German variant MEADS air defense missile launcher arrives in U.S. flight test configuration 1009134
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Defence & Security News - MEADS International
|Tuesday, September 10, 2013 10:04 PM|
|German variant of MEADS air defense missile launcher arrives in U.S. for flight test configuration.|
The first Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) launcher on a German truck has arrived in the United States, ready for integration into a future test scenario. Based on the success of the intercept test last November at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., MEADS authorities are planning to use two launchers in the two-target flight test scheduled for later this year.
German MEADS air defense missile launcher
The original launcher is in the Italian configuration and has been used in previous tests. Originally, only the Italian-configured launcher was planned for use in this year’s flight test.
In addition to the Italian and German configuration launchers, there is also a U.S. design that is easily transportable and tactically mobile. Each MEADS launcher can carry up to eight PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles and achieve launch readiness in just minutes.
The MEADS launchers have two main features that stand out from the air and missile defense (AMD) launchers currently fielded. The first is the ability of the MEADS launchers to self-load. An integrated crane arm can pick up and release expended missile packs, then grab and position a full eight-missile reload within minutes. The second is the ability to launch the PAC-3 MSE in a near-vertical position to defend assets in all 360 degrees of possible attack space.
The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is located in Huntsville, Ala.