Next-Generation Air and Missile Defense System Moves Forward, Increases Scope Under $41 Million Contract Modification
ORLANDO/MUNICH/ROME, 04-MAR-04 --
MEADS International (MI) has received a contract modification, valued at nearly $41 million, allowing the MEADS industry team to continue to work on the next-generation international air and missile defense system.
The contract extends the program's Risk Reduction Effort (RRE) contract for an additional seven months and bridges the time until the design and development contract is in place for the program's next phase. The original RRE contract will be completed with all contractual requirements fulfilled - in time and on budget - after the final system demonstration later this month. The new contract enables the MI team to continue risk mitigation activities and to plan for design and development of the transformational Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).
MEADS, 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. With its enhanced mobility and advanced technologies, MEADS will offer warfighters significant improvements over existing systems.
With our demonstrated success under the current contract, we are pleased that the new contract enables us to continue to reduce risk while the participating nations decide on a plan for entry into design and development, said MI President Jim Cravens. In the past year, each participating nation has reaffirmed the need for MEADS capabilities to defend warfighters against ballistic and cruise missile threats. We are honored by the opportunity to meet their 21st century defense needs with this system.
In January, Germany reaffirmed its commitment to MEADS in the budget that Defense Minister Dr. Peter Struck presented to the Bundestag.
MI Executive Vice President Dr. Axel Widera said, This award lets us maintain progress in continuing to reduce program risks across the system by ensuring progress in areas such as BMC4I, radar designs and our unique plug-and-fight capability. It also allows us to assist the United States in its plan to upgrade the PATRIOT system by integrating MEADS end items into PATRIOT pending MEADS' readiness for deployment.
Not only will MEADS use data from non-MEADS sensors, but it will be able to provide an extended capability to control other defined missiles to give the air defense commander extraordinary flexibility against the threat. No other system will have this capability, Widera added.
MEADS is a mobile air defense system designed to replace Patriot systems in Germany and the United States, and Nike Hercules systems in Italy. It also meets the requirements of a capabilities oriented air defense concept in Germany and the United States. 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 highly mobile lightweight launchers. The system will combine superior battlefield protection with unprecedented flexibility, allowing it to protect maneuver forces and to provide homeland defense in selected areas 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 tactical transports with the troops and immediately begin operations. More importantly, its open architecture provides for 21st century air defense system-of-system integration capabilities that allow mission-tailoring for homeland defense or defense of maneuver forces. MEADS also provides greater firepower with less manpower than current systems, producing dramatic operation and support cost savings.
In 1999, MEADS International, Inc., was selected by NAMEADSMA, a chartered organization of NATO, to develop MEADS. A multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, FL, MEADS International's participating companies are MBDA-Italia, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) and 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 continues as a model for collaborative transatlantic development.