January 5th, 2008 01:08 PM
Why would this information be published?
DALLAS - Up to three American Airlines jets will be outfitted this spring with laser technology being developed to protect planes from missiles fired by terrorists.
Officials said Friday the anti-missile systems won't be tested on passenger flights. But the tests, which could involve more than 1,000 flights, will determine how well the technology holds up under the rigors of flight, they said.
The first Boeing 767-200 will be equipped in April or later, American spokesman Tim Wagner said. American operates that Boeing model mostly between New York and San Francisco and Los Angeles.
American said it is "not in favor" of putting anti-missile systems on commercial planes but agreed to take part in the tests to understand technologies that might be available in the future.
The anti-missile technology was developed for military planes, and U.K.-based BAE Systems PLC said Friday it won a $29 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to test it on passenger planes.
The technology is intended to stop a missile attack by detecting heat from the rocket, then responding in a fraction of a second by firing a laser beam that jams the missile's guidance system.
The device on the belly of the Boeing 767-200 aircraft will be operational but won't be tested on regular flights, Wagner said. The use of a signal to mimic a missile attack has already been tested in the air, Wagner said.
Those tests also showed that the anti-missile systems didn't interfere with the jet's other controls, officials said.
American, the nation's largest carrier, has been working with BAE on the project for a couple years. In 2006, BAE installed its hardware on a Boeing 767 that wasn't used to fly paying passengers.
About a year ago, BAE invited reporters to American's maintenance base in Fort Worth to see a jet outfitted with the laser-jamming device called Jeteye.
"We are now entering the next phase," Wagner said, which is "to see how the system holds up on an aircraft in real-time conditions — weather, continuous takeoffs and landings, etc. — and to test its maintenance reliability."
Burt Keirstead, director of BAE's commercial airline protection program, said BAE's contract requires it to prove that Jeteye will operate without failure for 3,000 hours of flight and sets a goal of 4,500 hours.
"If there is one aspect of performance that is hardest to satisfy, it's reliability," Keirstead said. "We predict we'll meet the (3,000-hour) threshold, and we hope to get to the (4,500-hour) goal."
BAE expects to test the device through 7,000 hours of flying in 2008 and early 2009, he said.
With the latest contract, BAE has received more than $100 million in funding for aircraft-protection systems. Keirstead said BAE's technology will cost $500,000 to $1 million per plane to install.
Congress has approved funding for anti-missile research partly out of fear that terrorists armed with shoulder-fired weapons could hit jetliners as they take off and land.
Fort Worth-based American, a unit of AMR Corp., has said anti-missile defense is best handled by stopping terrorists from getting missiles that could shoot down commercial jets and by improving security around airports.
I would think that you would want this capability withheld from those who would try to take down a plane. Seems to me that terrorists will use this information to find other ways to take a plane down.
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."
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January 5th, 2008 01:33 PM
We don't have any technical specs in the article. We don't know if any airline will actually pay money for the system. No different than many other programs. You might be surprised how much info is out there on military systems as well.
Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.
January 5th, 2008 01:42 PM
I think just "saying" the planes have these gadgets will deter some BG from wasting expensive ammo
January 5th, 2008 02:03 PM
somethings are better left unsaid.. jams the missle guidance system with a
laser beam.thats nice,where dose the missle go from there???(hopefully
back to the terrorists but i dought that) no , i would say somewhere
on the ground. whos the enstien that thought this up.
(SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
the world coming too"
NRA LIFE MEMBER
U.S. ARMY FT.SILL, OKLA.
January 5th, 2008 04:42 PM
We advertise too much information about our fight with terrorists...Brit's do one thing correctly, that is...not letting the media publish reports on 'who did it', etc...during investigations.
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member[/B]
January 5th, 2008 05:24 PM
Don't guess the article discloses anything of interest to terrorist other than to deter them, thinking it wouldn't do any good to shoot a missile if its going to be stopped. You can rest assured that if there is anything thats really secret the enemy can get it from some member of congress - their mouths don't stop.
Its a shame that youth is wasted on the young.
January 5th, 2008 07:27 PM
I don't think it would deter anything except some folks from flying.
Originally Posted by ibez
(I still am unconvinced we didn't militarily down flight 93 or that a BG missile had not taken out flight 800.)
January 5th, 2008 10:21 PM
Hoe do you know that this is not "misinformation" ?
Lots of stuff that gets published is deliberatley miseleading to make an enemy eitheir think something that isnt so or to make them choose a different path.
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
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January 6th, 2008 12:37 AM
Thats exactly what I meant
Originally Posted by HotGuns
January 6th, 2008 03:28 AM
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January 6th, 2008 01:29 PM
I believe Israel has been putting these things on their commercial aircraft for years. I guess we are slowly being convinced the cost is worth it (I seriously doubt it). If you are in the business of terrorizing aircraft, I would think you know this technology is old news.
Last edited by nutz4utwo; January 6th, 2008 at 01:30 PM.
January 6th, 2008 01:44 PM
Yes, this laser technology has been used in Israel for the past couple of years. It is about time we protect out domestic aircraft, as well. One of the greatest threats to passenger aircraft is shoulder fire rockets. This technology is effective and necessary.
Originally Posted by nutz4utwo
To realize how important this defense is to our national security one only has to imagine a plane of 500 innocent Americans being shot out of the sky. The outrage of Americans would be heard throughout the land and the question 'Why did we allow this to happen since we have the technology to stop it?' would be constantly repeated.
And then what? After the fact we would equip our planes. We can do that BEFORE we are attacked. Further, it would be a disasterous blow to the air industry and our economy would be greatly harmed.
Of course, the airlines are balking as it is foreign to them that they have a responsibility for the safety of their passengers against terrorist attacks.
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