MBDA will be the lead contractor developing the Medium Extended Air Defense System for Germany, which recently selected Meads over the Raytheon Patriot missile defense system.

Further details about how work will be divided within the Meads International Consortium—comprising MBDA, Lockheed Martin and additional suppliers—will be part of discussions yet to come, says Thomas Homberg, managing director of MBDA.

“The system is more than 85% complete,” says Rick Edwards, executive vice president of missiles and fire control for Lockheed Martin. That means the technical hurdles and risk have passed, and the consortium is wrapping up final items just before software qualification.

Meads technology was developed jointly by Germany, the U.S. and Italy, but Italy and the U.S. dropped out because of tight budgets. Germany’s decision to purchase eight-to-10 batteries of the missile defense system under the Takisches Luftverteidigungssystems program now keeps Meads alive to fight for future contracts.

That includes a potential U.S. Army contract for a modernized Patriot system. Later this year, the Army is supposed to deliver an analysis of alternatives on the system that would lay the groundwork for a 2018 contract award.

That timeline would allow for the Germans to complete the remaining development and position Meads for a competition against Raytheon’s Patriot system.

Raytheon is offering a modified version of Patriot with additional electronically scanned array radars that would provide 360-deg. coverage and is stressing the benefits of its system, which does not have a rotating system that Meads offers.