In preparation for an upcoming dual-intercept test later this year, a Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR) successfully acquired and tracked a Lance tactical ballistic missile (TBM) at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. This was the first attempt by a MEADS radar to track a live TBM.
The X-band MFCR detected the Lance TBM soon after launch and maintained Dedicated Track Mode until shortly before ground impact. This test characterized MFCR performance against a TBM-class target, and demonstrated the radar’s 360-degree rotating mode capability.
“No other transportable air and missile defense radar provides the MEADS combination of 360-degree coverage, superior range and positioning flexibility,” said MEADS International President Dave Berganini. “We are looking forward to showing the capability that MEADS radars and launchers can add as part of an integrated air and missile defense network.”
Planned for November 2013, MEADS will intercept TBM and air-breathing targets (ABT) attacking at more than 120 degrees to demonstrate capabilities not provided by sectored defenses.
The MEADS MFCR is a 360-degree X-band, solid-state, active electronically steered array radar. It provides tracking capability against highly maneuverable low-signature threats, including short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other air-breathing threats.
“The MEADS program is continuing to meet its commitments,” said MEADS International Executive Vice President Volker Weidemann. “In the past few months, MEADS has successfully demonstrated radar cueing, interoperability with networked NATO systems, certification of the Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe system, and acquisition and tracking of a TBM during the system’s first attempt.”
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.