Anti-missile protection urged for US jets

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Thomas Latt

Jul 29, 2014, 12:25:22 AM7/29/14
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Anti-missile protection urged for US jets

Two lawmakers have urged the US administration to look at measures to protect US commercial planes from missile attacks.

US Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Steve Israel want the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration to consider equipping jets with anti-missile devices.

They say a government sponsored study should consider the best technology available to combat shoulder-fired and surface-to-air missiles.

Schumer and Israel said anti-missile equipment would cost up to $2 million per aircraft and includes equipment such as onboard lasers, warning systems and flares.

"The tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, plus numerous missiles being fired near the Tel Aviv airport have made one thing clear this week: we cannot let this happen to an American passenger plane," said Schumer.

"We are once again reminded that an attack on a civilian aircraft remains a significant threat," added Israel.

Data from the Government Accountability Office says there are up to 750,000 transportable surface-to-air missiles in existence and the State Department believes several thousand of these are controlled by terrorist groups.

Schumer also cited a report by Texas Intelligence firm Stratfor which said 30 commercial aircraft have been downed by missiles over the last 40 years, causing over 900 deaths.

Monday, July 28, 2014

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