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Operational Testing And Evaluation Of Guardian Commercial Airline Anti-Missile System Begins

"The Guardian system is a defensive aid utilizing proven military technology to defend against the threat posed by anti-aircraft, shoulder-fired missiles. Once launched, the missile is detected by the Guardian system, which then directs a non-visible, eye-safe laser to the seeker head of the incoming missile, disrupting its guidance signals."
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 18, 2007
An MD-10 aircraft in commercial revenue service with the Northrop Grumman Corporation Guardian system installation departed Los Angeles International Airport today, marking the beginning of the operational test and evaluation portion of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Counter-Man Portable Air Defense Systems (C-MANPADS) program.

As part of Phase III of the DHS-sponsored program, a Northrop Grumman-led industry team will complete production of Guardian missile defense systems for installation on MD-10 aircraft. During the test and evaluation effort, which concludes in March 2008, nine MD-10 aircraft equipped with the Guardian system will be in continual revenue service operation.

The Guardian system is a defensive aid utilizing proven military technology to defend against the threat posed by anti-aircraft, shoulder-fired missiles. Once launched, the missile is detected by the Guardian system, which then directs a non-visible, eye-safe laser to the seeker head of the incoming missile, disrupting its guidance signals.

"This milestone marks an important event for Northrop Grumman and the aviation industry. For the first time, we will be able to collect valuable logistics data while operating Guardian on aircraft in routine commercial service," said Robert L. DelBoca, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "We stand ready to protect America's flying public with the proven technology that we supply to our warfighters worldwide in operational theatre."

To date, Northrop Grumman has completed a 16-month flight test program in commercial test operational environments that included the use of a ground-based electronic missile surrogate to simulate the launch of a shoulder-fired missile toward aircraft during takeoff and landing. The tests were performed on an MD-11, an MD-10 and a B-747 aircraft.

In each test, the Guardian system functioned as designed, automatically detecting the simulated launch and mock missile. Had the threats been real, an invisible laser beam safe to humans would have disrupted the missile guidance system and protected the aircraft.

The company's Guardian system makes use of multi-band laser and other technologies from the company's military directional infrared countermeasures system, the only such protection system currently in production for the U.S. military and several allied nations.

Northrop Grumman's Guardian system was developed as part of the Department of Homeland Security's initiative aimed at protecting commercial aircraft from attack by ground-based, shoulder-fired missiles. The DHS program is focused on demonstrating the viability, economics and effectiveness of adapting existing military technology to protect commercial aircraft from this terrorist threat.

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USGS Examines Environmental Impacts Of Aircraft De-Icers
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 12, 2007
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been examining the relative toxicity to aquatic life from a variety of formulations used to remove or prevent dangerous ice buildup on aircraft. A recent study has confirmed that proprietary additives are responsible for the observed toxicity. This USGS study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, compared nine different formulations. Neither the primary ingredients (ethylene glycol and propylene glycol) nor the known additives accounted for all observed toxicity of these formulations.







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