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Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)


The MEADS program has adopted an incremental acquisition approach wherein MEADS major items are incrementally inserted into the current Patriot force. The first of the three insertions is to begin in 2008, with another in 2010, and the final in 2013. The program office plans for each increment to introduce new or upgraded capability into the program.

MEADS technology is being spiraled into the Patriot Advanced Capabilities-3 (PAC-3) upgrade incrementally rather than waiting 15 years for a total missile replacement. In the first phase, Patriots will receive a battle management command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) station to improve situational awareness and allow for force operations and engagement operations from a single shelter. Phase two is the fielding of a lightweight launcher capable of near-vertical tube positioning that facilitates 360-degree coverage. In the third phase, Patriot batteries will receive two multifunctional fire control radars and one sensor radar, all mounted on the family of medium-tactical vehicles (FMTVs). This will allow for a mobile 360-degree defense against medium- and short-range tactical ballistic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), hostile aircraft, jammers and cruise missiles. The Patriot to MEADS metamorphosis, which is expected to take about a decade, will produce a more transportable, mobile and lethal AMD system. While the NMD program was evolving, changes were also taking place in DoD's TMD program. The Bottom Up Review had originally called for three core TMD programs: Patriot PAC-3, Navy Area Defends (NAD), and THAAD. There was also to have been a fourth major program that was to emerge from a competition between three projects: Corps-SAM, Navy Upper Tier, and a boost phase intercept option (such as the Air Force's ABL program).

This program is an offshoot from an initial US Army/USMC requirement, called Corps SAM, and Germany's Taktisches Luft Verteidigungs System (TLVS) requirement. The MEADS program represents an important international cooperative initiative. In the early 1990's, Germany expressed an interest in joining the Corps SAM program and cooperating on system development and production. France and Italy joined this program in 1995 without abandoning their own SAMP/T program. When Corps-SAM was transformed into an international program known as MEADS, it acquired a constituency that won for it the status of major defense acquisition program. During the debates in Congress in 1996 -MEADS was almost killed, but thanks to a certain lobby it survived for 1997 & 1998.

The MEADS acquisition strategy included competition between two transatlantic industrial teams in the Program Definition/Validation (PD/V) phase. These two international entities prepared and competed for the PD/V phases. As the Department of Defense and partner nations restructured the program, the PD/V phase was extended with the selection of a single contractor team to conduct a three-year risk reduction effort (RRE).

The Army announced October 12, 1995 the selection of Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems Inc. and the H&R Company (Joint Venture of Hughes Aircraft Company and Raytheon Company) as the winners of a competition to select contractors for participation in the Corps Surface-to-Air Missile (CORPS SAM)/Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) International Teaming arrangements and the Project Definition and Validation (PD-V) Phase.Contract awards were projected to occur in January 1996, following the signing of the MEADS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States, Germany, France and Italy. Because of budget problems, France dropped out of the MEADS program before the memorandum of understanding was signed in May 1996.

In 1993, an Army/BMDO RDT&E cost estimate for a U.S.-only Corps SAM new start program was $3.1 billion. The use of technology leveraging from DoD investments in the TMD mission area and multi-national burden sharing by the U.S., Germany and Italy have reduced that cost estimate. Burden sharing with allies on MEADS reduced the 1997 cost estimate to $2.1 billion for RDT&E.

On 19 May 1999 the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) and NATO Medium Extended Air Defense System Organization (NAMEADSMO) announced the selection, by a tri-national source selection committee, of MEADS International as the prime contractor for MEADS. MEADS International is a joint venture comprised of Lockheed Martin of the United States, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG of Germany, and Alenia Marconi Systems of Italy. NAMEADSMO is made up of a steering committee consisting of one representative each from the US, Germany, Italy, and the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA), located in Huntsville, Alabama.

By the late 1990s, the program faced funding uncertainties as the Pentagon debated the value of the system which was similar to existing U.S. capabilities.

During the MEADS risk reduction phase, a decision was made to incorporate the Lockheed Martin PAC-3 missile into the system. The German and Italian governments called for study on bringing a second missile into the program in addition to the PAC-3.

The MEADS program was approved by the Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE) in an August 2000 Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) to begin a Risk Reduction Effort (RRE) phase extending the Project Definition/Validation (PD/V) phase by three years in order to focus on integrating the PAC-3 missile into the MEADS system concept, identifying and reducing technical risk, developing a cost and schedule consensus among the partner nations (Germany, Italy and United States), and to refine the MEADS concept.

In this phase, technology from Germany, Italy and the United States, including the PAC-3 missile, were leveraged to define the most cost-effective solution to meet the MEADS operational requirements. The MEADS Product Office is also pursuing integration of MEADS BM/C4I with the Project Manager, Air & Missile Defense Command and Control Systems (AMDCCS), to take advantage of other Army developments that can be incorporated into the MEADS program. A U.S. funded bridging effort commenced on 14 August 2000 to work on the high-risk-areas and long-lead items within the scope of the RRE effort.

The International MOU was signed 27 June 2001 and the RRE contract was awarded 10 July 2001. MEADS International (MI) was awarded a thirty-two and half month RRE contract. Additional key elements of the RRE scope include full harmonization of the threat and requirements, a detailed plan and cost consensus for Design and Development (D&D), and developing a negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the D&D phase.

