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24 Jul 02. Boeing Co., BAE SYSTEMS, EADS and Alenia Spazo have agreed to cooperate in the joint development of anti-missile defense systems.

Boeing and the European companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to share in efforts to design defenses against ballistic missiles for the United States and its allies.

“U.S. and European industry came together today to show unity of purpose and appreciation of a common global threat. We will work together on ballistic missile defense — adding a new dimension to trans-Atlantic cooperation,” Boeing chief executive Phil Condit told a news conference.

As prime contractor in the project with EADS, Boeing would be responsible for the development and integration of much of the ground-based equipment, including radars and command, control and communication systems. It also would be responsible for linking these defenses with satellites. Neither Boeing nor EADS said how much it would spend on the project, nor how they will divide up the work.

“Right now it’s just a framework, and inside this framework both companies will sort out how things will be done,” said Heinrich Grossbongardt, a Boeing spokesman.

“What is behind it is that the U.S. government has asked that European partners should take part in missile defense,” he said.

The announcement came amid U.S. President George W. Bush’s continuing effort to build support among America’s allies in Europe for the creation of a viable system of anti-ballistic missile defenses.

“This is an opportunity to bring to the missile defense effort the capabilities of two very capable companies, to the benefit of all those who will eventually be protected by such a system. We are pleased to be part of this effort,” said Mike Rouse, Group Marketing Director, BAE SYSTEMS plc.

Boeing, a prime contractor for the U.S. government on missile defense, established the MOU to provide an open framework for establishing long-term global relationships and industrial cooperation.

“Boeing’s role as a large systems integrator has been successful in part because of our ability to seek out the best in industry and develop innovative partnerships with firms around the globe that possess the know-how and leading edge technology,” said Jim Evatt, president Missile Defense Systems. “The agreements signed today and yesterday represent an important step in global cooperation that is imperative for the future security of our nations, deployed forces and friends and allies.”

Boeing, is responsible for the development and integration of the ground-based mid-course defense (GMD) elements, including the ground-based interceptor, x-band radar, battle management, command, control and communication systems, upgraded early warning radars and interfaces to the space-based infrared system satellites.

“We believe ballistic missile defense to be an important focus in the shifting defense environment, and key to ensuring peace in the free world,” said EADS joint chief executives Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich. “EADS will bring its proven expertise to the table.”

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