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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, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:16PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:16PM (#11354)

    Okay, ya got me. Shame on me for not reading a semi ad article on what the Israelis are doing to their airlines. So I went back and read the article. What I got out of it was about what I had expected. Little to no substance, a lot of unanswered questions and the final sentence

    "The system will first be implemented on all El Al airliners, but Elbit says it has contracts with several other countries around the world."

    Gee, I wonder who they could be?

    Since Israel is in a perpetual state of war it is not surprising that they would come up with such a stupid solution to a very small threat. The article cites just one actual attempt. One. For that, airlines will now have to adapt and reconfigure planes to have some laser module hanging off the bottom. Given how airline are doing everything they can to limit weight and drag, this seems counter productive.

    So how can El Al do this? Let's compare El Al,the only major airline company operating out of Israel with just one from the US.

    From Wiki:

    In 2012, El Al operated an all-Boeing fleet of 38 aircraft


    Compared to Delta (Atlanta Based airline)

    As of January 2013, Delta operates a fleet of more than 700 aircraft manufactured by Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas.[54]


    In what wet dream is Delta going to happily alter 700 planes to carry a laser. If they do, they have over 12000 pilots that would need training on not just the operation of this device, but specific flight maneuvers needed in the extreme chance some bad guy pops a hand held at a plane.

    How is Delta going to pay for this? I did a little digging and found that skysheild costs around $15M

    Each Sky Shield costs $15 million

    Now even if that is reduced down on volume we are not talking about a cheap system. The president of Delta airlines is then left with a choice, spend millions of dollars on his whole fleet (for god forbid he leaves one unprotected and blammo) or take a risk that evil bad guys don't see the value in shooting down airplanes as a general rule.

    Let us just say that one day some asshat does decide to pop a big cap at a plane. The system senses then fails to react because the low wage tech back at the hanger forgot to do a check of some system because his SO left him the day before. FFS, a plane crashed because a tech reconnected wire backwards causing the controls to be reversed. So Delta now has to pay
    1 - the cost of refitting the device
    2 - The cost of training pilots in the operations and flight adjustments
    3 - the cost of training techs to install and maintain a quasi military device
    4 - the cost of maintaining the physical equipment

    and stuff I can't even think of, but he can.

    Even at a cool Million, El Al is in the hole 38M and will most likely get money back from the Government of Israel and indirectly from the US (we write them a good sized check).

    Delta is looking at 700M (plus expenses) and even spread out over time (see problem with not all ready in time) it will cost them, thus us, more money then I'd say they want to spend.

    That is why this is insanity.

    SO you were right, I should have read the article so I could have gotten even more stupidity from the contents. As to your slashdot comment...this from an AC? grow up.

    The more things change, the more they look the same
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  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:21PM

    by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:21PM (#11407) Journal

    Not much of an improvement to your previous post :3

    Likely customers: anyone flying anywhere in the MENA region (which doesn't include US continental carriers unless they think they're Africans not Americans), particularly anyone servicing Sudan and Somalia. Let's add Kenya even though it's outside the MENA region since the box-lovers kill people there. Maybe Nigeria and Congo too since the box-lovers kill people there. Oh and maybe Mali too since the box-lovers kill other box-lovers there. And maybe Pakistan since... Hell let's add Iran since the US (not the box-fetishists for once!) shot down a passenger plane stuffed with box-lovers (oh, there they are again).
    Reasons: bloody obvious.

    "Stupid solution"... so are you familiar with the military solution to this specific problem? For example what the US did during take-off and landing to Kabul airport? It's not something you do with civilian passenger jets unless you want to go out of business :) I've given you enough that you can go find out if you actually want to.

    Why are you talking about Delta Airlines? Isn't that a bit of a straw-man?
    Why assume every airplane has to get one? And at the same time? Who would be forcing them? The US federal government? Al-Qaeda and/or other box-worshipers? Possibly so but until that happens it's still a straw-man.

    1. The price is almost guaranteed to include installation.
    2. It is automatic and involves no pilot training or adjustments.
    3. The price is almost guaranteed to include any maintenance (which in turn is sure to be far less frequent and also much easier than airplane maintenance)
    4. Don't repeat previous questions (1) to make longer lists.

    Who can think of what you can't think of?

    Why do you think El Al will do this for all airplanes or for all of them at the same time? (See I can repeat myself too).

    Wired sucks but not as badly as your posts imply :D

    Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:56PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:56PM (#11463)

      Who the hell are box lovers? That alone diminishes your statements since you resort to name calling to identify a group of people.

      What costs more, a hand held missile launcher or this laser device? What's more replaceable, hand held missile launchers and missiles or a plane with a laser device. The reason I ask pertains to your question why every plane needs one.

