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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 226-96
April 24, 1996

MEADS TRILATERAL STATEMENT OF INTENT SIGNED

The Ministries of Defense of Germany and Italy and the U.S. Department ofDefense yesterday signed a Statement of Intent to negotiate a trilateralMemorandum of Understanding for the Project Definition and Validation phase ofthe Medium Extended Air Defense System program.

The MEADS program will develop an advanced air and missile defense system thatwill provide protection for maneuver forces and critical assets from short tomedium range tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerialvehicles and manned aircraft. It will be employed either in combination withother systems as part of an integrated air defense or individually instand-alone operations.

The Ministries of Defense of France, Germany and Italy and the U.S. Departmentof Defense had already signed a Statement of Intent on Feb. 20, 1995 for thedevelopment and procurement of MEADS.

Although having prepared a quadrilateral MOU concerning a joint PDV phase asthe first program phase, and a charter concerning the program organization, theFrench Ministry of Defense was not in a position to sign the MOU as originallyplanned. The French have not made a final decision on their participation.

Though France may decide at a later date to participate in the MEADS program,the three other countries have reaffirmed their requirements for the system,and hope the PDV phase schedule can be kept. Until the trilateral MOU issigned, France may participate on the basis of the previously negotiatedquadrilateral MOU.

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