MEADS Gets $3 Billion Development Contract


Released on Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Germany
Italy
United States of America
MEADS
MIM-104 Patriot
MIM-23 Hawk
Patriot PAC-3
BMC4I - Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence
MEADS - Medium Extended Air Defense System
MFCR - Multifunction Fire Control Radar
MI - MEADS International
NAMEADSMA - NATO MEADS Management Agency
USA - United States of America
MEADS International (MI) has been awarded a $3 billion design and development letter contract to design and develop the advanced ground-mobile Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program.

The letter contract/ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by representatives of the United States and Italy. Germany is expected to sign the agreement following parliamentary approval action before the end of 2004. The MEADS is a tri-national program aimed at providing advanced, mobile, 360-degree air defense capability against aircraft and missile threats to the United States and allied nations.

The MEADS air defense system will provide protection in the full spectrum of modern warfare scenarios from the battlefield along with maneuver forces to the homeland defense scenario ranging from point to area protection. MEADS will also focus on full compatibility with shooters and sensors from other existing weapon systems. Moreover, the netted-distributed communication system will cost less to own and maintain than current systems such as Hawk, Nike Hercules and Patriot.

MI was selected in 1999 by NAMEADSMA organization to develop the MEADS air defense system. MI is a multinational joint venture comprising Lockheed-Martin (USA), MBDA (Italy), EADS (Germany) and LFK (Germany). The program funding and work is allocated as follows: USA 58%, Germany 25% and Italy 17%.

The overall MEADS system will require less manpower than existing systems while providing quick reaction capability, fast moving air defense and air transportability by medium tactical transport aircraft. The six major equipment items are: 360-degree coverage Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR); 360-degree surveillance radar; Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BMC4I); the proven hit-to-kill PAC-3 missile round (missile + canister); Launcher and Reloader.

The current MEADS roadmap call for flight tests in the fourth year of development (2008?) with 10 development/operational test missions, including live intercepts, already planned. Half of the planned tests include multiple intercepts, most likely scenario in future warfare. These tests will continue through the sixth year of development program (2010?). Operational testing and evaluation, which includes three flight missions, would be carried out the final customer during the last six months of the program.

The armed forces of Germany and the United States of America will utilize the MEADS to replace their Patriot battery missile systems. Italy will replace Nike Hercules air defense systems by MEADS.

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