      Why does every single person in the USA have to go through a security screening before getting on an airplane? Because in the minds of the TSA, if just one person gets past, and that was the one with a exploding device, weapon, and or ability to capture a plane, the whole purpose fails. This is why the TSA shuts down whole airports when some dim-bulb walks past a security station or the TSA discovers that a person got past without being checked.

      If you put a laser defense on just a few airplanes, then you just make it easier to identify the ones that are not protected and boom, security system fails. If you don't enforce an all or nothing approach for this type of security then it does little to stop bad guys. It is not a strawman at all. It is a reflection of how the USA implements security these days in dealing with air transport. To your other point, yes, it would be the US government mandating all airlines to implement this level of security for it would be the FAA having to establish how, when, and who does the work.

      Are you serious about automatic? How is it turned on? Turned off? What happens when something goes wrong and an indicator light comes on saying it don't work no more. Airliners and the FAA do not like to put black boxes on civilian airplanes without knowing everything it does, how it effects a civilian air frame, and what impact it can have on a flight.

      So, back to the cost comparison. I'm a bad guy and I want to do harm to airplanes (note NSA, this is just theorizing like you do all day). Some airplanes will have cool laser device, most wont. Once Evil Capitalist country starts to implement such a device it makes civilian planes more target worthy thus I will,
      1 - Identify the haves from the have nots
      2 - Set up a location where I can attack with the biggest impact (no pun)
      3 - Attack. If I miss no harm for the Capitalistic Country will bend over backwards trying to get even safer and destroy its economy (at least aviation). If I hit, I get the satisfaction of success and I still get the first part.

      Even if all planes are protected, I just adjust by attacking with overwhelming odds using multiple conventions of attack.

      Cost to me, a bunch of missiles and possibly a martyr or two. Cost to an airline and a country, billions of dollars wasted. and unless I have dedicated airplanes to those countries you listed (and US carriers go to some, EU carriers certainly do) then what happens with a protected plane is out of service and the only plane to fly in is one without a laser beam? Make it mandatory to fly into Mali? Smart Airlines will drop that country in a heart beat.

      Here's a thought, maybe if we just figured out a way to stop bad guys from shooting missiles at civilian airplanes it might just cost a lot less. But then some defense business would lose out on making billions on a worthless project.

      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Yog-Yogguth on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:29AM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:29AM (#11663) Journal

        It says it's automatic in TFA. When it doesn't work you explode. That's probably why it's quite expensive: fault tolerant engineering.

        Not every airplane travels every route.

        You obviously instantly knew what a box lover is. I could have called them "hate tourists" and you would instantly know. I could have called them "pink unicorns" or "green trolleys" and you would still likely know exactly who it was or quickly figure it out. If I called them "yummy peaches" you would probably be slightly confused, maybe confused enough to stop writing but it wouldn't be because you didn't identify them but only because your stale thought patterns started throwing all your assumptions back in your face --you might start contemplating and reevaluating your own thoughts :D

        A hand held missile launcher doesn't do the airplane any good so your comparison is nonsense, or are you suggesting the co-pilot hang out of the cockpit window with a Stinger trying to shoot down the rocket with his rocket? :)

        Flares would be cheaper but "lawyers" (i.e. international civil regulation of the use of civilian airspace for civilian purposes making the obvious solution illegal), so one isn't allowed to do that.

        Would it be cheaper to kill all the lawyers and then use flares? Please feel free to do it.

        Fuck the TSA, fuck the US federal government, fuck your straw-men, and fuck islam :)

        "Evil capitalist country"? What are you, stuck in the 20ieth century? This is the 21st century dominated by two large fascist powers hell-bent on the destruction of everything and anything remotely decent about humanity: the federal US "elite" with their EU pawns and islam murdering their way through Africa and Asia and raping and fucking their way through Europe, neither of which are capitalist in any meaningful sense of the word except if by capitalist you simply mean "have or use money".

        No system is perfect but it is made to avert at least one missile. Maybe it will have to be improved, maybe it already can deal with multiple missiles (I would not be surprised if it did) but yeah you would then argue it's shit because it couldn't handle fifty or a hundred simultaneous missile launches. Why would you give a shit about a hundred bullets in your neck if you didn't avoid bullet number one anyway? This is a perfect example of bureaucratic mentality where you don't do anything at all because you can think of a thousand reasons it might fail: you don't take any baby steps towards finding possible solutions and don't want anyone else trying either because they might eventually end up with something that at least partially works and you hate that. You good Sir, is an anti-hacker.

        Best of luck making it mandatory to fly into Mali —you're pure gold!— maybe you don't know it but they already have you thinking like a pure fascist would; you believe anyone planning on blowing up planes gives a shit about laws :D

        Cue everybody telling me I've been trolled in 3, 2, 1...

        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
        • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:50AM

          by bucc5062 (699) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:50AM (#11678)

          I just...[slow claps]

          The more things change, the more they look the same