ROME, 15 Aug. 2012. The first medium extended air defense system (MEADS) multifunction fire control radar (MFCR) has been integrated with a MEADS battle manager and launcher at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base near Rome, Italy.
The integration test series demonstrated that the MEADS TOC could control the MEADS MFCR in coordination with the MEADS Launcher. At Pratica di Mare, the MFCR demonstrated functionalities such as 360-degree target acquisition and track using both dedicated flights and other air traffic.
The MFCR has been airlifted to White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in preparation for an intercept flight test later this year.
The MFCR is an X-band, solid-state, phased array radar using element-level transmit/receive modules. It provides precision tracking and wideband discrimination and classification capabilities. For rapid deployments, the MEADS MFCR can provide both surveillance and fire control capabilities until a surveillance radar joins the network. The MFCR uses its main beam for uplink and downlink missile communications. A Mode 5 identify friend-or-foe subsystem supports threat identification and typing.
Through its plug-and-fight capability, the MFCR acts as a node on the MEADS network. The MEADS battle manager lets a commander add or subtract sensors and shooters as the situation dictates without shutting the system down.
Integration of the MFCR, battle manager, and launcher is proving that all elements are capable of tracking live targets and engaging them virtually.
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.