MEADS UNVEILS ADVANCED BATTLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
ORLANDO/MUNICH/ROME, August 14, 2007 --
As the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program advances through a series of Preliminary Design Review (PDR) milestones this summer, prime contractor MEADS International (MI) has released the first photographs of the highly versatile battle management tactical operations center (TOC) planned for the system.
MEADS – the advanced air and missile defense system under development by Germany, Italy and the United States – 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. The MEADS interceptor is the Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE), which increases the engagement envelope and defended area over the currently fielded PAC-3 Missile.
Battle management decisions are made in the TOC shelter, which is key to coupling both engagement operations (EO) and force operations (FO) with intra-and inter-system interoperability networks. The German, Italian, U.S, and NATO command and control functionality is packaged in a single-shelter configuration carried on three separate national prime movers, based on national operational preferences.
Each TOC version is capable of nation-specific air transport. There are three workstations in the shelter configuration. However, for normal EO and FO operations, only two operators are required.
All equipment within the TOC shelter is ruggedized commercial-off-the-shelf/military-off-the-shelf. The self-contained shelter equipment meets all of the operational, environmental, personal protection and transportability requirements of the International Technical Requirements Document that governs MEADS.
Because the MEADS battle management, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) capability uses an open systems architecture that supports netted-distributed operations, there is no specific allocation of sensors or launchers to a particular TOC. All assignments are made during defense planning optimization and adjusted on a real-time basis as the mission and situation warrants. The broadband plug-and-fight communication network and common air and missile defense (AMD) standard interface enables the netted-distributed MEADS BMC4I to support multiple air defense systems, in addition to MEADS.
MI President Jim Cravens said, “Germany, Italy and the United States emphasized open architecture, plug-and-fight system capabilities in laying down the requirements for MEADS. The requirements mandate that MEADS must dynamically integrate both MEADS and non-MEADS major end items into a task force. We are also working to a performance objective that the MEADS TOC must be able to function as an AMD Task Force TOC.
“We have invested years of architectural and conceptual work to meet these requirements via an open, modular set of software that gives MEADS great flexibility to accommodate additional requirements. This flexibility offers the U.S. Army an opportunity to leverage the MEADS Battle Manager functionality as a backbone for its IBCS (common TOC) initiative,” he said.
MI Executive Vice President Axel Widera added, “Our tri-national effort has developed an outstanding BMC4I design that will demonstrate achievement of PDR criteria this summer. With its inherent NATO interoperability, the MEADS BMC4I design could be easily leveraged to meet national needs early in the next decade. As these goals become more critical for our customers, we are in position to offer the most advanced solution.”
The MEADS program is on schedule and remains on track to complete PDR requirements in October 2007.
MEADS is a mobile air and missile defense system designed to replace Patriot systems in the United States and Germany and Nike Hercules systems in Italy. It also meets the requirements of Germany’s “capabilities oriented” air and missile defense concept.
MEADS will provide capabilities beyond any other fielded or planned air and missile defense system. It will be easily deployed to a theater of operations and once there, will keep pace with fast-moving maneuver forces. When completed, MEADS will be the only air and missile defense system able to roll off tactical transports with the troops and almost immediately begin operations. More importantly, its open architecture will provide for 21st century air and missile defense system-of-system integration capabilities that allow operational mission-tailoring for homeland defense or defense of maneuver forces. MEADS will also provide greater firepower with less manpower than current systems, producing dramatic operation and support cost savings.
In May 2005, MEADS International signed a definitized contract valued at $2 billion plus €1.4 billion for MEADS design and development. A multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, FL, MI’s participating companies are MBDA Italia, Lenkflugkörpersysteme (LFK) in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States. Together, these companies have focused an international engineering team in Orlando to develop systems and technologies for the MEADS program, which is closely watched as a model for collaborative transatlantic development. The United States funds 58 percent of the MEADS program, and European partners Germany and Italy provide 25 percent and 17 percent respectively.
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