THE INTERNATIONAL programme office running development of the $11 billion medium extended air-defence system (MEADS) has awarded $80 million contracts to each of two international joint ventures to conduct programme definition and validation (PDV) research.

The international programme, which is to provide the next-generation medium-range air-defence system for the USA, Germany and Italy, is being led in the USA by Lockheed Martin and another joint-venture teaming of Hughes Aircraft and Raytheon. These are teamed with Alenia, Daimler-Benz Aerospace (DASA) and Siemens.

The Department of Defense was to fund half of the work, Germany and France each paying 20% and Italy 10%. The USA will now take 60%, and Germany and Italy an extra 5% each. Each 27-month contract was to have been worth $100 million, but requirements and expected costs were reduced when France left MEADS this year.

One team will be selected in January 1999, to enter the design and development phase for the MEADS programme.

Source: Flight International