Air Defense: October 28, 1999

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The Germans are threatening to bail out of the MEADs (Medium Extended Range Air Defense System) because the US insists that the interceptors (Patriot PAC-3s) contain sealed electronic units (i.e., "black boxes") with technology that the US refuses to share. The Germans say that they need access to the technology to properly utilize and integrate MEADS; the US is concerned that should this technology fall into the hands of a potential enemy it could compromise the system. The Germans have said "We aren't playing this game any longer". What is really at issue is just as much industrial secrets that give the US a competitive edge as it is military secrets that could affect the outcome of a war.--Stephen V Cole


 


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