Flight International online news 08:30GMT: US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have approved the design of Northrop Grumman’s Guardian counter man-portable air defence system (counter-Manpads).

The US manufacturer says the Guardian system has now passed three design reviews, the last of which focused on installing the system on commercial aircraft. The first two reviews investigated hardware and software development.

Guardian is a commercial version of Northrop’s military directional infrared countermeasures technology, which uses lasers to defend against missile attacks. The system is being developed under phase two of the DHS’s counter-Manpads programme.

“The successful completion of design work on our Guardian counter-Manpads system is a significant milestone, particularly since we did so a full month ahead of schedule,” says Northrop Defensive Systems vice president of infrared countermeasures and laser systems Robert Del Boca.

“We are well on our way to obtaining [US] Federal Aviation Administration certification for our system and are looking forward to proceeding to phase three of the [DHS’s] program.”

Northrop says it will begin operating and evaluating the system on a Boeing MD-11 later this month. The system will be tested on a 747 later this year. These tests will form part of the FAA certification process.


Source: Flight International