The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) has successfully demonstrated network interoperability with NATO systems during Joint Project Optic Windmill (JPOW) exercises held in May and June.
In these JPOW exercises, MEADS tactical battle management command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) software connected to a NATO test site in the Netherlands using a transportable air defense test bed at the German Air Force Air Defense Center at Fort Bliss, Texas.
MEADS demonstrated its battle management capability to transmit, receive and process Link 16 messages, as well as other elements of threat engagement and target intercept. JPOW’s objective is to demonstrate all facets of theater air and missile defense, emphasizing interoperability and refinement of tactics for participating systems.
MEADS International Executive Vice President Volker Weidemann said, “The MEADS battle management software combined with its netted-distributed architecture and plug-and-fight network are extraordinary advancements over the stovepipe systems in use today. In addition to implementing 360-degree coverage to protect our citizens, forces and assets, MEADS provides an integrated air picture taking advantage of organic and external sensor data.”
During a November 2012 test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., MEADS demonstrated its 360-degree defensive capability by tracking, intercepting and destroying an air-breathing target. MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area of legacy systems with far fewer system assets and significantly lower demand for deployed personnel, equipment and transport airlift.
The MEADS battle manager controls an advanced network-centric open architecture that allows any combination of sensors and launchers to be organized into a single air and missile defense battle element. Through plug-and-fight capability, sensors, shooters or other battle managers act as nodes on the network. From the MEADS battle manager, a commander can add or subtract sensors or shooters without shutting down the system.
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.