Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is a ground-mobile air and missile defense system intended to replace the Patriot missile system through a NATO-managed development. The program is a tri-national development of the US, Germany, and Italy. MEADS is a ground-mobile air and missile defense (AMD) system intended to replace German and United States Patriot systems and Italian Nike Hercules systems. Germany chose MEADS to replace their MIM-104 Patriot systems in June 2015. MEADS is designed to address the shortcomings of fielded systems and to permit full interoperability between U.S. and allied forces. It is the only medium-range AMD system to provide full 360-degree coverage against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft, and large-caliber rockets.

The system was designed by Lockheed Martin using the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missile. It includes 360-degree surveillance and fire control sensors, netted-distributed tactical operations centers, and lightweight launchers. All that means each MEADS installation communicates with other MEADS systems for a NATO-wide command-and-control system. A single MEADS battery is able to defend up to 8 times the area of a Patriot battery through use of advanced 360-degree sensors, near-vertical launch capability, and the longer-range PAC-3 MSE missile. The MEADS radars – using active phased arrays and digital beam forming – enable full use of the PAC-3 MSE missile’s extended range.

The system is delivered by C-130 or A400M transport aircraft, simplifying deployment.


The MEADS missile defense system. Will Romania be part of it?

(February 11, 2017) MEADS International demonstrating the MEADS system in Romania. The system is so far being deployed in Germany, Italy and Poland. As countries deploy MEADS the systems form a NATO-wide network of air defense capability.

MEADS Capability Nodes

(Dec 16, 2015) MEADS is the first component-based, networked air and missile defense (AMD) system. Unlike existing stovepipe systems, MEADS permits nations to contribute individual radars, launchers, or MEADS battle managers to regional defenses under a NATO umbrella. Plug-and-fight operation allows components from many nations to be brought together quickly to form regional defenses. Learn more at

MEADS Networked 360-Degree Defense

(Sep 2, 2015) Germany has selected the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) as the basis for its new €4 billion air and missile defense system. That's because 360-degree MEADS has no blind spots and intercepts threats in any direction. MEADS defends 8 times the coverage with fewer system elements than legacy systems. MEADS introduces a networked open system architecture with plug-and-fight capability to readily add sensors and weapon systems to create regional defenses. Learn more at

MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defence System)

(May 22, 2015) Equipped with a 360° radar system, a command post with leading-edge technology and hit-to-kill missiles, the system can combat all airborne targets, including cruise missiles and tactical-ballistic missiles. DIscover the MEADS capabilities through this video.

MEADS Lockheed Martin Medium Extended Air Defense System missile MSPO 2014 Poland Kielce exhibition

(Sep 3, 2014) At MSPO 2014, the International Defense Industry Equipment Exhibition in Poland, Lockheed Martin displays the next-generation of its Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Displayed system elements include an example of each national configuration. Each has been used in recent flight tests and demonstrations that (testify to) the system’s maturity.

New Patriot Missile System Launcher MEADS In Detail Review Commercial 2014

(Jan 10, 2014) In 2014 a live test of the MEADS system was conducted.

MEADS Flight Test #2 Mission Preview

(Oct 30, 2013) MEADS Flight Test #2 is designed to demonstrate a first-ever dual intercept of two targets in opposite directions in a simultaneous engagement -- a real-time, stressing demonstration of MEADS' 360-degree air and missile defense capabilities.