USA / Europa

MEADS Pro­gram Receives Hard­ware Design Approvals, Enters Sys­tem-Lev­el CDR

ORLANDO, Fla., MUNICH and ROME — The Medi­um Extend­ed Air Defense Sys­tem (MEADS) pro­gram has suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed Crit­i­cal Design Reviews (CDRs) for all major com­po­nents, clear­ing the way for pro­duc­tion of radars, launch­ers, tac­ti­cal oper­a­tion cen­ters, and reload­ers need­ed for sys­tem tests at White Sands Mis­sile Range, NM.

Under its design and devel­op­ment con­tract, MEADS Inter­na­tion­al will pro­vide six Bat­tle Man­age­ment, Com­mand, Con­trol, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Com­put­ers and Intel­li­gence Tac­ti­cal Oper­a­tions Cen­ters, four launch­ers, one reloader, three sur­veil­lance radars, three mul­ti­func­tion fire con­trol radars, and 20 PAC-3 Mis­sile Seg­ment Enhance­ment mis­sile rounds for the tests, expect­ed to begin in 2012.

We have already pro­duced and qual­i­fied a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the sub­sys­tem hard­ware, pro­vid­ing increased con­fi­dence in our major end item prod­ucts,” said MEADS Inter­na­tion­al Pres­i­dent Steve Barnoske. “These time­ly approvals keep all MEADS sys­tem ele­ments on sched­ule for inte­gra­tion and test­ing and ulti­mate­ly for deploy­ment to U.S. and allied forces.”

MEADS will meet chal­leng­ing new require­ments not addressed by any pre­vi­ous or planned Air and Mis­sile Defense sys­tem. Under devel­op­ment by Ger­many, Italy and the Unit­ed States, MEADS is a mobile sys­tem that will replace Patri­ot in the Unit­ed States and Nike Her­cules in Italy. It will replace Hawk and Patri­ot sys­tems in Ger­many. The sys­tem is designed to per­mit full inter­op­er­abil­i­ty between the U.S. and allied armies, and it is the only medi­um-range air defense sys­tem to pro­vide full 360-degree cov­er­age.

With com­ple­tion of the com­po­nent-lev­el design reviews, the MEADS pro­gram has suc­cess­ful­ly met cri­te­ria to begin a series of sys­tem-lev­el CDR events. The tri-nation­al AMD sys­tem con­tin­ues to demon­strate sig­nif­i­cant progress toward final design approval expect­ed next year.

Enter­ing the sys­tem CDR phase is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the MEADS pro­gram,” said Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Klaus Riedel. “MEADS is an extra­or­di­nary sys­tem that will pro­vide supe­ri­or pro­tec­tion for maneu­ver forces and crit­i­cal assets against tac­ti­cal bal­lis­tic mis­siles, cruise mis­siles, air­craft and unmanned aer­i­al sys­tems. We are ready to demon­strate that the MEADS sys­tem design has matured to the require­ments set out by Ger­many, Italy and the Unit­ed States.”

A total of 15 sys­tem-lev­el CDR events will be com­plet­ed in the year ahead and per­mit final eval­u­a­tion of MEADS sur­viv­abil­i­ty, logis­tics, safe­ty, inte­gra­tion and test, life cycle cost, and per­for­mance. The final sys­tem-lev­el CDR event will be held in August 2010 in accor­dance with gov­ern­ment direc­tion. Ini­tial flight tests are planned for 2012.

MEADS is a mobile Air and Mis­sile Defense Sys­tem that will incor­po­rate the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Mis­sile Seg­ment Enhance­ment (MSE) Mis­sile in a sys­tem that includes 360-degree sur­veil­lance and fire con­trol sen­sors, net­ted-dis­trib­uted bat­tle management/communication cen­ters and high-fire­pow­er launch­ers. The sys­tem will com­bine supe­ri­or bat­tle­field pro­tec­tion with exten­sive flex­i­bil­i­ty, allow­ing it to pro­tect maneu­ver forces and crit­i­cal assets against tac­ti­cal bal­lis­tic mis­siles, cruise mis­siles, unmanned aer­i­al vehi­cles and air­craft.

MEADS will pro­vide capa­bil­i­ties beyond any oth­er field­ed or planned air and mis­sile defense sys­tem. It will be eas­i­ly deployed to a the­ater of oper­a­tions and once there, will keep pace with fast-mov­ing maneu­ver forces. MEADS will pro­vide an open archi­tec­ture for 21st cen­tu­ry air and mis­sile defense sys­tem-of-sys­tem inte­gra­tion capa­bil­i­ties that allow oper­a­tional mis­sion-tai­lor­ing. MEADS will also pro­vide greater fire­pow­er with less man­pow­er than cur­rent sys­tems, pro­duc­ing dra­mat­ic oper­a­tion and sup­port cost sav­ings.

A multi­na­tion­al joint ven­ture head­quar­tered in Orlan­do, FL, MEADS International’s par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies are MBDA in Italy, LFK in Ger­many and Lock­heed Mar­tin in the Unit­ed States. Today, 1900 employ­ees from these com­pa­nies are com­plet­ing final engi­neer­ing designs for MEADS pro­gram, which is close­ly watched as a mod­el for col­lab­o­ra­tive transat­lantic devel­op­ment.

The Unit­ed States funds 58 per­cent of the MEADS pro­gram, and Euro­pean part­ners Ger­many and Italy pro­vide 25 per­cent and 17 per­cent respec­tive­ly as part­ners in the NATO Medi­um Extend­ed Air Defense Sys­tem Man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion (NAMEADSMO). Its pro­gram man­age­ment agency NAMEADSMA is locat­ed in Huntsville, AL.

Source: Lock­heed Mar­tin