The threat to civil aviation posed by man-portable air defense systems (Manpads)–such as shoulder launched missiles–in conflict areas around the world is resulting in a requirement for intelligent systems to help counter the attacks. Saab’s Civil Aircraft Missile Protection (Camps) system has increasingly been used to combat such threats, Hannes Prinsloo, technical product manager South Africa for Saab told AIN.
Saab is marketing a “new generation” version of the RBS 70 short-range surface-to-air missile, which has been in continuous production for nearly 40 years.
Saab Avitronics has arrived at the NBAA show having just achieved the first supplemental type certificates for its Civil Aircraft Missile Protection System (Camps). The equipment has been approved for use on two twin-turboprop models, and the Swedish company believes that having made the breakthrough of civil certification it is now ready to pursue STCs for business jet applications.<o:p></o:p>
Last year the production version of the Saab BAMSE (Bofors advanced missile system evaluation) entered service with the Swedish armed forces and now the company is promoting the air defense system for export.
The statistics are sobering: as many as 700,000 anti-aircraft missiles for man-portable air defense systems (Manpads) have been manufactured since the 1970s. Up to 7,000 missiles may be outside state control, possibly in the hands of terrorists. Since these weapons began proliferating in the 1960s, there have been some 35 documented Manpads attacks on civil aircraft.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded two $45 million contracts for further research into shoulder-launched-missile protection systems for commercial aircraft. BAE Systems, based in Nashua, N.H., and Northrop Grumman each got the nod to take its program to the Phase II level–a time period covering the 18 months from August this year through January 2006.
Fear mongering has been a growth industry in the U.S. since 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. Sometimes our discomfort is an unspoken undercurrent; other times there is no subtlety as the forces of opportunism seek to gorge at a trough flash-flooded with public money.
Two companies are offering Israeli-built anti-missile systems to the civil aircraft market to protect airliners and business aircraft from the terrorist threat posed by shoulder-launched missiles, or Manpads (man-portable air defense systems).
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is about to oversee tests of antimissile airliner protection equipment on board an American Airlines Boeing 767. By year-end, three aircraft are to be used for testing prototype equipment under development by Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as officials seek to resolve whether the systems can be sufficiently effective and affordable for mass deployment on civil airliners.
BAE Systems has begun trials of its Jeteye laser-based system for protecting commercial airliners from man-portable missile attack. These are due to be completed by the end of January, when a U.S. supplementary type certificate is due to be issued.