BERLIN (Own report) – The German Defense Minister announced new multi-billion Euro armament projects, aimed at Germany’s and the EU’s greater independence from the USA. Ursula von der Leyen announced yesterday that the Bundeswehr would purchase the Medium Extended Air Defense System “MEADS” to replace the “Patriot” air defense system. Whereas the “Patriot” system had to be imported entirely from the United States, a consortium with significant German participation will manufacture MEADS. It is estimated to cost about four billion Euros, with another four billion having been already invested. With MEADS, Germany would achieve more “autonomy in security policy,” according to a CSU party military policy specialist. The German Navy will also receive four MKS 180 multi-role warships worth around four billion Euros, better suited for waging distant wars more effectively and over more extended periods. Other armament projects, such as a German-French battle tank, serve the consolidation of the EU’s arms industries or – as with the “Euro-drone” – are aimed at achieving more independence from the US arms industry. The A 400M Airbus airlifter crash in early May is seen by observers in the context of these efforts to achieve autonomy.