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Friday, August 13, 2010

Good news: US continues to do nothing about shoulder-fired missile threat to commercial aircraft

Annie Jacobsen sounds the alarm regarding the possibility of a shoulder fired missile bringing down a US commercial jet.
All this has the Department of Homeland Security — pardon the expression — up in arms. The quiet fear among U.S. aviation bureaucrats is what might happen if a commercial passenger jet were to be shot down by an SFM over the continental United States. Many Americans would stop flying, certainly for a while.

In the near-miss with the C-130 in Afghanistan, one crew member reported seeing a “bright flash” and a corkscrew-shaped smoke trail nearby, before the C-130’s own flares fired and sent the missile off course. That kind of anti-missile fireworks display would not make U.S. commercial passengers feel comfortable. The DHS/TSA bureaucracy knows this, and yet they continue to spend tens of millions not only producing threat reports, but testing how to outfit the entire U.S. commercial fleet with anti-shoulder-fired missile systems sometime in the future.


Two years after 9/11, Colin Powell stated that “no threat is more serious to aviation” than shoulder-fired missiles. Not much has changed.
Well, there's one thing that has changed: A year after 9/11 an El Al jet was nearly taken down by a shoulder-fired missile in Kenya. As a result, by 2006, Israel developed a solution to the problem and installed it on every single Israeli plane. The system is called Flight Guard. No one else uses it.

Here's a video I posted in 2008. Let's go the videotape.

There's more about Flight Guard here.


At 6:10 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

You told me a few years ago you wouldn't want to be on that plane. My response is neither would I.

Israel simply has no choice but to protect its lifeline to the world. For other countries, aviation security is secondary; for Israel its literally an existential need.

At 6:32 AM, Blogger Hatfield said...

The blame for this flabby response lies with Bush. They had the ball for eight years and did absolutely nothing; ditto for attacks on ports (I believe the port administrator for Miami is a Muslim with ties to Hamas!); ditto for so much else.

I think the govt had opted for defense based on intelligence, which is not by itself terrible, assuming you can rely on it. But as we in the US know, there is just so much wrong with our approach, reliance on those imaging systems at airports, for instance; putting political considerations ahead of profiling, and so forth. Everyone thinks, hey, no attack means all is well. But we forget: It was eight years between the two attacks on the World Trade Center.


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