Major Acquisition Programs:Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

Tuesday September 12, 2006

What is it? The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is the Army's next generation of air and missile defense. It is designed to provide a robust, 360 degree defense against the full spectrum of ballistic missiles, anti-radiation missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, tactical air to surface missiles, as well as rotary and fixed wing threats. MEADS is a cooperative development by Germany, Italy, and the United States. MEADS will field firing units with lightweight launchers, search radars, multiple function fire control radars, a battle manager, and associated equipment. The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile will be the interceptor as the system is fielded.

What has the Army done? Since approval by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, the Army has entered into an agreement with Italy and Germany to jointly develop the MEADS ground system. Prototype demonstrations have been conducted of key components of the system, demonstrating technical maturity appropriate for this phase of the design effort. On May 31, 2005, the partner nations signed an eight year contract for the design and development of the MEADS system.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army will continue to participate in the design, development, and testing of the system with the partner nations. Ultimately, MEADS will replace the Patriot in the Army's composite air defense battalions.

Why is this important to the Army? MEADS will provide the Army enhanced force protection against a broad array of third dimension threats. The improvements in interoperability, mobility, and full 360 degree defense capability against the evolving threat represent a key aspect of the modernization of Army Air Defense. The fielding of the MEADS system will allow the Patriot system to be retired after more than twenty years of service. MEADS will provide an improved capability to continue to defend our troops, friends, and allies in critical places around the globe.

For more additional information on Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

For more information on this and other topics see Addendum J in the Army Posture Statement.


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"While Osama bin Laden and other terrorists remain in hiding, the United States' message to them is clear: No matter how long it takes, America will find you, and we will bring you to justice."
President George W. Bush said during an Oval office speech to the American people on September 11, 2006.


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