Fedora wants to install laser-based missile defense system on planes

35
2
Fedora wants to install laser-based missile defense system on planes

The sign is seen at a FedEx location in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. September 3, 2021. WASHINGTON, January 14, The Federal Aviation Administration FAA said on Friday it was proposing conditions that would allow FedEx to install a laser-based missile defense on Airbus AIR.PA A 321 -- 200 airplanes.

The FAA disclosed in a document, the delivery company FedEx Corp FDX.N in October 2019 applied for approval to use a feature that emits infrared laser energy outside the aircraft as a countermeasure against heat-seeking missiles.

A spokeswoman for FedEx didn't say anything about whether it is still pursuing approval for the application. Airbus 321 is not currently operated by FedEx.

The FAA said it is still reviewing the proposal and will consider public comments. Airbus did not immediately make a statement.

For decades, the airline industry and several governments have been grappling with the threat to airliners from shoulder-fired missiles, known as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, or MANPADs. Some infrared systems are used to target an aircraft's engines.

The FedEx missile defense system directs infrared laser energy toward an incoming missile, in an effort to interrupt the missile defense system.

The FAA document said that the missile s tracking of the aircraft's heat.

The FAA proposed conditions before it would consider approving the system, including ensuring that it will prevent the inadvertent operation while on the ground, including during maintenance.

Since the 1970s, more than 40 civil airplanes have been hit by MANPADs, according to the U.S. State Department.

The Efforts to combat the threat accelerated after two missiles missed an Arkia Israeli Airlines Boeing 757 passenger jet on take-off from Mombasa airport in November 2002.

Cargo planes have also been targeted.

In 2003, an Airbus A 300 freighter flown by DHL was damaged by MANPADs and forced to make an emergency landing in Baghdad.

In 2007 and 2008, FedEx took part in a U.S. government trial of anti-missile technology for civil aircraft by installing Northrop Grumman's NOC.N Guardian countermeasures system on commercial cargo flights while BAE Systems BAES.L said it had installed its JetEye system on an American Airlines airplane.