The tri-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) remains in limbo, with the $3.4 billion nine-year development program scheduled to conclude this year and no production order in sight from the U.S., Germany or Italy. But at a briefing last week during the ILA Berlin airshow, program officials said that Meads meets Poland’s stated air and missile defense (AMD) requirement. The Meads International industrial consortium, which currently comprises Lockheed Martin and MBDA’s German and Italian companies, is offering to make Poland an equal partner.
The U.S. is “gently prompting” the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to integrate their air- and missile-defense systems, according to American strategic defense consultant Ian Brzezinski.
On display here and ready for export, Europe’s own state-of-the-art air defense system has now demonstrated its anti-tactical ballistic missile (TBM) capability three times. In the most recent test two months ago, the MBDA Aster 30 missile successfully intercepted a target representing a TBM fired from 185 miles away. Unlike the first two anti-TBM tests, this one was fully coordinated within the NATO command-and-control structure.
In the quarter century since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has established in-house capability for the development and production of cruise and ballistic missiles. To cope with the effect of the military equipment sales embargo on the country, Iranian specialists have mastered reverse-engineering methods.