Air Defense: October 20, 1999

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After extensive debate, Congress agreed to fully fund the Medium Extended-range Air Defense System (MEADS) with $721 million over five years. The US is paying 55% of the cost of the program, while Germany pays 28% and Italy will pay 17%. The MEADS missile system is designed to replace Hawk in German and Italian service and the Patriot-3 in US service. Each launcher can be carried by a C-17 and will be able to track targets and fire in a 360 arc.--Stephen V Cole

The US Army is counting on its Tactical High Energy Laser to deal with the current threat of multiple rockets, short-range missiles, and non-stealthy cruise missiles attacking its troops. In the next decade, the problem is expected to be stealthy cruise missiles dispensing submunitions. The solution to this problem is thought to be low-frequency anti-stealth radars connected by huge high-speed computers.--Stephen V Cole

 


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