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MEADS Program Completes Preliminary Design Review


ORLANDO/MUNICH/ROME.- The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) recently completed its System Preliminary Design Review (PDR), a major milestone in the program’s development.

The MEADS team will now focus on detailed design work for the system, with the Critical Design Review (CDR) scheduled for 2009, leading to initial MEADS flight tests in 2011.

MEADS is the mobile air and missile defense system that will replace Patriot systems in the United States and Nike Hercules systems in Italy, and will supplement and eventually replace Patriot systems in Germany.

“System PDR is the most significant milestone to date for the MEADS program,” said MEADS International President Jim Cravens. “We’ve demonstrated to our customer that the basic design of MEADS is ready to move forward into detailed design. Every member of the MEADS team knows how important it is to provide improved air and missile defense protection to our future Warfighters, and how our basic design supports those efforts.”

The level of technical detail of the PDR was unprecedented, reflecting the importance and complexity of this next-generation air and missile defense system, and the expectations of three sponsoring governments. Over the six-month period leading to the summary event on December 18, transatlantic review teams attended 27 multi-day design reviews to ensure that the needs of the three nations are being met.

NAMEADSMA Deputy General Manager Bernd Fleissner congratulated the entire MEADS team of MEADS International (MI), NAMEADSMA and the national representatives for their excellent work leading up to the successful system PDR activities, and encouraged the participating organizations to sustain the spirit of cooperation as the program addresses CDR challenges over the next two years.

MI Executive Vice President Axel Widera said, “As part of our shared commitment to this critical system, MI and NAMEADSMA are ensuring that MEADS features and capabilities are implemented in a manner that meets each nation’s interests and operational environment. We are proud of the cooperative effort that has gone into meeting this goal.”

MEADS is a mobile Air and Missile Defense System that will incorporate the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missile in a system that includes 360-degree surveillance and fire control sensors, netted-distributed battle management/communication centers and high-firepower launchers. The system will combine superior battlefield protection with extensive flexibility, allowing it to protect maneuver forces and to provide selected critical assets for homeland defense against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.

When completed, MEADS will be the only Air and Missile Defense System able to roll off tactical transports with the troops and begin operations almost immediately. More importantly, its open architecture will provide for 21st century Air and Missile Defense system-of-system integration capabilities that allow operational mission-tailoring for homeland defense or defense of maneuver forces in various theaters countering air-breathing and tactical missile threats. MEADS is intended to provide significant operation and support cost savings.

A multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, FL, MEADS International’s participating companies are MBDA in Italy, 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 as partners in the NATO Medium Extended Air Defense System Management Organization (NAMEADSMO). Its program management agency, NAMEADSMA, is located in Huntsville, AL.


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