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Air Defense: Zombie Missiles Infest The Pentagon
   Next Article → LEADERSHIP: The Elite Asymmetric Warfare Group
March 15, 2010: The U.S. Army wants out of an international effort to develop MEADS ((Medium Extended Air Defense System). But the Department of Defense refuses to allow that, because cancellation penalties would cost more, it is currently believed, than it would to complete the project. This problem is nothing new for the $19 billion effort, which plans to conduct its first flight tests next year. Work on MEADS began in the late 1990s. It was supposed to enter service in 2014, but now the date is 2018. Maybe.

Eight years ago, a multinational effort to replace the Patriot air defense system had reached a crises, with cost overruns and technical difficulties threatening to scuttle MEADS. This is a joint effort by Germany (paying for 25 percent of development), Italy (17 percent) and the United States (58 percent.) France was also once a partner, but withdrew as the problems mounted. The U.S. government wants the program continued to avoid offending Germany and Italy.

MEADS uses the existing Patriot PAC-3 anti-missile missile (range of 20 kilometers), and the long range IRIS-T air-to-air missile (range of 30 kilometers) for attacking aircraft. MEADS is mobile, carried around in five ton trucks.

 

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Hamilcar    MEADS....   3/15/2010 8:46:32 AM
Washington Post

quote:
 
Pentagon resists Army's desire to stop development of MEADS missile system
    e
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another battle is brewing at the Pentagon over a costly weapons program that many military leaders do not want but that so far has proven difficult to kill.

After several failed attempts, the Army is trying again to cancel a $19 billion missile defense system that the United States is developing in partnership with Italy and Germany. Known as the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, it has been in the works for more than a decade and is designed to replace, in part, the Army's aging Patriot system.

But the Army says MEADS has become too expensive, is taking too long to produce and is difficult to manage because any changes in the program require German and Italian approval. "The system will not meet U.S. requirements or address the current and emerging threat without extensive and costly modifications," an internal Army staff memo concluded last month in recommending the cancellation of MEADS.

Despite the Army's concerns, however, the Pentagon is pushing ahead with MEADS and has requested $467 million from Congress to develop the system next year. Officials said a primary reason for sticking with the project is that it would be too expensive to stop. If the Defense Department were to cancel the system now, it would be required to pay $550 million to $1 billion in penalties to the contractors, an international consortium led by [u]Lockheed Martin of Bethesda.[/u]
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MEADS, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2018, is designed to intercept short-range and cruise missiles as well as shoot down planes and drones. Unlike the Patriot, the MEADS system is mobile and can be trucked around a battlefield, with its radar swiveling 360 degrees to track targets from any direction.

So far, the weapons system has escaped a drive by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to curtail or eliminate conventional weapons programs that have been plagued by delays and soaring expenses, such as his decision last year to kill the F-22 fighter jet program.

Defense experts said cancellation could undercut the Pentagon's relations with Germany and Italy, which need to replace their own aging missile defense systems. Under a 2004 deal, the United States covers 58 percent of the development costs, with Germany covering 25 percent and Italy 17 percent.

The weapons system was designed to save money over the long run by spreading expenses among the NATO allies, said Baker Spring, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Although the involvement of three countries has added a layer of complexity to the project, he said it was worth it to build a system that all the partners could use interchangeably on the battlefield.

"It's almost inconceivable to me that the U.S. military would be in an expeditionary operation where it won't be working with coalition partners in some form or another," Spring said.

The Army is scheduled to decide this week whether it will continue to oversee the development of MEADS or hand over responsibility to the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency. An Army spokesman declined to comment on those deliberations but denied that the service had made a final decision to try to kill MEADS.

"Right now, there is no decision to cancel that program," said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Jimmie E. Cummings Jr.

Lockheed Martin, which is developing MEADS along with contractors from Germany and Italy, noted that the Defense Department conducted an independent review of the missile-defense system last year and concluded that the program should proceed. German and Italian officials concurred in October after meeting with Pentagon officials.

"At a time of growing threats, MEADS represents the United States' first all-new air and missile defense system of its kind in decades and is the only such program in which allies are sharing the cost to develop a capability that each country needs," Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

John J. Young Jr., who served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics until April 2009, said that MEADS posed a conundrum for the Pentagon: a program that the Army does not want, that is not fully funded and that is growing in cost but a program for which the United States has international obligations to proceed.

He said defense officials didn't want to force MEADS on the Army, but they didn't have an easy way out. U.S. officials do not want to pa
 
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k3n54n    most spy clogged program ever   3/15/2010 4:16:12 PM
If this project succeeds, without naming names, the enemies of the US will no longer be a threat. This is well understood by said unnamed enemies, and they are working hard to cause the project to go off course, which is much easier than stealing the technology, and more important, too.  
 
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cwDeici       3/15/2010 5:50:07 PM
America seems less worried about offending Germany and Italy then it is Poland and Czechoslovakia. A mistake I believe.
 
Personally I believe more investment into antimissiles is money well spent, but the program probably needs significant reworking or scuttling for a new effort.
 
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cwDeici       3/15/2010 8:36:30 PM
Or it's not a bad system, I don't know.
 
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Berova       3/16/2010 6:14:46 AM
Waste of money, effort, and time... some people need grow up, meet with the close allies and work something out.

But lack of accountability combined with little sense of ownership will only drain more money down a rat hole.
 
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Hamilcar       3/16/2010 8:11:12 AM

Waste of money, effort, and time... some people need grow up, meet with the close allies and work something out.




But lack of accountability combined with little sense of ownership will only drain more money down a rat hole.

