Posted inLaunch

MEADS System Completes Flight Test at White Sands

The international Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) completed its first flight test Nov. 17 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., demonstrating its ability to engage a simulated target attacking from the rear.

During the test, a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor executed the maneuver necessary to hit its target, and then self destruct. Lockheed Martin, the lead U.S. contractor on the program, said in a press release. MEADS is a joint effort of the United States, Italy and Germany.

The previously untested maneuver is necessary for protecting soldiers and other assets from highly maneuverable cruise missiles and short- to medium-range tactical ballistic missiles. Two MEADS flight tests against actual missile targets are planned, after which the United States plans to end its participation in the program.