Commercial jet flies with anti-missile system

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- An MD-10 cargo jet equipped with Northrop Grumman's Guardian anti-missile system took off from Los Angeles International Airport on a commercial flight Tuesday, the company said. [continued]
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/01/16/airline.anti.missile.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories [Broken]
 
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  • #2
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I saw a program about this on tv. There are two ways you can protect an airplane. During flight, and during takeoff and landing. This system is good for normal flight, but provides very little protection when the aircraft is near the ground (takeoffs and landings). The opposite method is to have a network that monitors the nearby airspace around the airport, thus providing protection when the airplane is near the ground and someone can launuch a hand held surface to air missle.

So, will this make flight any safer, ehhhhhh probably not. How many airplanes do you know of are getting shot by missiles appart from that one israeli airliner?
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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So, will this make flight any safer, ehhhhhh probably not. How many airplanes do you know of are getting shot by missiles appart from that one israeli airliner?
This is often cited as an area of imminent concern. We certainly don't want to wait until planes start falling from the sky before we take action, but how much should be spent, and how soon?

The fact is, this is something that is relatively easy for a terrorist to achieve.

If my future plane ride happens to be first one doomed to destruction by a missile, then I would tend to favor the defense system now.
 
  • #4
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I think its all a big waste of money.

I mean, if a plane gets shot down, it gets shot down; but Im not going to waste billions of dollars to get a false sense of security.

Chances are, your airplane is not nor never will get shot down by a missile. You should worry about pilot error more than missile or mechanical failure.
 
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  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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I think its all a big waste of money.
At what point if any would you support using this technology on commercial aircraft; at least, passenger aircraft?
 
  • #6
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None. Its all a waste of money.

Okay, lets say your airplane has this fancy ant-missile system on it. Now, as before, its NOT very good when the airplane is MOST vunerable, ie. take off and landing. So unless the airport your American Airlines takes off from in Yamen or Syria has an anti-missile system (good luck on that one), your airpline is STILL going to get shot down.

It is a waste of money.

Spend that money to scan bags for bombs; but I think it has better use fighting poverty and providing health care and education.
 
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  • #7
J77
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Just how many commercial planes get shot down by missiles? :rolleyes:
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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I think you have to take into account threat analysis which concludes that this is a serious vulnerability.

Consider this: What would happen if a civilian airliner, or worse, several, were shot down tomorrow? What would happen to the airline industry? What would the effect be on the economy? How long would it take to begin to implement countermeasures? There is a risk to benefit ratio to be considered.

But, actually, I tend to agree that this is probably too expensive to be practical as a retrofit.
... Billions of dollars would have to be spent to protect all 6,800 commercial U.S. airliners.

The report said testing showed that the systems can be installed on commercial aircraft without impairing safety; at least one company can supply 1,000 systems at a cost of $1 million each; and operation and maintenance will cost $365 per flight, above the $300-per-flight goal...
At a cost of about ~$150 million for a new airplane, 0.7% of the cost doesn't seem all that bad; assuming that it actually works and there is a genuine threat... But then again, this all comes from the Department of Homeland Security and my confidence there is very low. On the other hand, I believe that this may have been a recommendation from 911 commission report.
 
  • #9
J77
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Consider this: What would happen if a civilian airliner, or worse, several, were shot down tomorrow? What would happen to the airline industry? What would the effect be on the economy? How long would it take to begin to implement countermeasures? There is a risk to benefit ratio to be considered.
This can still happen with or without "anti-missile" devices.

eg. The apparent "threat" to the UK airports this summer still has repercussions for flying around Europe - no hand luggage etc.

Where is the proof that anything was going to happen?

I'd rather live in a society in which I can travel effiecntly, with some security, and with whatever risk there may be from "terrorists", rather than the paranoid state which has been made.
 
  • #10
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They would be better off developing a defence system at the airports than on the plane, for take off/ landing, because it would be easier/less expensive than re-fitting the planes all the time.

After all, it would be an airport security breach more than anything.
 
  • #11
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They would be better off developing a defence system at the airports than on the plane, for take off/ landing, because it would be easier/less expensive than re-fitting the planes all the time.

After all, it would be an airport security breach more than anything.
Like I said, doing that would only give you some security at US airports that have the system. Once you fly over seas, your airplane wont be protected. And its not just 0.7% of the new cost, most airplanes are pretty old.

Americans need to stop being so paranoid. The rest of the world lives in far more dangerous conditions and does not waste billions like we do. I thought we were already in massive debt to china?
 
  • #12
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ElAl have had anti-missile systems for a number of years. Some reports indicate that they have been used.

What you also have to take into account is that anti-aircraft missiles are designed ot take down military aircraft which would look very different in almost every sensor band to civilian aircraft, so how effective are SAMs against commercial airliners?
 
  • #13
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Technical problem is that if you happen to take a picture of the aircraft with the flash on, it will probably destroy the camera. Have seen tests of optical/IR missile launch warning systems. False alarm rate is a sincere problem.
 

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