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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 05 2014, @11:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the throw-me-a-bone-here dept.

AnonTechie writes:

First Stop: Skyshield ... Next Stop: Skynet"

From an article in Wired:

Israel is finally ready to combat shoulder-launched missiles and they're going to do it with lasers. Israel's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that SkyShield, developed by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, had successfully completed testing and is certified for commercial use to combat the threat of man-portable surface-to-air missile systems (MANPADS) by combining advanced laser detection and disruption technologies.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Barrabas on Wednesday March 05 2014, @01:51PM

    by Barrabas (22) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @01:51PM (#11319) Journal

    I'm aware that the laser doesn't "kill" the missile, just blinds it or leads it away to detonate harmlessly. I use terms like "fire" and "kill" indiscriminately.

    The IR camera sees heat radiation so I wonder how it distinguishes a missile from, for example, the apparent track of a bonfire on the camera as the plane moves.

    I wonder if the system has a false-positives, and I wonder if the pilots are informed when the system detects a track.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JeanCroix on Wednesday March 05 2014, @02:25PM

    by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @02:25PM (#11332)

    The IR camera sees heat radiation so I wonder how it distinguishes a missile from, for example, the apparent track of a bonfire on the camera as the plane moves.

    The initial lock-on generally prevents that kind of extraneous targeting. But that principal is exactly what's being exploited by the use of flares as IR countermeasures. Which leads to the question - if defending commercial aircraft from MANPADs is such a pressing issue, why aren't they all equipped with flares already?

    • (Score: 1) by emg on Wednesday March 05 2014, @02:47PM

      by emg (3464) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @02:47PM (#11341)

      As I understand it, you're not allowed to put flare launchers on commercial aircraft.

      I guess no-one banned lasers :).

      • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:40PM

        by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:40PM (#11363)
        Well, sure. Which tells me the MANPAD threat isn't very high. Or at least, the threat of stray or malfunctioning flare systems is greater than the threat of MANPADs. But then again, this is Israel we're talking about, who take a whole different approach to threats and countermeasures out of necessity.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by emg on Wednesday March 05 2014, @04:32PM

          by emg (3464) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @04:32PM (#11386)

          It wasn't high, but with reports of thousands of them disappearing from Libya, I suspect the risk is a lot higher today than it was five years ago. Particularly for Israel.

      • (Score: 2) by nukkel on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:38PM

        by nukkel (168) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:38PM (#11411)

        Actually, El Al does: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_Guard [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Wednesday March 05 2014, @09:16PM

        by EvilJim (2501) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @09:16PM (#11523) Journal

        you're only allowed to attach lasers to a plane if there is a shark attached also. anyway, I thought MANPADs were for anal bleeds?