MEADS Integrated Launcher Electronics System Completes First Simulated Missile Launch
ORLANDO, Fla., September 13, 2011 --
The Medium Extended Air Defense System's (MEADS) Integrated Launcher Electronics System (ILES) recently executed a simulated missile launch, marking another in a series of significant test accomplishments.
The successful ILES test moves the MEADS program closer to its first major test event in November at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
MEADS International Vice President Volker Weidemann said, "The ILES tests confirm increasing readiness for our upcoming flight tests, which will demonstrate the greater defensive coverage and 360-degree capability unique to MEADS. No other air and missile defense system provides the protection and lethality of MEADS."
MEADS is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defense system that incorporates the hit-to-kill Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missile, 360-degree radars, netted and distributed battle management and high-firepower launchers. The system combines superior battlefield protection with new flexibility to protect forces and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.
Earlier this year, the ILES was delivered to a Lockheed Martin laboratory, where it was evaluated for flight test readiness. Within the first two months at the lab, the ILES was able to power up a simulated PAC-3 MSE missile, check the missile's health status and fire the missile batteries.
Less than four months after arriving at the laboratory, the ILES and missile performed the complete pre-launch sequence for the first time. Then, after receiving a command launch message, the ILES powered up a MEADS missile, ignited the batteries, and gave the motor ignition command, enabling the missile to execute a simulated launch.
The test sequence makes use of a software model battle manager and other ground equipment. A sophisticated real-time simulation provides target and track data, and integration and evaluation software emulates communications between the battle manager and the launcher. Integration work will continue in preparation for an initial flight test scheduled for November.
MEADS International President Dave Berganini said, "In partnership with our European teammates, we are confident we can demonstrate the increased coverage and lower ownership costs that MEADS was designed to provide. Unlike other systems, MEADS can see and eliminate 21st century threats from further away and without any blind spots."
MEADS improves capability to defend troops and critical assets through improvements in range, interoperability, mobility and full 360-degree defense capability against the evolving threat. MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area with far fewer system assets and significantly reduces demand for deployed personnel and equipment, which reduces demand for airlift.
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, LFK in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States.
|An ILES is shown on the MEADS launcher displayed last December in a rollout ceremony at LFK in Germany. MEADS launchers lift and secure a pallet of missiles and erect it for launch within demanding combat timelines. Reload times are also significantly reduced.|