Meanwhile, officials overseeing the Army-led Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) are planning for their second flight trial at the end of next year. In the first, on Nov. 29, Meads successfully shot down an MQM-107 air-breathing target after executing an “over the shoulder” engagement. The upcoming test will pit Meads against its first theater ballistic missile defense target.
Though the U.S. leads the multinational program with 58% of its funding, Washington plans to end participation after development wraps up at the end of next year. Germany, which paid 25% of the cost, and Italy, which provided the remaining 17%, are assessing whether they will procure all or parts of it.
U.S. Army officials have expressed interest in the 360-deg. surveillance radar, but lack funding in the near term.