A MEADS surveillance radar acquired both targets and provided target cues to the MEADS battle manager during a dual-intercept flight test. Poland wants to develop a closer industrial partnership with the program. (MEADS International)
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BERLIN — The trinational Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is trying to get Poland onboard as a full partner in the project, according to Lockheed Martin’s MEADS business development manager.
Poland seeks a “sustained industrial partnership and that is MEADS,” Marty Coyne said at the ILA Berlin Air Show on Wednesday.
MEADS is one of four contenders for the country’s future Shield of Poland medium-range air defense system.
“At least 40 percent workshare of the Polish shield would be done in country,” Coyne said.
Coyne also said the notion of building a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile facility in Poland was under consideration.
“We also want to help Poland to develop a long-range defense missile for which we can provide components,” he said.
The US has opted out of the program, yet Lockheed and MBDA are waiting for final procurement decisions from the other two members: Germany and Italy.
Germany is expected to make a selection on its future tactical ground-based air-defense system requirements this year, deciding about proceeding with MEADS or modernizing its existing Patriot batteries, which could involve incorporating MEADS technologies.
Lockheed representatives at the show made it clear that they need a decision soon after finishing development. Not doing so could result in a gap after the end of the year, which could have implications on keeping the industrial capabilities, said Siegfried Bücheler from MBDA Germany.
At the show, Lockheed and MBDA celebrated 10 years of development cooperation. The system has successfully completed all three of its flight tests, including a first-ever 360-degree dual intercept of a tactical ballistic missile and air-breathing targets approaching from opposite directions.
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Also at the show, Diehl Defence signed an exclusive cooperation agreement with Elbit Systems.
Both companies will equip the Bundeswehr Airbus A400M with a Directed Infrared Counter Measure system, based on Elbit’s Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure (J-MUSIC).
J-MUSIC has been specially designed to protect larger military and civil aircraft against attacks by infrared-guided missiles.
Diehl Defence will incorporate the J-MUSIC into a turret and begin deliveries in 2015. To ensure 360-degree protection, each aircraft will be outfitted with three turrets.
Meanwhile, the Eurofighter consortium unveiled what it called a “paradigm shift” in capability for the Typhoon fighter aircraft.
The enhancements allow the Typhoon to fulfill air-to-air and air-to-ground missions at the same time.
Incorporating lessons learned from operations in Libya, the enhancements allow the pilot to switch seamlessly between both modes. It also paves the way to integrate deep strike stand-off weapons, such as the Storm Shadow or the Taurus, into the aircraft.
The package also upgrades the capabilities of the Defensive Aids Sub System and the interoperability of the Multifunction and Distribution Systems. ■