The medium extended air defence system (MEADS) has demonstrated its 360° air and missile defence (AMD) capabilities through simultaneous destruction of two targets attacking from opposite directions, during testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.
The demonstration tested all MEADS elements, including the MEADS surveillance radar, a networked MEADS battle manager, two lightweight launchers firing patriot advanced capability (PAC-3) missile segment enhancement (MSE) missiles and MEADS multifunction fire control radar (MFCR).
During testing, the surveillance radar acquired both targets, which included a QF-4 air-breathing target and Lance missile, approaching from south and north and provided target cues to the MEADS battle manager.
The battle manager then generated cue commands for the MFCR, enabling it to successfully track both targets and guide missiles from Italian and German configuration launchers for successful intercepts.
MEADS International president Dave Berganini said the dual-intercept has successfully met test objectives and readies MEADS for further development and testing in Europe.
Nato MEADS Management Agency general manager Gregory Kee said the successful flight test marks culmination of a collaborative work by three countries to design, develop and build the world’s most advanced and capable air and missile defence weapon system.
”MEADS technology can now be leveraged as mature, network-ready battle management, sensors and launchers to achieve the networked AMD capabilities envisioned by Germany, Italy and the US,” Kee said.
The testing also demonstrated over-the-shoulder manoeuvrability of the PAC-3 MSE missile during targets engagement.
Designed by MBDA Italia, the MEADS is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defence system developed to protect troops and critical assets against threats, such as tactical ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the battlefield.
The programme is managed by MEADS International, which is a joint project between German LFK, MBDA Italia and US-based Lockheed Martin.
Image: The dual intercept test also evaluated MEADS multifunction fire control radar. Photo: courtesy of MEADS International Communications.