Army vs. Lockheed Martin in Battle to Cancel Missile Defense System

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Dreaming of MEADS

The U.S. Army doesn’t want it, but the Department of Defense is saying: Yes, you do. The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) would be scuttled if Army commanders had their way, saying the missile defense program is too costly to develop, with a price tag of $19 billion. However, Pentagon officials and others in the Obama administration want MEADS, which is being developed in partnership with Germany and Italy, because killing the program could upset relations with the two European allies.

While Army staff insist the missile defense is too expensive to keep working on, Defense Department personnel argue it would be too expensive to stop development. That’s because the contract that the Pentagon signed with Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors would require the government to pay $550 million to $1 billion in penalties to the companies.
MEADS is intended to replace the aging Patriot missile system, which has been around since the 1980s.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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