ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S.-European Medium Extended Air Defense System program has completed a BMC4I software design review in Huntsville, Ala.
The Battle Management Command, Control, Communications and Computers and Intelligence review validated software design and functionalities needed for upcoming MEADS flight tests and demonstrations.
"This is another important milestone as the program matures to deliver needed air and missile defense capabilities," MEADS International Inc, said.
MEADS is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defense system that incorporates the hit-to-kill PAC-3 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.
"The MEADS BMC4I continues to demonstrate progress toward an on-time delivery of software for our upcoming flight tests, especially in its external message processing, performance analysis, safety and algorithm development elements," said MEADS International President Dave Berganini.
"The system is making needed progress for a successful intercept flight test in 2012 that will demonstrate the greater defensive coverage and 360-degree capability that is unique to MEADS."
The MEADS Battle Manager -- using standardized interfaces and a network-centric open architecture -- can command and control both MEADS and non-MEADS sensors and launchers. Its plug-and-fight capability lets sensors, launchers and other battle managers simply act as nodes on the MEADS network. A commander can add or subtract elements as the situation dictates without shutting the system down.
This unprecedented flexibility is a first for ground-based air and missile defense systems.
NAMEADSMA General Manager Gregory Kee said: "The MEADS Battle Manager will provide commanders with increased situational awareness but, more importantly, increased flexibility to tailor battle elements dynamically based on the battlefield situation. Additionally, MEADS will be interoperable with a wide range of legacy systems as well as current and future command and control systems, like NATO's Air Command and Control System."
NAMEADSMA is the NATO Medium Extended Air Defense System Design and Development, Production and Logistics Management Agency, which manages the execution of all phases of the life cycle of the Medium Extended Air Defense System on behalf of the participating nations.
The capabilities allow a commander to dynamically extract MEADS elements to protect a fast-moving maneuver force.
The Minimum Engagement Capability requires only one launcher, one battle manager and one fire control radar. As more MEADS elements arrive, they automatically join the network and expand the air and missile defense coverage.
MEADS also improves capability to defend troops and critical assets through improvements in range, interoperability, mobility and full 360-degree defense capability against the evolving threat. It can defend up to eight times the coverage area of sectored systems while using far fewer system assets. This capability enables MEADS to significantly reduce demand for deployed personnel and equipment, which reduces demand for airlift.
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture with headquarters 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.