By Nick Gilbert
Pratica di Mare Air Force Base near Rome, Italy-based MEADS battle manager and launcher was integrated with first Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Multifunction Fire Control Radar (MFCR).
MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar
The integration test series were focused on demonstrating the controlling capacity of MEADS TOC on behalf of MEADS MFCR upon integration with the MEADS Launcher. The demonstration of MFCR at Pratica di Mare showed key functionalities like 360-degree target acquisition and track by using dedicated flights as well as other air traffic.
According to MEADS International President Dave Berganini, the MEADS MFCR features both unique operational potential and affordability. It is capable of identifying and monitoring advanced threats using 360-degree coverage without blind spots. In contrast to fielded radars, the MEADS MFCR is C-130 transportable and can move efficiently.
In order to prepare for an intercept flight test later during 2012, the MFCR has been airlifted to White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The MFCR is a solid-state, X-band, phased array radar based on element-level transmit/receive modules. It ensures wideband discrimination and classification potentials in addition to precision tracking efficiencies. The MEADS MFCR can offers surveillance as well as fire control capabilities until the addition of surveillance radar to the network, thereby promising quick operational use. The main beam of MFCR allows uplink and downlink missile communications. Also, threat identification and typing can be achieved by using an advanced Mode 5 identify friend-or-foe subsystem.
The MFCR behaves like a node on the MEADS network via its plug-and-fight capability. Using the MEADS battle manager, a commander can actively augment or deduct sensors and shooters with respect to the situation, thereby eliminating the need to shut down the system.
MEADS International is the major contractor for the MEADS system. The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is based in Huntsville, Alabama.