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Germany, Italy Protest U.S. Axing of Missile Defense Funding

Germany, Italy Protest U.S. Axing of Missile Defense Funding


MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany and Italy have told the United States they expect it to fulfill its obligations after the U.S. Congress blocked funding for a missile defense program involving the three countries, Germany said on Saturday.

A defense bill passed by Congress in December prohibited a final U.S. payment of $400.9 million for development of the Medium Extended Air and Missile Defense System, known as MEADS, which is being developed by Lockheed Martin with partners in Italy and Germany. U.S. lawmakers said Washington has no plans to produce the system.

The United States, Italy and Germany have spent about $4 billion to develop MEADS over the past decade as a successor to the Patriot missile defense system.

“I expect the United States to stick to their word and fulfill the MEADS contract,” German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters at the Munich security conference.

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