Using UAVs as anti-missile escorts for airliners?

Honeywell has applied for a patent to use drones as anti-missile escorts for airlines as they approach and takeoff from major airports. Interestingly, the patent application filed on 14 August uses a drawing of a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk as the notional aircraft.


droneinterceptairliner.jpg

Source: USPTO.gov

The idea is to use the UAV to detect the missile launch and dispense flares that should divert the heat-seeking missile’s attention.

This is apparently Honeywell’s alternative to the more direct method of installing directed infrared countermeasure turrets on the airliners.

According to the patent application, here’s how the idea works:


“This formation drone aircraft, which carries various missile detectionand diversion equipment, is controlled by a wireless data link that is coupleddirectly into the airliner’s flight control system.

When the formation drone determines that a missile is being viewed by amissile sensor head, the formation drone lays down a predetermined pattern ofexploding flares to divert the missile away from the airliner, attempts tospoof the missile using laser countermeasures, or sacrifices itself to protectthe airliner.”





Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

6 Responses to Using UAVs as anti-missile escorts for airliners?

  1. Crofty 12 September, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Fascinating. Of course we’ll need an armed Predator to keep track of the Global Hawk in case it happens to stray too close to the airliner. Then, F-16s to patrol nearby in case the Predator goes astray. etc, etc, etc.

  2. Arby 12 September, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    Interesting. But, I only see it “practical” for the protection of a single high value target.

    The numbers required to protect every inbound to Reagan National would be quite large, not to mention a logistics nightmare (where to land/takeoff the drones, traffic deconflict, etc.)

  3. Maryln Petrak 24 July, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    Technology is getting more amazing as time passes. I cant wait to see whats being created 10 years down the road. Electronics have been devolping at such a rapid rate. Noone can expect whats coming next.

  4. Chloe Baumohl 24 July, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Technology is getting more amazing as time passes. I cant wait to see whats being created 10 years down the road. Electronics have been devolping at such a rapid rate. Noone can expect whats coming next.

  5. redman homes of indiana 16 September, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Great beat ! I would like to aporentice while yoou amend yoyr site, how could
    i subecribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I hadd been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  6. dog jackets for large dogs 4 October, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    I tend not to drop a great deal of responses, but I read a great deal of comments on this page Using
    UAVs as anti-missile escorts for airliners? – The DEW Line.
    I actually do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind.
    Is it just me or does it appear like some of these responses come across like
    they are written by brain dead individuals?
    :-P And, if you are writing on other places, I would like to keep up with you.
    Would you list of all of all your social sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Leave a Reply