Medium Extended Air Defense System
(MEADS), currently in development phase, will provide joint
lower-tier air defense, missile defense and cruise missile defense
for maneuver forces. As an international program shared by
Germany, Italy and the United States, MEADS will introduce a
mobile air defense system designed to replace Patriot systems in
Germany and the United States, and Nike Hercules systems in Italy.
MEADS incorporates the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile in a new system
that includes surveillance and fire control sensors, battle
management and communication centers and highly mobile lightweight
launchers. The Patriot advanced capability-3 missile will serve as
the initial interceptor. By the use of modern open architecture,
the system will offer improved battlefield protection and
flexibility, for the protection of maneuver forces as well as
point defense and area defense, from tactical ballistic missiles,
cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft attacks.
MEADS includes a lightweight
launcher, 360-degree fire control and surveillance radars and
plug-and-fight battle management command and control abilities not
found in current systems. MEADS will operate in an enclave with
upper-tier systems in areas of debarkation and assembly. It will
also provide continuous coverage alone or with forward-area air
defense systems in the division area of the battlefield during
movement to contact and decisive operations.
The system is developed by MEADS
International, Inc. - a multinational joint venture headquartered
in Orlando, FL, MEADS International's participating companies are
MBDA-Italia, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company
(EADS) and Lenkflugkorpersysteme (LFK) in Germany, and Lockheed
Martin in the United States.