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  • FedEx MD-10 Takes Off

    FedEx MD-10 Takes Off With Anti-Missile System

    POSTED: 4:25 pm EST January 16, 2007

    LOS ANGELES -- An MD-10 cargo jet equipped with an anti-missile system designed to eventually protect passenger aircraft from a terrorist attack took off from Los Angeles International Airport on a commercial flight Tuesday.

    The system's designer, Northrop Grumman Corp., said the FedEx flight marked the start of operational testing and evaluation of the laser system designed to defend against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles during takeoffs and landings.

    Adapted from military technology, Guardian is designed to detect a missile launch and then direct a laser to the seeker system on the head of the missile and disrupt its guidance signals. The laser is not visible and is eye-safe, the company said.

    "For the first time, we will be able to collect valuable logistics data while operating Guardian on aircraft in routine commercial service," said Robert L. DelBoca, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division.

    During the current test phase, which concludes in March 2008, nine MD-10s equipped with the Guardian system will be in commercial service. Katie Lamb-Heinz of Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems said all those aircraft will be freighters. The ultimate goal is to defend passenger airliners.

    The testing is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Counter-Man Portable Air Defense Systems program. BAE Systems has also been working for the government on an airliner defense system.

    No passenger plane has ever been downed by a shoulder-fired missile outside of a combat zone. But terrorists linked with al-Qaida are believed to have fired two SA-7 missiles that narrowly missed an Israeli passenger jet after it took off from Mombasa, Kenya, in November 2002.

    The first commercial flight with the Guardian system followed 16 months of tests on an MD-11, an MD-10 and a Boeing 747 using simulated launches of shoulder-fired missiles.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  • #2
    The first words will be,"crap, we missed " or " Darn we shot down the wrong aircraft".

    Comment


    • #3
      Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...............

      Well, Let's see........ If FED-Ex has these missles, I guess I won't be shipping by UPS........
      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
      In memory of
      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

      IACOJ Budget Analyst

      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

      www.gdvfd18.com

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      • #4
        I think the time, effort, and money are being mismanaged. They should be concentrating on better airport and seaport security, border security, equipment and training for first responders, better WMD detection and handling development, more money for grants for first responders, better identification procedures and start cutting the red tape between government agencies.

        Yes, this is cool to have and gives people piece of mind if it works..... but I guess it just isn't on the top of MY priority list.

        Then again, who the hell am I?
        Jason Knecht
        Firefighter/EMT
        Township Fire Dept., Inc.
        Eau Claire, WI

        IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
        http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
        EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dickey View Post
          I think the time, effort, and money are being mismanaged. They should be concentrating on better airport and seaport security, border security, equipment and training for first responders, better WMD detection and handling development, more money for grants for first responders, better identification procedures and start cutting the red tape between government agencies.

          Yes, this is cool to have and gives people piece of mind if it works..... but I guess it just isn't on the top of MY priority list.

          Then again, who the hell am I?
          Nonsense! How do you secure the extended perimeter of an international airport? You would need military assets-and alot of them at that. Not one of the things you mention would stop a terrorist from firing a missile from an off-airport location-especially first responder training.
          PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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          • #6
            Apart from firing a missile AFTER a missle is kind of self defeating, there are certain laws of physics that reduce your probability of hit to a point of diminishing returns.

            10 million dollars or whatever on a system designed to confuse the seaker head into seiing no target makes sense in a big fashion, where the aircraft can manouver away while the head is seeker head is lost.

            Most if not all missiles have a defined profile where after x movement or time they just go bang.

            If you are a mile away in a different hunk of sky from the bang, you can wave at the puff of smoke.

            It may not be on your priority list, but your can bet your pension there are a lot of Pilots betting thiers.
            Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
            Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

            Comment


            • #7
              George!!.................

              Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
              Nonsense! How do you secure the extended perimeter of an international airport? You would need military assets-and alot of them at that. Not one of the things you mention would stop a terrorist from firing a missile from an off-airport location-especially first responder training.

              Honestly, George!!! I'm Appalled!...... EVERYONE knows that all of society's ills can be cured, if only we throw enough Federal Money at First Responders.......



