The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) successfully completed its first flight test today at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) MEADS Certified Missile Round was employed during the test along with the MEADS lightweight launcher and battle manager.
The test demonstrated an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of the MSE missile against a simulated target attacking from behind. It required a unique sideways maneuver, demonstrating a 360-degree capability. The missile executed a planned self-destruct sequence at the end of the mission after successfully engaging the simulated threat.
“Today, MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency General Manager Gregory Kee. “MEADS provides more capability at a lower cost to protect our soldiers against a growing air and missile threats. The MEADS lightweight launcher is one of the most advanced mobile launchers in existence today and was designed to be easily adaptable to a variety of vehicles. ”
“Today’s successful flight test is an important validation for the continuing MEADS development,” said MEADS International President Dave Berganini. “MEADS’ advanced capabilities detect, track and intercept tomorrow’s threats from farther away and without blind spots. The MEADS digital design ensures high reliability and significantly reduced operational and support costs.”
Using its 360-degree defensive capability, the advanced MEADS radars and MSE missile, MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area with far fewer system assets and significantly reduces demand for deployed personnel and equipment, which reduces demand for airlift.
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy and Germany, and Lockheed Martin in the United States.
The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is located in Huntsville, Ala.