Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: LVSysNG
and United States of America
Airbus Group, Lockheed Martin and MBDA
Parent System: MEADS
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2012
Total Production: 48
Total Cost: USD$30 billion
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Description: The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is being developed to replace the Patriot system in the US Army and to provide mobile air defense for Germany and Italy replacing Patriot and Nike Hercules respectively. MEADS will provide 360-degree protection to maneuver forces and key installations against ballistic missiles with a range of up to 1,000 km, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The same air defense system is also suitable for homeland defense.
The MEADS will feature a netted and distributed architecture to ensure joint and allied interoperability, and to ensure a seamless interface to the next generation of battle management, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I). The entire system will be C-130, A400M and C-17 transportable providing a rapid deployment capability. The system will utilize the proven Patriot PAC-3 missile round, which means missile and canister, to defeat both aircraft and missile threats.
The MEADS modular air defense system fully equipped battery unit comprises two command mission vehicles, one air surveillance radar, two multifunctional fire control radars (MFCRs), and six launcher vehicles equipped with 12 missiles each. Its open system architecture allows to integrate other sensors and effectors. On the ground, MEADS will perform as a fast moving asset operating alongside military fighting forces.
The MEADS will enter the System Demonstration and Development (SDD) phase in 2004. Initially, the United States funded 55% (Lockheed-Martin) of the project, Germany 28% (EADS/LFK) and Italy 17% (MBDA-IT). Following September 2004 development contract the US stake was enlarged to 58%, Germany reduced its share to 25% and Italy retained its 17%. It is also reported that the German Air Force might select the MEADS for its new air defense system called the LVSysNG.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for MEADS design and development was signed between MEADS International and representatives of Italy and the United States of America on September 28, 2004. Germany signing was scheduled before the end of 2004, following parliamentary approval. The MEADS development contract was valued at $3 billion. Up to 10 flight tests, including multiple intercepts, were anticipated to run from the fourth development phase year (2008?) through the sixth development year (2010?).
In 1999 MEADS International was selected to develop the MEADS air defense system by the NATO organization NAMEADSMA. MEADS International is a multinational joint venture comprising Lockheed-Martin (USA), MBDA (Italy), EADS (Germany) and LFK (Germany). Lockheed-Martin will perform 58% of the work at its locations in Orlando, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; and Syracuse, New York. EADS/LFK will perform BMC4I, launcher, surveillance radar and MFCR related work at its plant in Munich, Germany. Finally, MBDA-Italy will perform work on the BMC4I and MFCR in Rome, Italy.
Final acceptance operational testing and evaluation, including three flight tests, will be conducted by the customer during the program last six months. According to public information, the first two complete MEADS systems are slated for delivery in 2012. Since then, the MEADS will replace gradually Patriot, Nike Hercules and Hawk SAM systems in the US and allied inventories. The six major equipment items of the future SAM system are: PAC-3 missiles, Launcher, Reload Vehicle, Battle Management System BMC4I, Surveillance Radar and Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR).
On October 4, 2004, Lockheed-Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2) received a $625 million contract for MEADS air defense system Multifunctional Fire Control Radar (MFCR) development. MS2 subsidiary facilities are located at Syracuse, New York.
In April 2005 (4-20-2005), the German Parliament approved the MEADS entry into Design and Development phase thus joining the United States and Italy which already approved funding for MEADS program. This decision was expected to lead to a tri-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for full development of MEADS. As of April 2005, the MEADS development cost was estimated at $3.4 billion with Germany funding €850 million.
MEADS International signed the $3.4 billion design and development contract in Orlando, Florida, on June 1, 2005.
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