DHS whittles contractors developing missile defense for airliners
The Department of Homeland Security said it has selected two teams of contractors to develop a prototype countermeasure to protect commercial airliners from attack by shoulder-fired missiles.
Under the 18-month second phase of the Man-Portable Air Defense Systems demonstration program, each team will receive about $45 million to build and test prototypes to determine if the technology commonly used on military aircraft can be adapted for the commercial environment.
The two defense contractors plus a team led by United Airlines developed plans for the missile detection and countermeasure systems during the initial phase of the project that ended in July, but the United team was not selected for the next phase.
Shoulder-fired missiles have been used to attack civilian airliners and are considered a potential weapon of choice for terrorists.