MEADS: Cutting edge technology from EADS Defence & Security adds new dimension to air defence radar
Electronic core components going into mass production for the first time
Delivery of 40,000 transmit / receive modules by 2009
10Â MarchÂ 2008
The transmit / receive modules developed by EADS Defence & Security (DS) for the fire control radar of the MEADS air defence system (MEADS = Medium Extended Air Defence System) have now passed their acceptance tests and are being put into serial production. EADS DS is thus the first European company to mass produce the new AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar technology on an industrial scale with a volume of more than 40,000 modules. The joint US-Italian-German MEADS programme thereby gains a strategic lead in the deployment of AESA technology.
Within the framework of the MEADS design and development contract worth about â‚¬ 120 million in total, DSâ€™ Defence Electronics Business Unit will deliver the T/R modules in a period of only four years. These will make the MEADS fire control radar the most powerful radar of its type in the world. These modules are key elements in the new generation of radar systems, which are based on AESA technology. Instead of having mechanical antenna steering control, AESA radar systems use electronic beam scanning, which is made possible by thousands of T/R modules. This concept offers completely new possibilities for deployment and will therefore be used for all future military radars in the world. EADS Defence & Security staff from Defence Electronics, Defence and Communications Systems and LFK are cooperating closely on this to ensure the success of the programme. LFK GmbH / MBDA Germany are responsible for the complete radar antenna.
â€œThe high demands placed on the capabilities of the MEADS radar cannot be met without AESA technology,â€ declares Stefan Zoller, CEO of EADS Defence & Security. â€œThe joint efforts of the various EADS Defence & Security business units have advanced this development to a point where we can supply the participating states with tens of thousands of deployable modules within a relatively short period.â€
LFK GmbH was able to examine in great detail and approve the current design status and the manufacturability of the transmit / receive modules during a critical design review lasting several days that was also attended by representatives of NAMEADSMA, the MEADS management organisation. Thus the T/R modules can now go into series production on time in EADS DSâ€™ Microwave Factory at Ulm.
MEADS is a joint programme of Germany, Italy and the US, in which a mobile air defence system is being developed as the replacement for obsolete equipment and as a response to new threats. The design and development phase with a total value of 3.5 billion US dollars was started in 2005 and is dedicated, amongst other things, to the production of four prototypes of fire control radars which are expected to be delivered between 2012 and 2014.