Originally posted by Zaphod58
Unless you actually SEE the missile coming at you, you aren't going to know what it was. In at least once instance the pilots thought it was a
rocket someone had launched. All they saw was the smoke trail. That one was shot at an American Airlines plane out of LAX, and fired from the beach.
Using a high-powered microwave "Ray Gun" to take out terrorist SAMS?
primary concern would the "collateral" effects on surrounding operations.
Discharging a burst of microwave energy in the immediate proximity of the sensetive radar equipment (not to mention the other elctronic devices
likely to be present) an airport needs to maintain public safety seems a dangerous idea in the extreme.
What happens if this "ray gun" jams or damages the ATC radar system?
Given the intensity such a beam would require (to knock-out a SAM's guidance/avionics) would there be any risk of "beam leakage" resulting in
instances of induced electrical arcing; damaging, or destroying nearby electronics? In effect, setting up a kind of "localized EMP" effect.
What about any other aircraft inadvertantly crossing the path of this device while its firing at its intended target?
Tragic irony if the weapon meant to defend an airliner, instead, itsself causes the destruction of that airliner.
As to rockets, I've built a few my self, and been on the launch crews of many others. For less than $1000USD you could easily build an un-guided,
shoulder-launched (only means of aiming) rocket that could take out a an SUV; depending on how you want to define "take out".
Frankly, I too am suprised that we have not seen more SAM attacks on airliners, in EVERY country. Sophisticated weaponary is available to the
"terrorists" for the right price; and they do not lack for funding.
And even if the sophisticated stuff was not available, the terrorists seem to be amply endowed with "creative destructivity".
could build what was essentially a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher out of cardboard and packing tape, why haven't we
assulted with terrorist devices far more sophisticated and deadly?