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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: 1) by emg on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:17PM

    by emg (3464) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @03:17PM (#11355)

    "it won't see shots coming from the side or underneath"

    Are there any MANPADs today that can reliably engage jets from anywhere other than the rear? I haven't been keeping up with the technology, but always seemed in the past that they had to be behind the plane to lock on reliably.

  • (Score: 1) by akinliat on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:09PM

    by akinliat (1898) <> on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:09PM (#11400)

    AFAIK, Stingers, at least, have always had all-aspect capability. I'd guess that the later-generation Russian and Chinese MANPADS do as well. Given their primary military use (defense against low-level air attack), they'd almost have to. Not much point in shooting an aircraft after the attack run.

    • (Score: 1) by emg on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:46PM

      by emg (3464) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:46PM (#11453)

      "Not much point in shooting an aircraft after the attack run."

      Though you're not necessarily the one the aircraft is attacking. If I remember correctly, in the Falklands the planes attacking ships after the landing were often engaged by MANPADS from the ground nearby as well as the fixed anti-aircraft missile installations.

      But, yeah, looks like you're right, Wikipedia doesn't say about the Stinger, but claims the Soviet equivalent could attack from the front 'under favourable circumstances' since the early 80s.

      • (Score: 1) by akinliat on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:16PM

        by akinliat (1898) <> on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:16PM (#12214)

        You know, I actually thought about this, and I'm not the only one. I suppose, in situations where no other form of air defense was available, then you might actually try to use a large-scale deployment of these as a (pretty kludgy) area defense option. The US Marine Corps actually has what it calls LAAD (Low-Altitude Air Defense) Battalions that seem to be for just this purpose. In that role, a rear-aspect only variant might be viable.

        Given how marginal these things are even for point defense, though, I have a hard time imagining them as all that effective in the area defense role, at least against jets. They could be quite effective against helicopters.

        I'm not surprised that they played a role in the Falklands -- the whole war was such a donkey derby, on both sides, that I'd believe almost anything about it. To me though, what that says is just how badly the Royal Navy fell down on the job. Air defense was supposed to primarily be the RN's responsibility, but when they arrived in-theater, they discovered that their primary air-defense system (Sea Dart) didn't worked as advertised -- when they could get it to work at all.