Procurement: July 16, 2003


Two European missile programs are threatened with cancellation because of technical problems, cost overruns and replacement weapons already on the market. The Trigat missile, was to be available in a medium and short range versions, and would have replaced the Milan anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) for the infantry and the long range version would have replaced ATGMs like the TOW. This program has had many technical and cost problems.  The Polyphem is a highly accurate fibe optic guided missile with a 60 kilometers range that would have been used as an artillery and naval weapon. The U.S. has been developing a similar missile with a 15 kilometers range. But the Polyphem has had many technical problems, schedule delays and cost overruns. Trigat has competitors like the U.S. Javelin or the Israeli Spike that are already on the market. Moreover, Javelin was used successfully in Iraq, giving it the highly valued "tested in combat" label. Last month, Italy dropped out of the Polyphem project, leaving only France and Germany to continue. There is strong resistance in both nations to continuing the troubled project and it will probably get the axe soon. For the same reasons, Trigat is threatened with cancellation.


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