News In Brief

W. Germany, US agree on joint air defense system

The US and West Germany Tuesday signed an agreement for a $3 billion joint deployment of conventional-warhead air-defense missiles at their bases in West Germany.

The plan calls for using the American Patriot missile and the European Roland missile, which are to replace existing nuclear-tipped missiles.

Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said that when all the Patriots are deployed ''there will be no nuclear air defense in NATO.''

The Netherlands has delayed buying Patriots, because of the price, and Belgium has also complained of the cost. In West Germany, the US is providing the missiles, but West German troops will man them. Officials said similar deals may be struck for other NATO countries.

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