First MEADS Battle Manager Begins Integration Testing in the United States
ORLANDO/MUNICH/ROME, October 12, 2011 --
The first MEADS battle manager, mounted
MEADS International (MI) has begun integration testing on the first completed Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) battle manager at the MEADS Verification Facility in Orlando, Fla.
The MEADS battle manager controls a revolutionary network-centric open architecture that allows any combination of sensors and launchers to be organized into a single air and missile defense battle element. Through a capability called "plug-and-fight," sensors, shooters or other battle managers act as nodes on the network. From the MEADS battle manager, a commander can add or subtract nodes as the situation dictates without shutting down the system.
The battle manager completed acceptance testing in May at MBDA in Fusaro, Italy, and arrived in Orlando in early July.
MI President David Berganini said, "The MEADS system is ready to prove what it can do. MEADS will demonstrate coverage and flexibility that other systems cannot provide, including complete 360-degree defense that protects our warfighters against next-generation threats. While able to defend up to eight times the area of current systems, MEADS is also designed to reduce operation and support costs."
System elements are on schedule for an initial launch test at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) later this year.
Using the MEADS system stimulator, which consists of multiple special test equipment units for integration and test to emulate the external environment of a MEADS fire unit, MI will simulate scenarios that exercise all functions for the first intercept flight test in 2012. The MEADS battle manager will configure the other major end items and receive Surveillance Radar tracks for simulated threats, cue the Multifunction Fire Control Radar, send launch commands, and complete interceptor launches and target intercepts. When integration test goals have been met, this entire suite of hardware will be shipped to WSMR to support the flight test program.
MI Systems Engineering, Integration and Test Team Director Norbert Wuehrer said, "Using our end-to-end simulation lets us test more rigorously and significantly reduces risk prior to deploying to White Sands Missile Range."
The MEADS system combines superior battlefield protection with new flexibility to protect forces and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft. It improves capability to defend troops and critical assets through improvements in range, interoperability, mobility and full 360-degree defense capability against the evolving threat. MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area with far fewer system assets and significantly reduces demand for deployed personnel and equipment, which reduces demand for airlift.
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy, LFK in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States.