Germany has picked the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) for its missile defense needs over the Patriot, providing a much needed shot in the arm for the Lockheed Martin-backed MEADS program.

MEADS will form the basis of the Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem (TLVS), a tactical air and missile defense system, which replaces Patriot systems in operation since the 1980s. TLVS will be led by MBDA Deutschland, using MBDA Italia capabilities while partnered with Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence and Space, MBDA Deutschland said in a statement.

MEADS fought off competition from Raytheon's Patriot in Germany after seeing Poland opt for Patriot over MEADS last year.

Germany had already made a substantial investment in MEADS, originally a joint Italo-US-German program until the US decided not to procure the system. Germany, which held a 25 percent stake in the program, is set to integrate the German Iris-T missile into the MEADS set-up.

Development of the system, which was affected by the US pull-out, will now continue.

"I'm convinced that MEADS is the right system to meet future air defense needs,", said Thomas Homberg, mManaging dDirector of MBDA Deutschland. "With this decision in favour of MEADS, Germany has opted for a powerful, state-of-the-art, long term ground-based air and missile defensce system sufficient to meet the threats both of today and of the future."

Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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