Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)The first power and communications unit designed to power the multifunction fire control radar (MFCR) of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) has completed acceptance testing in Germany.

The unit will now power the MFCR during integration level tests with a MEADS battle manager and launcher at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base near Rome, Italy.

MEADS International technical director Marco Riccetti said that the unit can readily operate across a broad range of environmental conditions on a rapid emplacement timeline, and features a reliable design that can address the power needs of both MEADS radars.

"The MEADS power and communications unit, as with other MEADS elements, is designed for mobility and transportability, including C-130 transport," Riccetti said.

Designed and manufactured by Lechmotoren under a subcontract from MBDA, the truck-mounted power and communications unit provides power for the MEADS MFCR and surveillance radars.

The system features a diesel-powered generation unit and a separate commercial power interface unit, which permits radar operations using commercial power range of 50Hz to 60Hz.

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The second MFCR power and communications unit is currently undergoing qualification testing at the German Armed Forces technical centre for automotive and armoured vehicles in Trier, Germany.

"The MEADS power and communications unit, as with other MEADS elements, is designed for mobility and transportability."

MEADS is a 360° ground-mobile air and missile defence system developed to safeguard troops and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles’ (UAVs) threats.

The missile system is equipped with the hit-to-kill PAC-3 missile segment enhancement (MSE), netted-distributed battle management/communication centres and high-firepower launchers.

A joint project between German company LFK, MBDA Italia and the US-based Lockheed Martin, the system is primarily intended to replace the ageing Patriot Missile systems in the US and Germany, as well as the NIKE Hercules system in Italy.

MEADS successfully completed its initial flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US, in November 2011.

Image: MEADS can defend up to eight times the coverage area and requires fewer personnel and less equipment. Photo: file image.