American Airlines tests new anti-missile technology
Tuesday, 8 January 2008: The India Times has reported that American Airlines is currently participating in a series of tests which will see its aircraft fitted with laser technology that has been said to be able to detect approaching missiles.
More than a thousand test flights will be conducted, with the first Boeing 767-200 set to be equipped in April or later.
American Airlines has said that it does not intend to implement the anti-missile technology on commercial planes but has taken part in the tests in order to better understand technologies that might be available in the future.
The anti-missile technology was originally developed for military planes by the Department of Homeland Security, and the technology was contracted to UK-based BAE Systems PLC for USD29 million to test it on passenger planes.
According to the India Times, the technology has been designed so that it detects the heat from the rocket missile, responding in a fraction of a second by firing a laser beam that jams the missile’s guidance system.