Not exactly correct.
 
Look at this and figure out what is fundamentally wrong.
 
http://www.youtube.com/v/Xp_BAcB09Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&"> http://www.youtube.com/v/Xp_BAcB09Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385">
 
The hint is the coverage  footprint and  electronic warfare issues.
 
There is nothing wrong with the MISSILEs involved. 
 
H. 

 
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geogen       3/17/2010 1:48:38 AM

If this project succeeds, without naming names, the enemies of the US will no longer be a threat. This is well understood by said unnamed enemies, and they are working hard to cause the project to go off course, which is much easier than stealing the technology, and more important, too.  


Fair comment, imho.
 
Regardless, and I think most would concur with the fact that NO defense is 'Full-proof'.  Thus, waiting for a 'reworked', magical, full-proof solution to correct perceived flawed acquisition programs is flawed in itself and Defense forces would never procure nor deploy any defenses during this wait http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/face22.gif" alt="" />.  That being said, the general concept of a more highly mobile, rapidly deployed and more capable in multi-role capabilities... all while requiring fewer manpower per unit of capability, seems sound. 
 
The open architecture aspect of integrating 'other systems' such as IRIS-T SL (as supplemental lower tier round) and whichever other systems would be required in future seems to be a plus, imo.
 
The ability to more effectively counter modern/future Stand-off jamming and EA/EW would seem to be one such future 'spiral' requirement, sure.  Different missile 'mixes' and other modes would therefore no doubt be part of the continued 'configuration' evolution of this long-serving Patriot system.
 
Sunk costs are sunk costs, of course.  And if this system can't show a successful upgrade capability then absolutely, it should be canceled and 'reworked' to meet modern/next gen threats and requirements.  But if progress in said system-evolved development is being made then there would arguably be multiple reasons (strategic, tactical and financial) to continue support for the evolutionary process and not necessarily jump at re-inventing new ones.
 
This is one expensive 'Joint-program' I currently see as still justified.
 
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warpig       3/17/2010 9:27:18 AM




Waste of money, effort, and time... some people need grow up, meet with the close allies and work something out.










But lack of accountability combined with little sense of ownership will only drain more money down a rat hole.




Not exactly correct.

 

Look at this and figure out what is fundamentally wrong.

 


http://www.youtube.com/v/Xp_BAcB09Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&;" name="movie" />


http://www.youtube.com/v/Xp_BAcB09Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&;" width="640" height="385" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always">

 

The hint is the coverage  footprint and  electronic warfare issues.

 

There is nothing wrong with the MISSILEs involved. 


 


H. 





 
 
Every approach has its own set of advantages and vulnerabilities.  Please tell us what is fundamentally *wrong* (not just an inherent vulnerability that needs to be accounted for and actions taken to reduce risk therefrom) with the "coverage footprint" and with the "electronic warfare issues" for MEADS.
 
 
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Hamilcar       3/17/2010 1:23:28 PM









Waste of money, effort, and time... some people need grow up, meet with the close allies and work something out.






















But lack of accountability combined with little sense of ownership will only drain more money down a rat hole.










Not exactly correct.



 



Look at this and figure out what is fundamentally wrong.



 





http://www.youtube.com/v/Xp_BAcB09Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&;" name="movie" />





http://www.youtube.com/v/Xp_BAcB09Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1&;" width="640" height="385" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always">



 



The hint is the coverage  footprint and  electronic warfare issues.



 



There is nothing wrong with the MISSILEs involved. 






 






H. 









Every approach has its own set of advantages and vulnerabilities.  Please tell us what is fundamentally *wrong* (not just an inherent vulnerability that needs to be accounted for and actions taken to reduce risk therefrom) with the "coverage footprint" and with the "electronic warfare issues" for MEADS.

The concept is based on a HIVE architecture that has cells that over-lap coverage over the segment of a surface of a battle-space sphere. Each cell is therefore of necessity, both an engagement unit and a NODE. The choice of first missile used (PAC III) is what makes this hive approach possible. You know why this specific choice was made and I won't discuss that here, WP.   
 
What it does mean, is that off-site airborne sensors have to be employed to give area depth coverage and a look-down component to MEADS to extend the radar/optical horizon so that the time to engage window (interval to me) for the entire Patriot family of missiles can be met: as we will never buy enough cells to set up a surface-based radar hand-off system like the Russians use. Our scattered cell arrays will be scattered and out of mutual LoS support because we won't have the numbers of surface sensor and telemetry nodes for seamless coverage and overlap of the expected battle-space. Therefore-airborne sensor support to extend radar and optical horizons at least in the detect and track stages is part of MEADS.  .   
 
Fine. You say we already do that with the Patriot family of missiles, associated fire control systems, AWACS and AEGIS radars off site radars, and up and down telemetry links to the other shared sensors on a threat bearing axis DATE architecture with our associated Patriot systems and their own acquisition and engagement radars, now. MEADS just allows each node/battery to do that exercise in a 360 degree posture and make the node/battery mobile, as in set up, and shoot in less than an hour, or even on the march.
 
1. -Except that the actual electronic hardware to do that doesn't actually exist for MEADS, YET.
2. -Except that the missile to weapon-proof the concept, as selected, is a last ditch defense missile optimized for the HTK and for anti-ballistic missile engagement and not generalized for cruise missiles, those TBMs and aircraft as a target set.  An explosive driven rod cluster warhead would be better against cruise missiles and aircraft. The US Army insisted on the SCUD killer solution though.. <
 
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Fulgore243       3/18/2010 5:48:42 PM
Oh the Cylons are going to love this.
 
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