FedEx | Courier company wants to install anti-missile laser on its airplanes
Defence Redefined
Published on 17/01/2022 at 18:59

One of the largest courier companies in the world, FedEx, may soon install anti-missile systems on its airplanes. 

As revealed to Reuters, the company filed a formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for authorization to install an anti-missile laser system on the new fleet of Airbus A321-200 aircraft. The purpose is to neutralize the heat detection system of incoming missiles by targeting them with the laser.

The company justified its decision by citing cases where civilian aircraft were targeted by portable anti-aircraft systems, but without giving specific examples.

The airline industry and many governments have been facing the threat of aircraft being hit by Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) for decades. Some use infrared sensors to target an aircraft’s engines.

Recent events, however, include the crash of a Ukrainian plane over Iran in 2020 and one of a Malaysian plane over Ukraine in 2014. According to the State Department, more than 40 civilian planes have been shot down by MANPADS since the 1970s.

Also read: Nigeria | Boko Haram claims to have shot down a French plane – VIDEO

In 2007 and 2008, FedEx participated in a US government test of civilian anti-aircraft missile technology by installing the Northrop Grumman Guardian countermeasure system on some air cargo flights, while BAE Systems said that it had installed the JetEye system on an American Airlines plane.

In order for the application to be accepted, there must be certain conditions, such as safety measures to prevent activation on the ground or use against another aircraft or people. 

The FAA announced on Friday that it was proposing conditions that would allow FedEx to install a laser-based anti-missile defence system on Airbus A321-200 aircraft.

It should be noted that the use of anti-missile systems in civil aviation is not something new, since the Israeli El Al has been using such systems since 2004.

Also read: Supercar Blondie | Underwater model shoots “realistic” torpedoes on a ship



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