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MD-10 departs LAX with Northrop Grumman's Guardian anti-missile system

Darren Murph
January 18, 2007
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Considering all these homemade sentries we're teaching mischievous folks how to build, and all the zany ideas popping into folks' brains after catching the Jack Bauer power hours, it's no surprise that our Department of Homeland Security is equipping as many aircrafts as it can with anti-missile systems. While we'd heard that Boeing's laser-equipped 747-400F was ready for takeoff, and that these aircraft-mounted weapon detection systems weren't too far off, it looks like the DHS has completed the first step in rolling the technology out. An MD-10 cargo plane took to the friendly skies from LAX airport today as the "operational testing and evaluation of the laser system designed to defend against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles" began, and while its doubtful that we'll be seeing the very pricey Guardian system on typical passengers flights anytime soon, equipping the Civil Reserve Air Fleet is potentially one of the uppermost priorities. And for those paranoid folks who can't wait to get this on their next Southwest friendly fare flight, you should probably consider how much coin you'd have to lay down to help compensate for the $1 million installation cost (per plane), not to mention the $365 airlines would be forced to cough up each flight for "operational and maintenance costs" -- yeah, we'll hold off for awhile.

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