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10 Dec 10. The first MEADS launcher, for which LFK – Lenkflugkörpersyteme GmbH (MBDA Deutschland) bears lead responsibility, has been delivered to MEADS International. The completed launcher prime item will advance to system integration with the initial MEADS battle manager and multifunction fire control radar at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base in Italy in early 2011. The MEADS system will begin flight testing at White Sands Missile Range in 2012. The MEADS lightweight launcher is easily transportable, is tactically mobile, and capable of rapid reload. The launcher is designed to to carry up to eight PAC-3 MSE Missiles and to achieve launch readiness in minimum time. MEADS, under development by Germany, Italy and the United States, includes the launcher, 360-degree fire control and surveillance radars and a battle manager with plug-and-fight command and control abilities not found in current systems.
“MEADS will offer us the needed flexibility to react on different mission types with its “netted and distributed approach. We see MEADS to become as a core element for our future AMD and of our possible NATO Missile Defence contribution.” stated Lieutenant General Norbert Finster, Vice-Chief of Staff of the German Air Force.
MEADS embodies key military requirements such as high mobility, a distributed architecture and modular components to increase survivability and flexibility of employment in a number of operational configurations and significantly increased firepower with greatly reduced personnel and logistics requirements. One unique feature of MEADS is that the system can be configured to appropriately respond to specific threats. The rapid link-up of individual modules such as fire control radar, the battle manager and the launcher using “plug-and-fight” capability is possible at any time, anywhere, without interruption of ongoing operations. MEADS radars scan the complete perimeter to locate threats quickly and accurately. NAMEADSMA General Manager Gregory Kee said, “MEADS will provide superior capabilities with unprecedented flexibility compared to current systems. Its 360-degree rotating capability will absolutely bring value to the warfighter – both in situational awareness and in being able to address threats from any direction. It provides dramatically increased capabilities over what’s available today.””MEADS is a positive example for transatlantic cooperation on the basis of equality. For over a decade, we have proved that the industrial cooperation between Lockheed Martin, MBDA Italy and MBDA Germany works well. MEADS is the only full-scale tri-national, transatlantic development programme, thus making it an especially valuable model for cooperation,” said Werner Kaltenegger, Managing Director of MBDA Deutschland. “In all, 1800 colleagues in the US, Italy and Germany are working on MEADS. Germany accounts for 450 of these high-tech jobs. This does not include the hundreds of additional jobs that depend on this project indirectly.”
MEADS has been shown to defend up to 8 times the coverage area with far fewer system assets. This allows for a substantial reduction in deployed personnel and equipment, and demand on airlift. Thanks to its advanced capability, MEADS can make an important contribution to future NATO missile defence. Recognizing the importance of coalitions, the Phased Adaptive Approach is built on interoperability within a NATO framework. The MEADS battle management capability successfully demonstrated interoperability with the NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) during a Joint Project Optic Windmill (JPOW) test in July. The interface test was conducted using the Active Layer Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) Integration Test Bed being developed by NATO. 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 Patriot and the retired Hawk system in Germany. The

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