Meanwhile, Washington, Berlin and Rome are in talks to divide up the hardware produced under the development phase of Meads. As talks stand now, it appears that Italy and Germy will each get a single fire-control radar and two launchers. The United States has been aggressive in its interest in the surveillance radar, Coyne says.
A U.S. Army “technology harvesting” team crafted to examine what the United States hopes to take away from MEADS is expected to provide a final report to the Army with its recommendations following the November flight test.
“We are optimistic the U.S. Army will choose to procure individual items and integrate them into their network,” Coyne says. Meads was developed to be “plug-and-play,” allowing various components to work with other legacy equipment such as the Patriot and Hawk air defense systems.
The U.S. is not interested in three battle managers built during development because it has funded the Northrop Grumman Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) for its core capability.
The Meads consortium is now in talks with Northrop Grumman to demonstrate use of the Meads surveillance radar with IBCS during a major test event for the latter slated for the end of the year. The test would be funded by industry and is designed to prove to the Army that the Meads truly can plug and play with other systems.
Coyne says the market for Meads sales is as big as 20 countries despite Washington’s decision not to buy the whole system.