Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Raytheon, German Officials Discuss Patriot

Raytheon officials met last month with German Ministry of Defense representatives to respond to ministry questions about the Patriot missile defense program. The questions are part of an ongoing German analysis of Patriot as an alternative to the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), a tri-national program that also includes the United States and Italy.
The German parliament's defense budget committee directed the ministry in March to study whether an improved Patriot system is a suitable alternative to MEADS and to submit its findings by June 30, said Tim Glaeser, Raytheon vice president for integrated air and missile defense.
The study is evaluating Patriot's availability, when it can be delivered, cost and operational capability.
Raytheon responded to a series of roughly 50 questions, Glaeser said. These questions followed up on a white paper Raytheon had submitted previously.
"One of the original criticisms when they reviewed our white paper from last year was that it was written specifically for the U.S. Army and the U.S. government," Glaeser said. "We wrote it as a thought piece at the request of the U.S. Army as to what modernization efforts we could do to Patriot to give the combatant commanders better capability if we fight tonight."
The Raytheon white paper, "An Effective, Affordable, and Rapidly Fielded Alternative Solution to AMD [Air and Missile Defense] Requirements," is dated Sept. 2, 2009.
The paper claims a modernized Patriot system can be delivered faster than MEADS and at a third of the cost.
In the meantime, the MEADS program faces some important decisions:
■ The program is scheduled for a system-level critical design review in August in Orlando, Fla. To date, the program has completed successful critical design reviews for its individual components.
■ In October, the national armaments directors from the participating countries will meet in Brussels to discuss the program, with Pentagon acquisition executive Ashton Carter attending.
■ In November, MEADS could be discussed during a NATO summit in Lisbon.
MEADS is managed by the NATO MEADS Management Agency, headquartered in Huntsville, Ala. The United States funds 58 percent of the program, 25 percent comes from Germany and Italy funds the remaining 17 percent. Lockheed Martin leads the international industry team developing the system.
MEADS is intended to replace Patriot systems in the United States, with initial operational capability planned for 2018.
Raytheon competed against Lockheed Martin to develop the MEADS system.

By: KATE BRANNEN (DefenseNews)

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