In a flight test in November last year, the MEADS program again demonstrated capabilities that expand the range and protection of ground-mobile air and missile defense systems. Your determination and commitment to MEADS are the primary reasons we are able to continue development. You have continued to deliver on our promises, and you are the reason that the NAMEADSMA General Manager tells others that the MEADS program has delivered on every promise and met every milestone since the program was revised in 2008.
We are not overrun. Although the U.S. Government Accountability Office has identified the average cost growth for major defense programs at 40 percent, we continue to meet our promises. When our contract ends next year, we will have spent exactly what was agreed in 2004 and not a penny more.
We are on a solid path to enter into a European-focused program and to provide usable MEADS technology for the U.S. Army. But when you’re developing the most advanced air and missile defense system in the world, others will notice. Only MEADS can demonstrate substantially reduced life cycle costs, vastly increased coverage against advanced threats, and state-of-the-art networking capabilities.
Several key events will mark our progress during the rest of the year. In a test this month, a MEADS UHF Low Frequency Sensor will acquire and track a small test aircraft and provide cue search commands to the X-band Multifunction Fire Control Radar. These AESA radars offer greater coverage and flexibility, including complete 360-degree defense to protect military sites and civilians against next-generation threats.
We will continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard, continuing with the JPOW 13 exercise next month. We earned the right to participate in this NATO interoperability demonstration by passing challenging gates against a stringent timeline. Using our tactical battle management software – not the laboratory code that competing systems are playing with – we have the opportunity to show that we are a ready fit into NATO’s European Missile Defense capability and national integrated air and missile defense architectures.
Later this year, we will demonstrate our ability to intercept a tactical ballistic missile that attacks outside the forward sector, something fielded systems cannot do. Flight Test #2 will be another unprecedented achievement that will lay the foundation for the further evolution of MEADS.
Congratulations on what you’ve achieved, and thanks for your continued dedication.