RIEDEL, SECKINGER ASSUME TOP TWO POSITIONS AT MEADS INTERNATIONAL AS COMPANY MOVES TOWARD PROTOTYPE INTEGRATION
ORLANDO/MUNICH/ROME, July 22nd, 2002 -- The MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defense System) International Board of Directors today announced that Klaus Riedel has become the next president of MEADS International (MI), an international company developing the next generation of ground-mobile air and missile defense systems. David Seckinger of Lockheed Martin has also joined MEADS International as Executive Vice President.
For the past year, Riedel served MI as Executive Vice President with primary responsibility for technology risk reduction for MEADS. He was previously Vice President for Air Defence Systems at LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH, a subsidiary of EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) Company in Munich, Germany. Riedel's extensive military and business experience has been focused on air and missile defense systems, antitank systems, and electronic warfare. He brings a background in management of complex industrial programs as well as in the armament office of the German Air Force, where he conducted the NATO AWACS Ground Environment Integration Segment program during his military career. Later at EADS, he was Program Manager for a number of successful antitank programs, Vice President Antitank Systems and member of the board of LFK, and Vice President Air Defence Systems. This experience will be of significant value as MI integrates prototype MEADS hardware and software in the year ahead and proposes the program's Design and Development Phase.
Riedel succeeds Joel Strickland, who assumed the presidency in 2001. He will retire but retain close ties to the company. During a distinguished 34-year career, including 8 years with the MEADS program, Strickland served as MEADS International's president, Executive Vice President, and Director of Systems Engineering & Integration. Previously, at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, his extensive experience in land-based air and missile defense contributed to numerous defense programs involving advanced interceptor missiles, including Ground Based Interceptor and several earlier strategic defense systems. He received the Lockheed Martin Corporation NOVA Award in 2001 for his leadership in securing the MEADS Risk Reduction Effort contract.
David Seckinger of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control joins MI as Executive Vice President effective July 1, 2002. Seckinger has been Program Director for the U.S. Air Force Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) program, where his leadership was instrumental in moving the program to full-rate production. The WCMD program has been cited by U.S. Defense officials for outstanding performance in Afghanistan and won the prestigious General Bernard A. Schriever Award for outstanding program management in 2001. Seckinger joined Lockheed Martin in 1993 and has held various program management positions including Deputy Director for JASSM and Program Manager for UK Tomahawk, which was cited as the top program by the United Kingdom MoD in 1999.
Speaking of the transition, Riedel noted, "Our cooperation continues to work at the highest level, and by developing missile defense technology together, we are making MEADS especially cost-effective for each country that participates."
MEADS is a mobile air defense system designed to replace Patriot systems in the United States and Nike systems in Italy, and meets the requirements of the "capabilities oriented" air defense concept in Germany. MEADS incorporates the proven hit-to-kill PAC-3 missile in a system that includes surveillance and fire control sensors, battle management/communication centers, and high firepower launchers. The system will combine superior battlefield protection with unprecedented flexibility, allowing it to protect maneuver forces and to provide homeland defense against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and aircraft.
MEADS will provide capabilities unlike any other fielded or planned air and missile defense system. It is easily deployed to a theater of operations and, once there, can keep pace with fast-moving maneuver forces. When completed, MEADS will be an air defense system able to roll off transports with the troops and immediately begin operations with high tactical performance. More importantly, its open architecture will establish the pattern for subsequent 21st century air defense systems and enable air defense asset allocation to be mission-tailored for homeland defense or defense of maneuver forces. MEADS also provides greater firepower with less manpower than current systems, producing dramatic savings in operation and support costs.
In 1999, MEADS International, Inc., was selected by NAMEADSMA, a chartered organization of NATO, to develop MEADS. A multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., MEADS International's participating companies are MBDA Italia, EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme (LFK, a subsidiary of EADS and MBDA) 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 continues as a model for collaborative transatlantic development.
MEADS is currently in the Risk Reduction Effort phase. The U.S., Germany, and Italy are financing the program in shares of 55, 28 and 17 percent.