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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 317-96
May 31, 1996

MEADS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED

The United States Department of Defense and the Ministries of Defense of Germany and Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Project Definition and Validation phase of the Medium Extended Air Defense System program on May 28, 1996. France, an original participant in the program, recently decided against participation. Adjustments to the MOU are being negotiated to account for France's decision not to participate.

The MEADS program will develop an advanced air and missile defense system that will provide protection for maneuver forces and critical assets from short to medium range tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and manned aircraft. It will be deployed either in combination with other systems as part of an integrated air defense, or individually in stand-alone operations.

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