DOT&E Director, Operational Test & Evaluation  
FY98 Annual Report
FY98 Annual Report

MEDIUM EXTENDED AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM (MEADS)


Army ACAT ID Program: Prime Contractor
Total Number of Missiles:TBDMEADS Inc. (Hughes Raytheon)
Total Program Cost (TY$):$3.6BMEADS International (Lockheed Martin)
Average Unit Cost (TY$):TBDService Certified Y2K Compliant
Full-rate production:FY07Yes—initial capability (FY08)

SYSTEM DESCRIPTION & CONTRIBUTION TO JOINT VISION 2010

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) will be a highly mobile, low to medium air defense system designed to replace the HAWK and PATRIOT PAC-3 air defense system. It will be a key element of the theater missile defense in the Army Air and Missile Defense architecture. The MEADS weapon system is needed to provide protection of maneuver forces. The system will provide area and point defense capabilities against both tactical missiles, which include tactical ballistic, air-to-surface, and Anti-Radiation Missiles; and air-breathing threats, which consist of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The system will consist of a sensor, launcher, missile, and tactical operations center and will be capable of autonomous operations. As part of the Army air and missile defense architecture, the system will be compatible and interoperable with other Army air defense systems and will interface with joint and allied sensors and battle management command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (BM/C4I) networks.

The MEADS battalion will consist of three firing batteries and a headquarters battery. Each battery will have nine launchers controlled by a battery tactical operations center. Each launcher will be equipped with eight hit-to-kill missiles. Two radars, an X-band fire control radar, and a low-frequency surveillance radar will be intrinsic to the MEADS battery. External sensors will provide alerting and cueing information to any tactical operations center in the battalion. The MEADS BM/C4I architecture is fully netted and distributed among tactical operations centers, sensors, and launchers.

The MEADS system is a response to ensure protection of maneuver forces. The system will provide area and point defense capabilities against tactical missiles and air breathing threats. MEADS will contribute to three of the four Joint Vision 2010 operational concepts. MEADS incorporates state-of-the-art technologies in its sensors, weapons, and BM/C4I systems. Information superiority will enable MEADS to be fully capable of operating autonomously or in a network, receiving and exchanging data with other theater air and missile defense systems and external sensors. The MEADS system will also help Joint Forces in the theater by contributing to full-dimensional protection of the dominant maneuver forces through precision engagement of threat tactical missiles and air breathing threats.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The MEADS program is refining system-design concepts to meet the technical requirements agreed to by the MEADS partners—the U.S., Germany, and Italy. In July 1996, NATO formed the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) to lead program activities. The United States, Germany, and Italy have staffed the agency. NAMEADSMA awarded contracts for the Program Definition and Validation phase, which was scheduled for completion in early FY99. However, the U.S. has been evaluating options to reduce the overall costs of the MEADS program, including use of the PAC-3 missile. At this time, the U.S. has not committed funding for the next phase.

The proposed management structure includes both U.S. and international arrangements. U.S. oversight is accomplished through the integrated product team process. The Army's MEADS National Product Office oversees U.S. requirements development and serves as the single point of contact for U.S. support to NAMEADSMA. International oversight is accomplished through the National Armaments Directors and a MEADS Steering Committee. The Army PEO for Air and Missile Defense represents the U.S. on the Steering Committee. Leadership positions at NAMEADSMA will rotate among the nations.

The MEADS acquisition concept will harmonize DoD 5000.2 guidance with the NATO acquisition process. Since NATO defers most risk-reduction activity to the design and development phase, the Defense Acquisition Executive will review the program at the following key acquisition points:

The Army Acquisition Executive will review the program for U.S. production (two years into the NATO production phase). Program documentation at each Defense Acquisition Executive decision point will match what would normally be available for U.S. milestone decisions.

Disclosure and transfer of technical data are important features of this international program. The Army, BMDO, and OSD have agreed to a process that streamlines the foreign disclosure approval process and reduces the decision timeline to ten days or less. Disclosure actions that are not processed expeditiously will be elevated to the appropriate integrated product team for resolution.


TEST & EVALUATION ACTIVITY

MEADS T&E activities have not formally begun. T&E integrated product teams have begun planning the U.S. testing program. The first international T&E integrated product team meeting was held in November 1997. Progress towards test planning is dependent on finalizing the acquisition strategy and on program funding. The proposed U.S. T&E strategy (in the form of a TEMP) was provided to the international T&E participants in August 1998 to aid in formulating the International Test and Evaluation Plan. A U.S. lethality working group will be formed to develop a U.S. LFT&E strategy that will satisfy Title 10 requirements. A NAMEADSMA lethality working group will also address lethality issues of concern to the international partners.


TEST & EVALUATION ASSESSMENT

The MEADS program is in the requirements development phase. The sponsoring countries together are developing the MEADS system operational requirements. According to draft requirements, the MEADS system must provide area and point defense capabilities against a wide variety of threat tactical missiles and air breathing threats. The MEADS mission is further complicated by having to accomplish its mission in the theater area which will be densely populated with both friendly and threat targets. The same system development risks and challenges that exist for all other missile defense systems also exist for MEADS.

Due to the requirement to effectively kill a wide variety of targets, the T&E program will be very complex and costly compared to the other TMD systems. The LFT&E program must address lethality against a larger target set that operates in a more diverse intercept space than any other theater missile defense systems. A T&E program will be developed that includes a balanced mix of testing, supplemented by modeling and simulation. We have begun coordinating with Germany and Italy to plan a thorough, adequate, MEADS T&E program that will satisfy each country's requirements.

T&E planning efforts are progressing slowly. A number of factors contribute to the lack of progress in planning the MEADS T&E program. These factors include: (1) lack of U.S. funding for the next phase of the MEADS program; and (2) steps to identify and resolve issues sequentially through the U.S. Program Management Office, then within NAMEADSMA. General access to the NAMEADSMA and our German and Italian T&E counterparts has been limited. The current phase of competition among the contractors requires protection of proprietary information.

The U.S. has prepared a generic U.S. MEADS TEMP that projects T&E requirements based on the U.S. Operational Requirements Document; however, the U.S. TEMP has not yet been adopted by all partners. Significant disagreements exist among the partners on the scope and types of testing required to demonstrate that MEADS is effective and suitable. The U.S. Program Management Office is aware of these problems and is working within designated channels to surface and resolve the T&E issues.


Return to Table of Contents