Posted by Courtney E. Howard
ORLANDO, Fla., 29 Aug. 2011. The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program completed a battle management command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (BMC4I) software design review, which validated software functionalities needed for MEADS flight tests and demonstrations. The software review marks an important milestone as the program matures to deliver much-needed air and missile defense capabilities.
The MEADS Battle Manager, with standardized interfaces and a network-centricopen architecture, delivers unprecedented flexibility. It can command and control MEADS and non-MEADS sensors and launchers, as well as provides “plug-and-fight” capability, whereby sensors, launchers, and other battle managers are nodes on the MEADS network that can be dynamically added or removed by the commander as the situation dictates without shutting the system down.
MEADS, a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defense system, incorporates the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missile, 360-degree radars, netted and distributed battle management, and high-firepower launchers. The system delivers battlefield protection, offering the flexibility to protect forces and critical assets against myriad threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and aircraft.
"The MEADS BMC4I continues to demonstrate progress toward an on-time delivery of software for our upcoming flight tests, especially in its External Message Processing, Performance Analysis, Safety, and Algorithm Development elements,” says MEADS International President Dave Berganini. “The system is making needed progress for a successful intercept flight test in 2012 that will demonstrate the greater defensive coverage and 360-degree capability that is unique to MEADS."
"The MEADS Battle Manager will provide commanders with increased situational awareness, but more importantly, increased flexibility to tailor battle elements dynamically based on the battlefield situation,” says Gregory Kee, NATO Medium Extended Air Defense System Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) general manager. “Additionally, MEADS will be interoperable with a wide range of legacy systems as well as current and future command and control systems, like NATO's Air Command and Control System."
A commander can dynamically extract MEADS elements to protect a fast-moving maneuver force, using a Minimum Engagement Capability of only one launcher, one battle manager, and one fire control radar. As more MEADS elements arrive, they automatically and seamlessly join the network, expanding the air and missile defense coverage.
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Subcontractors and joint venture partners include: MBDA in Italy, LFK in Germany, and Lockheed Martin in the U.S.