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Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

MEADS is a mobile Air and Missile Defense System that is easily transportable, tactically mobile and uses the hit-to-kill PAC-3 MSE Missile to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, providing full 360-degree engagement. Because it has no blind spots against the evolving threat and offers improved range, interoperability and mobility, MEADS improves capability to defend troops, friends and allies in critical areas around the globe.

MEADS will provide an open architecture for 21st century air and missile defense system-of-system integration capabilities that allow operational mission-tailoring.

MEADS defends up to 8 times the coverage area of other systems but uses far fewer system assets. This allows for a substantial reduction in deployed personnel and equipment, and reduces demand for airlift.

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.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) will provide capabilities beyond any other fielded or planned air and missile defense system.

MEADS Flight Test #2 Mission Preview

MEADS Flight Test #2 is designed to demonstrate a first-ever dual intercept of two targets in opposite directions in a simultaneous engagement – a real-time, stressing demonstration of MEADS’ 360-degree air and missile defense capabilities.

MEADS Capability Nodes

Mature, network-ready MEADS end items and technology can add 360-degree capabilities to networked air and missile defense architectures.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) will provide capabilities beyond any other fielded or planned air and missile defense system.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The November 2011 Launcher/Missile Characterization Test included an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of the PAC-3 MSE missile against a simulated target attacking from behind, demonstrating a 360-degree capability. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

Integration testing on a third battle manager has begun in support of a ballistic missile intercept test planned at White Sands Missile Range in 2013. Two other battle managers support system testing at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base in Italy and in Orlando, Fla. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

As part of a comprehensive solution to maximize the system’s ability to identify friendly aircraft, the MEADS UHF Surveillance Radar and X-Band Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR) have greater range and more sensitivity than legacy radars. The selected SELEX IFF subsystem packaged into both radars is also more robust than current U.S. IFF systems. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The MEADS launcher, shown in its rollout ceremony at MBDA Deutschland, lifts a pallet of missiles, secures it, and erects it for launch within demanding combat timelines. Reload times are significantly reduced. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The MEADS BMC4I Tactical Operations Center uses an open systems architecture that supports netted-distributed operations. A key benefit of the MEADS plug-and-fight capability is command and control over other air defense system elements through standardized interfaces. Plug-and-Fight capability lets MEADS elements attach to and detach from the network at will, with no requirement to shut the system down. No air and missile defense system has previously done this. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

In preparation for an initial intercept flight test in 2012, an Italian-configured Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR) undergoes system-level testing at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base near Rome, Italy. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

A MEADS MFCR in the U.S. configuration completes an emplacement demonstration in Syracuse, New York. Range testing continues in preparation for a tactical ballistic missile intercept test in late 2013. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

A third MEADS battle manager entered integration testing at MEADS in Huntsville, Ala. When integration testing is complete, the battle manager will be used in a ballistic missile intercept test at White Sands Missile Range in 2013.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

A MEADS battery provides eight times the defensive coverage of a Patriot battery and slashes airlift requirements to get to the fight. MEADS does more with fewer vehicles and fewer personnel.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

In an unprecedented intercept test at White Sands Missile Range in November 2012, the 360-degree MEADS system destroyed an air-breathing threat attacking the tactical site from behind.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

Each MEADS element is lightweight and truck-mounted, mobile enough to move protection as needed or when forces move. Its rotating radars and advanced launchers provide 360-degree capability, and all components are networked using open architecture software and plug-and-fight capability.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The MEADS power and communications unit, as with other MEADS elements, is designed for mobility and transportability, including C-130 transport. It has a highly reliable design that meets the power needs of both MEADS radars, and is ready to operate across a broad range of environmental conditions on a rapid emplacement timeline.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The 360-degree active electronically steered array Surveillance Radar provides extended range coverage. Using their plug-and-fight capabilities, both the Surveillance Radar and MFCR are designed to act as nodes on the MEADS network or other future integrated air and missile defense networks, providing increased capability and flexibility to the warfighter.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

2013 – Three smoke trails cross in the sky above White Sands Missile Range during test of the 360-degree Medium Extended Air Defense System.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

2013 – A MEADS launcher sits ready as a second launcher fires a PAC-3 MSE missile in the background. The MEADS system is intended for use by several different countries and its systems have been developed to allow it to be used on each country’s vehicles.

Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The November 2011 Launcher/Missile Characterization Test included an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of the PAC-3 MSE missile against a simulated target attacking from behind, demonstrating a 360-degree capability. (Photo Courtesy of MEADS International)

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