LOCKHEED MARTIN DEMONSTRATES COMPREHENSIVE MISSILE DEFENCE CAPABILITY
By Julian Nettlefold
During AUSA Winter, Lockheed Martin gave a number of comprehensive briefs outlining the Corporation’s capability in layered missile defence from MEADS thru THAAD to PAC-3.
The tri-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)
Steve Barnoske, President of the MEADS International Joint Venture, and Mr. Gregory Kee, General Manager for the NATO MEADS Management Agency, gave a brief on the latest MEADS developments.
In August 2009, the MEADS program successfully completed Critical Design Reviews (CDRs) for all major components, clearing the way for production of radars, launchers, tactical operation centers, and reloaders needed for system tests at White Sands Missile Range, NM.
Under its design and development contract, MEADS International will provide six Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Tactical Operations Centers, four launchers, one reloader, three surveillance radars, three multifunction fire control radars, and 20 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missile rounds for the tests, expected to begin in 2012.
“We have already produced and qualified a significant portion of the subsystem hardware, providing increased confidence in our major end item products,” said MI President Steve Barnoske.
“These timely approvals keep all MEADS system elements on schedule for integration and testing and ultimately for deployment to U.S. and allied forces.”
MEADS will meet challenging new requirements not addressed by any previous or planned Air and Missile Defense system. Under development by Germany, Italy and the United States, MEADS is a mobile system that will replace Patriot in the United States and Nike Hercules in Italy. It will replace Hawk and Patriot systems in Germany. The system is designed to permit full interoperability between the U.S. and allied armies, and it is the only medium-range air defense system to provide full 360-degree coverage.
With completion of the component-level design reviews, the MEADS program successfully met criteria to begin a series of system-level CDR events. The tri-national AMD system continues to demonstrate significant progress toward final design approval in August 2010.
“Entering the system CDR phase is a significant milestone for the MEADS program,” said MI President Steve Barnoske.
“MEADS is an extraordinary system that will provide superior protection for maneuver forces and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. We are ready to demonstrate that the MEADS system design has matured to the requirements set out by Germany, Italy and the United States.”
A total of 15 system-level CDR events will be completed in August 2010. These events permit final evaluation of MEADS survivability, logistics, safety, integration and test, life cycle cost, and performance.
In January 2009, EADS Defence Electronics business unit delivered a first batch of 5,000 transmit/receive (T/R) modules and related electronics for the MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR). Within the framework of the MEADS design and development programme, EADS Defence Electronics was awarded a contract worth about €120 million for the production of approx. 40,000 T/R modules and associated electronic components, so-called manifolds, which will make the MEADS fire control radar the most powerful radar of its type in the world. These modules are key elements in the new generation of radar systems which are based on AESA technology. LFK GmbH/MBDA Germany are responsible for the complete radar antenna.
In October 2009, the MEADS program received approval to use a European cryptographic device to implement Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), a critical capability that protects friendly aircraft from engagement by air defenses. For U.S. MEADS systems, a waiver from the U.S. Nationa