NATO has awarded feasibility contracts for a layered theatre missile defence system to Science Applications International (SAIC) and the Team Janus consortium led by Lockheed Martin.

The alliance is seeking an initial operational capability with deployed forces by 2010. The feasibility studies will define a system architecture and provide inputs for a NATO staff requirement, planned for 2004.

Team Janus and the SAIC team will consider technical feasibility, costs and timescales. Study contracts are valued at $13 million each. They start on 1 July and last 18 months.

Alliance members are already planning to introduce air defence systems that could form part of the layered TMD architecture.

Source: Flight International