Germany Approves Involvement in MEADS Missile
Despite a round of controversy in Germany’s Bundestag, MEADS International (MI) recently announced that Germany has approved entry into the Design and Development (D&D) phase for the tri-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), designed to replace Patriot systems in the United States and Germany and Nike Hercules systems in Italy. It also meets the requirements of Germany’s “capabilities oriented” air defense concept.
MEADS incorporates the battle-proven hit-to-kill PAC-3 missile in a system that includes 360-degree surveillance and fire control sensors, netted-distributed battle management/communication centers, and high-firepower launchers. The system intends to combine superior battlefield protection with great flexibility, allowing it to protect maneuver forces and/or provide homeland defense against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.
When completed, MEADS could be the only air defense system able to roll off tactical transports with the troops and very quickly begin operations. More importantly, its open architecture will provide for 21st century air defense system-of-system integration capabilities that allow operational mission-tailoring for homeland defense or defense of maneuver forces. Finally, MEADS will be designed to provide greater firepower with less manpower than current systems, producing significant operations 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 LenkflugkÃ¶rpersysteme (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.
The system’s six major equipment items are: Multifunction Fire Control Radar; Surveillance Radar (MFCR); Battle Management, Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BMC41); Certified Missile Round (PAC-3 missile and canister); Launcher; and Reloader.
In September 2004, the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) awarded MI a letter contract valued in then-year terms at approximately $2.0 billion plus EUR 1.4 billion euros to design and develop the system, with an initial period of performance for which the overall maximum financial ceiling was approximately $54.5 million plus EUR 54.8 million. This was done under the authority of the MEADS Design and Development Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by the United States and Italy in September 2004. The signatures of the U.S. and Italy allowed the D&D phase to proceed on a “limited basis.” Full acceptance and signature of the Design and Development Memorandum of Understanding by Germany enables NAMEADSMA to sign the approximately nine-year MEADS D&D contract.
Germany agreed in principle to the MEADS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in September 2004, but was formally unable to become a signatory until Parliamentary approval was obtained this month. The MoU also addresses technology transfer procedures and allows for participation by other countries in the MEADS effort.
During the MEADS design and development phase, MI will finalize designs for equipment and complete their integration into the 21st century air and missile defense system. In Orlando, the MEADS program will significantly expand its technical employment as a result of the contract. The MEADS program will expand at EADS/LFK, Lockheed Martin, MBDA and MI locations that currently participate in development of the advanced air and missile defense system. Lockheed Martin will perform contract work at its locations in Orlando, FL; Dallas, TX; Huntsville, AL; and Syracuse, NY. EADS/LFK will perform work on the BMC4I, launcher, Surveillance Radar and MFCR elements at plants in Munich, Germany. MBDA’s Italian operating company, MBDA Italia, will perform work on the BMC4I, MFCR and launcher/reloader elements in Rome, Italy. The development work will be allocated in accordance with national funding. The United States funds approximately 58% of the MEADS program and European partners Germany and Italy provide approximately 25% and 17% respectively.