Monday, July 28, 2014

Is there any Technology now or on the Horizon that can Protect Commercial Airlines from Missile Attacks?

Every airline passenger is familiar with the security routine: take your shoes off, laptop goes in the plastic bin, remove all metal items from your pockets and place any liquids in a separate plastic bag and walk through that metal detector.
But the familiar precautions aimed at protecting airliners from possible bombs or weapons do nothing to ward off an incoming missile that can blow the jetliner out of the sky. The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down last week has focused attention on protecting planes from potential missile strikes, which, it turns out, have taken down more than one dozen airliners in aviation history.
One answer could be "Sky Shield," a new Israeli-manufactured system that officials say successfully protected a test El Al Airlines Boeing 737 in live-fire missile tests.
"The 'Sky Shield' system, based on advance laser technology that deflects missiles fired at aircrafts deviating them from their trajectory, has been chosen by the Israeli Ministry of Transportation to protect Israeli airlines planes," said a statement from the Israeli Ministry of Defense after the tests earlier this year.
"The series of tests included a wide variety of threats that the 'Sky Shield' system would have to tackle in order to protect passenger aircrafts."
The U.S. Air Force currently uses technology called the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures Systems to protect jumbo-jet freighters and airborne tankers. Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747, presumably is equipped with similar missile deterrence. But putting similar devices on your next flight has so far been a longshot.
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