While it may seem like most countries around the world are focused on the Patriot Missile Interceptors, the United States is already looking to its next missile defense system. In fact, the military has moved on from looking at systems to testing them.
Recently, during a test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the new system— also known as Medium Extended Air Defense System or MEADS — was able to target and simultaneously destroyed a QF-4 Phantom fighter jet (a remotely controlled version of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom Jet) and a missile. Not only were the plane and missile moving at the same time, the jet flew in from the South and the Lance missle from the North. The stress test was designed to ensure the radar and software systems were able to destroy two things at once within a 360 degree area. Altogether the mission tested the surveillance radar, a battle manager, two lightweight launchers with PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missiles and a 360-degree MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar. MEADS, much like its Patriot predecessor, is designed to target, impact and destroy ballistic missiles and enemy warplanes.
As for the Patriot system, it’s finding a home in places like Japan outside of Tokyo to ward off attacks by North Korea and Turkey in case of a Syrian war spillover. Of course, the big debate among critics of the MEADS, is if it's even a necessary expense for the defense budget given the US's current military efforts.