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MEADS Begins Preliminary Design Review


The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) recently completed its Start of System Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The important two-day milestone initiated a series of 29 reviews over the next four months leading to a Summary System PDR in late October.

Successful completion of the review series is necessary for the advanced air and missile defense system to begin detailed design work and to ensure progress is made for initial flight tests in 2011.

“System PDR is a significant milestone for the MEADS program,” said MEADS International President Jim Cravens. “We are demonstrating to our customer that our basic design is sufficiently mature to proceed to detailed design. Every member of the MEADS team is committed to this objective so that MEADS can get to the Warfighters without delay.”

The Start of System PDR marks the end of 33 months of Design and Development effort on the advanced air and missile defense system. The review summarized previous Major End Item-level PDRs, including allocated baseline documentation, and addressed a set of operational and performance analyses.

MEADS is being designed to meet challenging new requirements not addressed by any single previous system. Under development by Germany, Italy and the United States, MEADS is a mobile air and missile defense system being developed to replace Patriot in the United States, Hawk in Germany and Nike Hercules in Italy, and will supplement Patriot systems in Germany.

MEADS incorporates the proven hit-to-kill Patriot Advanced-3 (PAC-3) Missile in a system that includes 360-degree surveillance and fire control sensors, high-firepower launchers and plug-and-fight battle management command and control abilities not found in any current air and missile defense system. The system will combine superior battlefield protection with unprecedented flexibility, allowing it to protect maneuver forces and to provide homeland defense against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and aircraft.

In May 2005, MEADS International (MI) signed a definitized contract valued at $2 billion plus €1.4 billion for MEADS design and development. A multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, FL, MI’s participating companies are MBDA Italia, Lenkflugkörpersysteme (LFK) in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States.

Together, these companies have focused an international engineering team in Orlando to develop systems and technologies for the 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.


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