The first Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR) has been integrated with a MEADS battle manager and launcher at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base near Rome, Italy.
The objectives of the integration test series were to demonstrate that the MEADS TOC could control the MEADS MFCR in coordination with the MEADS Launcher. At Pratica di Mare, the MFCR demonstrated key functionalities including 360-degree target acquisition and track using both dedicated flights and other air traffic.
MEADS International President Dave Berganini said, “The MEADS MFCR combines extraordinary capability and cost effectiveness. It can detect and track advanced threats with 360-degree coverage and no blind spots. Unlike fielded radars, it is highly mobile and C-130 transportable.”
The MFCR has been airlifted to White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in preparation for an intercept flight test later this year.
The MFCR is an X-band, solid-state, phased array radar using element-level transmit/receive modules. It provides precision tracking and wideband discrimination and classification capabilities. For extremely rapid deployments, the MEADS MFCR can provide both surveillance and fire control capabilities until a surveillance radar joins the network. The MFCR uses its main beam for uplink and downlink missile communications. An advanced Mode 5 identify friend-or-foe subsystem supports improved threat identification and typing.
Through its plug-and-fight capability, the MFCR simply acts as a node on the MEADS network. The MEADS battle manager lets a commander dynamically add or subtract sensors and shooters as the situation dictates without shutting the system down.
MEADS International Technical Director Marco Riccetti said, “Integration of the MFCR, Battle Manager and Launcher is proving that all elements are capable of tracking live targets and engaging them virtually. We are on track for a successful intercept flight test at White Sands Missile Range later this year.”
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy and Germany, and Lockheed Martin in the United States.
The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is located in Huntsville, Ala.