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DHS To Test New Airliner Missile Defense System (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on May, 28 2005 @ 09:40 PM
The Department of Homeland Security is funding tests of a new laser-based system designed to defend airliners from heat seeking shoulder fired missiles.

While DHS continues to state that there is no credible evidence that points towards this kind of terrorist attack within the US, they are simultaneously spending a significant amount of money ($120 million so far) to fund the tests of the new system.

Some lawmakers and other aviation experts believe that the tests are premature and that DHS is attempting to employ the technology before it is ready.
In an airplane hangar north of Fort Worth, technicians are preparing to mount a fire-hydrant-shaped device onto the belly of an American Airlines Boeing 767. It is an effort that could soon turn into a more than $10 billion project to install a high-tech missile defense system on the nation's commercial planes.

The Boeing 767 - the same type of plane that terrorists flew into the World Trade Center - is one of three planes that, by the end of this year, will be used to test the infrared laser-based systems designed to find and disable shoulder-fired missiles. The missiles have long been popular among terrorists and rebel groups in war zones around the world; the concern now is that they could become a domestic threat.

The tests are being financed by the Department of Homeland Security, which has been directed by Congress to move rapidly to take technology designed for military aircraft and adapt it so it can protect the nation's 6,800 commercial jets. It has so far invested $120 million in the testing effort, which is expected to last through next year.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems are competing to build the missile defense system. In both cases, plane mounted sensors detect the heat seeking missiles which are then jammed or spoofed by infrared lasers which target the missiles tracking sensors.

This concept has been around for some time. Creating a reliable, autonomous, laser-based, defense system would be a very significant accomplishment. The article contains no technical details about the sensor system or infrared laser.

Related News Links:

[edit on 5/28/2005 by ChemicalLaser]

[edit on 5/28/2005 by ChemicalLaser]

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