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US Airliners To Test Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Report

The laser systems are designed to confound heat-seeking shoulder-fired missiles that have been used in the past by terrorists trying to down passenger planes.

Washington (AFP) Jul 14, 2005
The US government will begin testing anti-missile laser defense equipment on three airliners next month, as Washington beefs up aviation against terror threats, the USA Today newspaper reported Thursday.

Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems will install laser defense equipment on out-of-service aircraft before a decision is made about putting it on passenger planes.

The laser systems are designed to confound heat-seeking shoulder-fired missiles that have been used in the past by terrorists trying to down passenger planes.

The result of the trials, which will be conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's systems engineering and development office, will be forwarded to the US Congress next year for review.

Officials have said installing such systems on all 6,800 aircraft in the US airline fleet would cost at least six billion dollars, which would be the most expensive security upgrade ever of US aviation, the daily wrote.

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Successful Missile Test Firings From F-111 Aircraft
Woomera, Australia (SPX) Jul 14, 2005
Two missiles have been successfully fired from an F-111 aircraft at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced Tuesday.







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