NORTHROP TAPPED FOR PACT FIRM, 2 OTHERS TO STUDY ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM FOR JETLINERS.Byline: Gregory J. Wilcox Staff Writer
Defense giant Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is an aerospace and defense conglomerate that is the result of the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company is the third largest defense contractor for the U.S. Corp. is one of three companies selected Tuesday by the Bush administration to develop a system that will protect commercial aircraft from shoulder-fired rockets.
Century City-based Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems BAE Systems
British manufacturer of aircraft, missiles, avionics, naval vessels, and other aerospace and defense products. BAE Systems was formed (1999) from the merger of British Aerospace (BAe) with Marconi Electronic Systems. and United Airlines will each receive $2 million to study the feasibility of protecting jetliners with existing military technology as part of the war on terror This article is about U.S. actions, and those of other states, after September 11, 2001. For other conflicts, see Terrorism.
The War on Terror (also known as the War on Terrorism .
The six-month-long program is being administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Directorate of Science and Technology. The unit's undersecretary, Charles McQueary, said that the administration is taking an aggressive approach on measures to thwart the potential threat of shoulder-fired missiles.
``These efforts are part of a larger undertaking by the administration that includes completing security assessments and implementing reasonable responsive measures at our nation's airports as well as working with our international partners to reduce the number of weapons potentially available to terrorists,'' he said in a statement.
Some critics of the Bush administration claim it has not paid serious heed to the threat posed by shoulder-fired missiles available on the worldwide arms market. The devices can have a range of up to five miles.
In November 2002 terrorists fired two missiles at an Israeli commercial jet taking off from Mombasa, Kenya.
The first phase of the administration's program will also analyze economic, manufacturing and maintenance issues related to operating the defensive systems in the civil aviation environment.
The next phase includes demonstrating, testing and evaluating the systems, the government said.
The three participants were selected from a pool of 24 candidates, five of which were asked to present full proposals.
Peter Arment, an analyst at JSA JSA - Japanese Standards Association. Research in Newport, R.I., said that the administration's announcement mixes business and politics.
``It's quite a big market opportunity but I still think we're a long way from going forward. I think this is more at the moment politically driven,'' he said.
Arment said that there are about 7,000 aircraft in the U.S. commercial fleet and retrofitting them with missile defeating systems could cost about $1 million each.
Northrop Grumman and BAW BAW Black America Web
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BAW Bis Auf Weiteres (German: see you later) Systems, based in Farmborough, England, already have systems in use by the military.
Both have extensive operations in the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. area but it is too soon to say what the employment impact will be if the program is implemented.
Jack Pledger PLEDGER. The same as pawner. (q.v.) , director of business development for Northrop Grumman's Directional Infrared Countermeasures This article is about missile counter measures. For IRCMonitor, see Wikipedia:IRCMonitor.
Infrared countermeasures (IRCM) are devices designed to protect aircraft from infrared homing ("heat seeking") missiles by confusing the missiles' infrared unit in Rolling Meadows, Ill., said that his company's systems are the newest and are currently being installed on U.S. Air Force C-17 transports in Long Beach.
``What we are proposing to go forward with for commercial aircraft is exactly the same thing we're doing on the C-17 so it's commercial-airline friendly.''
The system can be encased en·case
tr.v. en·cased, en·cas·ing, en·cas·es
To enclose in or as if in a case.
en·casement n. in a pod and attached to the bottom of a jetliner. It is activated when the aircraft is powered up, and since it is completely automatic requires no action by the flight crew. It's a passive system, scanning a 360-degree circle around the aircraft. If a threat is detected the system uses a powerful laser that can track, target and jam a missile guidance system A system which evaluates flight information, correlates it with target data, determines the desired flight path of a missile, and communicates the necessary commands to the missile flight control system. See also missile control system. in about three seconds, he said.
The turnaround time (1) In batch processing, the time it takes to receive finished reports after submission of documents or files for processing. In an online environment, turnaround time is the same as response time. on switching out units is relatively quick, too, so this should not interfere with airline schedules.
BAE spokesman John Measell said that defeating shoulder-fired missiles is a ``cat and mouse'' game. Each time there is an advance in missile guidance technology the countermeasure must be upgraded.
The biggest threat to commercial aircraft is during takeoff and landing, he said.
His company's systems are used primarily on helicopters.
``The helicopter is probably even more vulnerable (than a jet) because it flies low to the ground. The system we have designed can certainly detect, track and trigger the countermeasures,'' he said.
Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743