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FedEx Seeks FAA Permission to Add Laser-Based Anti-Missile System on Select Cargo Planes

By: Auto Desk

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News18.com

Last Updated: January 15, 2022, 17:26 IST

A FedEx cargo plane takes flight. Representational image. (Photo: FedEx)

A FedEx cargo plane takes flight. Representational image. (Photo: FedEx)

The document from the FAA further states that FedEx commenced the government approval process for their A321-200s back in 2019.

According to the latest published federal documents, transport and logistics giant FedEx has asked for permission from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to add lasers that will offset heat-seeking missiles. There’s a good reason for this, too. There have been incidents in the past, like one in 2003, where a surface-to-air missile almost took out a DHL-operated Airbus A330. There’s a growing concern, which have been fueled by international incidents, that man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) can be a threat to civilian flights, according to a filing by the FAA.

Furthermore, many companies have developed and designed systems that can adapt these systems that employ a laser-based missile-defence system that can avert heat-seeking missiles by directing the infrared later energy toward such a threat in an effort to interrupt the tracking of the aircraft’s heat. Aviation regulators will take another 45 days to hear the opinions from the public before approving such a system as a countermeasure.

The document from the FAA further states that FedEx commenced the government approval process for their A321-200s back in 2019.

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Although, the company doesn’t own any such aircraft yet. Moreover, the FAA has said that before such approval can be made, it must prove that it is a legitimate means to prevent the inadvertent activation of the system on the ground.

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Especially during ground handling and airplane maintenance, since such an accident can result in eye or skin damage, due to the involvement of a laser-based system.

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first published:January 15, 2022, 17:08 IST
last updated:January 15, 2022, 17:26 IST