Funding to support the test of a missile defense system
developed by BAE Systems on three American Airlines Boeing 767s is now in place
after the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded BAE $29 million for the
Previously, American said the tests are scheduled to start
in the spring.
The $29 million contract is for the third-phase of DHS’s research on counter man-portable
air defense systems (MANPADS).
American’s aircraft slated for use in the tests fly mostly
long-haul routes. Last month, American said the exercise will not entail
testing laser beams, but will focus on what effect the system - mounted on the
underside of the plane’s fuselage - has on the aircraft’s operations.
BAE has said the testing will
probably continue through the end of the year. In December BAE said it had
started procurement of the materials necessary for system installation, and
once the latest contract was firmed up it would use the money to support
installing the systems on American planes.
DHS selected BAE Systems in 2004 to adapt its military
countermeasures technology for use in systems to protect commercial aircraft against