In the simulated test, the MEADS battle manager demonstrated a network-centric open architecture that allows any combination of sensors and launchers to be organized into single or multiple air and missile defense battle elements. Through its plug-and-fight capability, the sensors, shooters and Tactical Operations Centers (TOC) simply act as nodes on the network. The MEADS battle manager lets a commander add or subtract these elements as the situation dictates without shutting the system down.
System elements, represented by MEADS test equipment, provided data inputs and communicated with the TOC. The test series demonstrated successful integration of BMC4I hardware and software by completing essential system functions including attaching and detaching the launcher from the MEADS plug-and-fight network; configuring and initializing the MEADS launcher and simulated sensors; performing track management functions, threat assessment and identification; and transmitting a valid launch command to the launcher.
These accomplishments represent the first of several planned integration and test events at Pratica di Mare, Italy to finalize development of this advanced air and missile defense system.
The lightweight MEADS launcher is transportable, mobile and capable of rapid reload. It carries up to eight Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles.
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.