Laser missile defense for air planes


An antimissile system that could protect commercial airlines from handheld missile fire was unveiled at BWI Thurgood Marshall airport on Wednesday.

The system was developed and tested by Northrop Grumman. The company said it will protect planes from missiles that many terrorist organizations around the world have and have threatened to use.

The Guardian System detects a heat-seeking missile and locks a laser onto the missile's guidance system and diverts it away in a matter of seconds, official said.

"It jams it and guides it away from the missile. It all takes place in two to three seconds and without anyone on the plane having to do anything," said Jack Pledger, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman.

The system is already in use on military aircraft which probably explains why so few have been shot down in Iraq and Afghanistan. It sounds like a pretty cool device that may have other missile defense applications in protecting ground structures. I would think the Israelis would have an interest in such a system.


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