for Lockheed Martin, will lead the company from the MBDA office in Schrobenhausen, Germany. TLVS GmbH will also have operations in Germany and in the United States.
Under the MEADS wider programme, which was originally launched to replace the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot system in the United States, HAWK in Germany, and NIKE in Italy, the partners have been operating as MEADS International. TLVS GmbH will now look to leverage for Germany the experience and more than USD4 billion already invested in the project.
MBDA and Lockheed Martin have been involved in a fierce fight with Raytheon and its Patriot systems for the TLVS requirement that has run for a number of years, but in 2017 the German government said that it hoped to conclude negotiations with the MEADS partners before the end of the year, though the national elections and the current churn in the German government have slightly delayed this.
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