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Release No: 079-95
February 21, 1995


Deputy Secretary of Defense John M. Deutch signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) yesterday in Bonn, Germany for the joint development and production of a medium air and missile defense system. Entering into the agreement with the United States are France, Germany and Italy. The quadripartite SOI represents an important step towards the future modernization of tactical air defense systems for the U.S. and the participating countries.

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) will be designed for limited area defense and the protection of maneuver forces against the increasing threat of tactical ballistic missiles and air breathing targets, including cruise missiles. It would be employed either in combination with other systems as part of integrated air defenses or individually in stand alone operations. MEADS is intended to enter service in 2005.

The program will have a Project Definition-Validation Phase, a Design and Development Phase, and a Production Phase. The SOI will form the basis for a Memorandum of Understanding defining the details of the cooperation for each phase. The SOI calls for a program cost and workshare of approximately 50 percent for the United States, 20 percent each for France and Germany and 10 percent for Italy.

The first phase, Project Definition-Validation, will be conducted by two competing American/European industrial teams in order to determine the best concept for the program. The winning team will be the prime contractor in subsequent development and production phases.

Secretary Deutch called the SOI an important milestone in transatlantic defense cooperation.

"This Administration has given high priority to cooperation in Theater Missile Defense. Other nation's scientific and technical excellence continue to contribute to the Ballistic Missile Defense program. The SOI takes that cooperation one step further and establishes the framework for developing and deploying effective and interoperable systems." said Secretary Deutch.

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