MBDA has established a joint venture (JV) with Lockheed Martin to support the development of the next-generation integrated air and missile defence system, TLVS/MEADS, for the German armed forces (Bundeswehr).

The new TLVS JV is expected to serve as the prime contractor for the new defence system, which is currently being negotiated with Germany’s procurement office for the Bundeswehr, BAAINBw.

MBDA Deutschland managing director Thomas Gottschild said: “With this joint venture, we will have the agility and ability to successfully make timely decisions in an integrated fashion.

“We will also have direct access to the most advanced test and simulation facilities and the pooled expertise and resources of MBDA and Lockheed Martin.

“That’s how we’ll bring this important defence programme to fruition for Germany and Nato.

“We feel responsible and committed to support the German Armed Forces, namely the German Air Force, in establishing its next-generation Integrated Air and Missile Defence System.”

“We will also have direct access to the most advanced test and simulation facilities.”

The JV will leverage the development results and experiences from the $4bn investment of the trilateral MEADS programme, which involve the US, Germany, and Italy.

This will help strengthen the collaboration between the US and Europe through a continued, shared commitment to the local industry, safety and security.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control executive vice-president Frank A St John said: “We support Germany’s role as the lead Framework Nation for Air and Missile Defence for Nato and believe the MEADS-based TLVS system is the next-generation solution that will provide the long overdue 360-degree, mobile air and missile defence coverage they need to accurately identify and defeat threats.”

The newly formed company will be led jointly by MBDA representative Dietmar Thelen and Lockheed Martin TLVS director Gregory Kee from the MBDA office in Schrobenhausen, Germany.