Per the 2 January 2002 SECDEF missile defense direction memo, the U.S. national unique requirements of the MEADS program were developed in consultation with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The international requirements of the MEADS program will be directed per the International Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and as modified in the future for international participation in the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

In October 2002 the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) approved a proposal from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to transfer management of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program from MDA to the Army. In FY03, the MEADS program was funded by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). FY04 funds were decremented $24.000 million by Congress for PATRIOT-MEADS consolidation efficiencies, $2.372 million for undistribued Congressional reductions and $.443 million was realigned to higher Army priorities. FY05 funds were realigned ($2.743) million to a higher Army priority.

On 23 June 2003 Lockheed Martin Corp., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $13,000,000 increment as a part of a $260,000,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for missile segment enhancement. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2007. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on June 24, 2003, and one bid was received. The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (DAAH01-03-C-0164).

A 29 July 2003 DAB IPR endorsed pursuit of Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) approval of the MEADS requirement and directed further refinement of cost and acquisition strategy development. The Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) met on 06 August 2003 and approved the MEADS International Common Operating Requirements (ICOR).

On January 23, 2004, The OUSD(C) submitted to the Congressional Committees a prior approval reprogramming request to fund Patriot Modifications needed to address Operation Iraqi Freedom Lessons Learned. The reprogramming includes $17.7 million for development efforts and $24.0 million for procurement.

The Pentagon approved the Army's plan to address a "likely delay" to the start of the Medium-Extended Air Defense System development program, according to a 29 January 2004 memo. Signed by the Pentagon's acting acquisition chief Michael Wynne, the memo directed the Army to begin plans to expand the MEADS risk-reduction effort to "bridge" a delay likely to occur before system development and demonstration begins. The SDD phase was slated to begin in the spring of 2004, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the United States and its European partners (Germany and Italy).

The MEADS program executed a planned thirty two and half month Risk Reduction Effort (RRE) phase. The primary objectives of RRE were to develop program cost and schedule consensus to mature critical technologies, and prepare program planning for entry into the Design and Development (D&D) Phase at Milestone B in 2004. The D&D Phase was planned to be a six year, ten month effort producing six MEADS Fire Units with the First Unit Equipped in FY12. The D&D Phase was to be executed under an International Memorandum (MOU) between the participating nations.

The successful completion of the Risk Reduction program produced a prototype radar unit. This led to the signing of the full-scale design and development contract in May 2005. On 31 May 2005, the partner nations signed an eight year contract for the design and development of the MEADS system.

The FY06/07 budget combined the PAC-3/MEADS program based on a Milestone B decision, 1 July 2004. The Army revised the MEADS acquisition strategy to combine management, development, and fielding of both the MEADS and Patriot systems. The Patriot/MEADS Combined Aggregate Program (CAP) will provide for the evolution of the Patriot/PAC-3 system to the MEADS objective system through the early introduction of the MEADS Major End Items. This approach provides for earlier fielding of enhanced air and missile defense capabilities across the currently fielded force to counter the evolving threat and allow for the knowledge that was gained in the development and fielding of the Patriot System to be fused into the MEADS program. The PAC-3 missile is the baseline missile for the MEADS system. The Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missile, which provides for greater ranges, will be the objective missile for the system. The first year of procurement for the MSE missile, SSN C53101, (initial production facilitization) and the MEADS Ground Support Equipment, SSN C53201, (initial BMC4I) will begin in FY08.

On 9 February 2006, the Army System Acquisition Review Council (ASARC) approved establishment of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Project Office (PO) to lead development efforts for the Army IAMD. On 8 May 2006, the Army established the IAMD PO which will manage the U.S. Army's initiatives to implement the user's operational concept from a System-Centric focus to a Network-Centric, Component-Based (Plug and Fight) architecture. The lead proponent for the U.S. oversight of the International MEADS Battle Management Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BMC4I) effort now resides with the IAMD PO. The PATRIOT/MEADS CAP Acquisition Program Baseline (CAP APB) and Acquisition Strategy will be modified to reflect these changes.

As of mid-2007 program planned call for a system design review in 2009, but officials estimated that only one of the six fire unit technologies will be more mature at that time than at development start. The program office anticipates that all critical technologies will be fully mature by the start of production in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. Plans call for the insertion of MEADS components into Patriot Fire Units beginning in 2008 and continuing in 2010 and 2013. However, this could change because plans for these insertions are under review. The 2008 and 2010 increments are under review as the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Army consider the means to consolidate and align multiple Air and Missile Defense command and control development efforts. The Army's objective is to provide a joint integrated network-centric architecture for common Battle Management Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence. The 2013 increment is not effected by the potential realignment and the Army expects MEADS to achieve initial operating capability in 2017 with four units.

In February 2008 the MEADS completed its System Preliminary Design Review (PDR), a major milestone in the program's development. The MEADS team then began to focus on detailed design work for the system, with the Critical Design Review (CDR) scheduled for 2009, leading to initial MEADS flight tests in 2011. System PDR was the most significant milestone to date for the MEADS program. This demonstrated to the customer that the basic design of MEADS was ready to move forward into detailed design. The level of technical detail of the PDR was unprecedented, reflecting the importance and complexity of this next-generation air and missile defense system, and the expectations of three sponsoring governments. Over the six-month period leading to the summary event on 18 December 2007, transatlantic review teams attended 27 multi-day design reviews to ensure that the needs of the three nations are being met.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:47:37 ZULU