Sunday, November 12, 2006

DHS: Airport anti-missile program

An item from Airport Security Report, republished by Airport Business, says:
With shoulder-fired missiles having already killed more than 640 people in 35 attacks on civilian jets, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is launching an 18-month program evaluating technologies to protect commercial fleets. It awarded $7.5 million contracts to Raytheon, Northrop Grumman Space Technology and L-3 Communications AVISYS.

DHS will also work with the U.S. Department of Defense to assess the "maturity and effectiveness of relevant technologies, application of resources to determine potential system approaches and suitability in the civilian aviation environment."


Raytheon plans on using Vigilant Eagle Airport Protection System. Deployed around an airport, the system uses passive infrared trackers scanning for missile exhaust. It steers a beam of electromagnetic energy to divert the threat from the aircraft, although it is unclear if this will impact aircraft systems as well. It is ground-based and thus does not have to be fitted to the aircraft. Northrop Grumman is using an infrared anti-missile system designed to divert missiles that is being put on FAA aircraft.
Over 20 terrorist groups are believed to possess shoulder-launched missiles, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Source: Homeland Security Launches Airport Anti-Missile Program - Airport Business

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