ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The Medium Extended Air Defense System program has achieved a milestone in preparation for system tests at the New Mexico-based White Sands Missile Range.
The MEADS program, a defense initiative to replace the Patriot system in the United States, Nike Hercules system in Italy and the Hawk and Patriot systems in Germany, has successfully completed Critical Design Reviews for all major components.
Officials say the successful component-level design reviews pave the way for the MEADS program to begin the production of radars, launchers, and tactical operation centers among other systems ahead of system tests in New Mexico.
"Entering the system Critical Design Review phase is a significant milestone for the MEADS program," Klaus Riedel, MEADS executive vice president, said in a statement.
"MEADS is an extraordinary system that will provide superior protection for maneuver forces and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. We are ready to demonstrate that the MEADS system design has matured to the requirements set out by Germany, Italy and the United States."