              Good to hear from you, hope all is well.
              Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
              In memory of
              Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
              Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

              IACOJ Budget Analyst

              I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

              www.gdvfd18.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dickey View Post
                I think the time, effort, and money are being mismanaged. They should be concentrating on better airport and seaport security, border security, equipment and training for first responders, better WMD detection and handling development, more money for grants for first responders, better identification procedures and start cutting the red tape between government agencies.
                Think about the range of most of these shoulder-fired weapons and how low most aircraft are during takeoff and approach and you'll realize there is a huge area outside off of airport ground where such an attack could come from. There would have to be a 20+ mile buffer at both ends of the runway that would have to be protected.
                So you call this your free country
                Tell me why it costs so much to live
                -3dd

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                  Think about the range of most of these shoulder-fired weapons and how low most aircraft are during takeoff and approach and you'll realize there is a huge area outside off of airport ground where such an attack could come from. There would have to be a 20+ mile buffer at both ends of the runway that would have to be protected.
                  And to create that buffer zone would essentially require that ALL commercial and non-commercial properties within that 20 mile area be COMPLETELY cleared of all ground cover, including any and all structures. Since we all know that this is pretty much geo-politically and economically IMPOSSIBLE... and the manpower required to police it would be beyond astronomical. Especially considering how many national and international airports there are around just this country alone. I know for me personally I would not want to be the one to tell the folks of Manhatten that they all have to pack up and leave because they are on the flight approach path to JFK and LaGuardia (sorry for spelling - if its wrong) airports.

                  Just to through a bit of a "real world" outlook on this scenario, take a look at what happened to the US Embassy in Athens. A shoulder launched rocket was fired from a construction site across the road.... thats how easy it is.
                  If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                  "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                  "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                  Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                  impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                  IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The other thing I was wondering is what is the range of this system? The system only "blinds" the incoming missile, it is still moving toward the aircraft and if it destroys itself close enough the end result is the same. This system was designed to blind the missile while the aircraft maneuvered out of the way.. not something commercial aircraft are prone, or capable of doing.

                    Also, I'm going to assume that since this is now commercially available, the Military has deemed that it is no longer that sensitive... read: outdated. I'm sure there are already shoulder launched systems which are not susceptible to this kind of defense. If not, I'm sure there soon will be.
                    So you call this your free country
                    Tell me why it costs so much to live
                    -3dd

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
                      The other thing I was wondering is what is the range of this system? The system only "blinds" the incoming missile, it is still moving toward the aircraft and if it destroys itself close enough the end result is the same. This system was designed to blind the missile while the aircraft maneuvered out of the way.. not something commercial aircraft are prone, or capable of doing.

                      Also, I'm going to assume that since this is now commercially available, the Military has deemed that it is no longer that sensitive... read: outdated. I'm sure there are already shoulder launched systems which are not susceptible to this kind of defense. If not, I'm sure there soon will be.

                      Not going to speak from experience, but from those who have (I had friends growing up who flew them) 747's in particular (as with most Boeing a/c) are actually quite maneuverable - 747s apparently are quite capable - barrel rolls and loops are managable for them - apparently. Not really sure I'd like to be a passenger when thats happening - might be fun - maybe LOL But .... ????

                      Another consideration is: when in time of need, almost any a/c is capable of the most fantastic, depending on the imagination and personal skill of the a/c commander.
                      If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                      "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                      "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                      Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                      impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                      IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But are they that maneuverable just after take-off and/or just before landing? Your not talking a fighter jet nor a little Cessna. I believe the movability of these big passenger jets, at the time this would be effective, is really very little.

                        Anyone also wonder, if they manage to escape the missile.....where does said missed missile then go? Back to the ground where it would stand a good chance of causing a great amount of damage.

                        It's an interesting idea, but it seems like it's only solving a very small part of the bigger problem.
                        "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bones. You are in fact, quite correct about maneuvering or lack of it at low speeds.

                          As for your other question, I think, depending on the type of missile, most have either contact or close proximity fuses. The contact ones (again I think) are usually heat seekers, so they look for the "hot spots" and then make contact - go boom. I am not sure if they have what amounts to a self-destruct/run out of fuel go boom - feature in them or not.

                          The others are like AA guns. The missile, like the gun round can sometimes be set for a specific altitude and then blow themselves up, creating a shrapnel umbrella in the a/c flight path or at least close enough to it to cause damage, thereby destroying itself before ground contact.

                          Unfortunately for either scenario, there is still a lot of debris falling to the ground.....
                          If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                          "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                          "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                          Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                          impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                          IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
                            Not going to speak from experience, but from those who have (I had friends growing up who flew them) 747's in particular (as with most Boeing a/c) are actually quite maneuverable - 747s apparently are quite capable - barrel rolls and loops are managable for them - apparently.
                            Check out Racing 747's. It's not real, but pretty funny.

                            Originally posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
                            Not really sure I'd like to be a passenger when thats happening - might be fun - maybe LOL But ....
                            It's all fun and games until you get hit in the back of the head with a can of coke and bag of peanuts.
                            So you call this your free country
                            Tell me why it costs so much to live
                            -3dd

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's a slow day at work...
                              Here's some stuff on 747's doing barrel rolls.StraightDope
                              AviationExplorer

                              As you said, I wouldn't want to be riding in the back when it happens.
                              So you call this your free country
                              Tell me why it costs so much to live
                              -3dd

                              Comment

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