New system intercepts, destroys target

Nov. 29, 2012 at 6:40 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A new air defense system successfully intercepted and destroyed a target Thursday in its first intercept flight test in New Mexico, Lockheed Martin Corp. said.

The Medium Extended Air Defense System detected and tracked an air-breathing target before intercepting and destroying it at White Sands Missile Range, the company said in a release.

Air-breathing is a term generally used to describe airplanes and cruise missiles, as opposed to tactical ballistic missiles.

MEADS is an air and missile system that uses 360-degree radars, transportable launchers and the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missile. It is ground-mobile and affords flexibility in defending forces and other assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, Lockheed Martin said.

"Today's successful flight test further demonstrates MEADS' ability to identify, track, engage and defeat targets attacking from any direction using a single mobile launcher," NATO MEADS Management Agency General Manager Gregory Kee said in the release.

Thursday's test demonstrated the system's capability for "full-perimeter, 360-degree defense with the PAC-3 MSE Missile performing a unique over-the-shoulder maneuver to defeat the target attacking from behind the MEADS emplacement," the release said.

"MEADS provides advanced capabilities that detect, track and intercept evolving threats from farther away and without blind spots," said MEADS International President Dave Berganini.

The test came a little over one year after MEADS successfully completed its first flight test, involving a simulated target attacking from behind, Lockheed Martin said.

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