Arrangements made with Boeing and EADS for protection of business fliers, with emphasis on head-of-state aircraft

Lufthansa Technik has signed deals with Boeing and EADS to offer anti-missile protection systems on business aircraft as concerns grow over the risk of terrorist attacks.

The arrangement with Boeing covers only head-of-state aircraft. Boeing will offer customers Northrop Grumman's directed infrared countermeasures system on all types, from Boeing Business Jets to 747s, with Lufthansa Technik responsible for installation, testing and certification in Hamburg.

The EADS deal - described as a "co-operation agreement" - is similar, but could cover any business aircraft. EADS says it is in discussions with several manufacturers of jamming systems and would offer customers complete countermeasures "solutions", including its own sensor products. Lufthansa Technik will again carry out the installation, and both companies could deal with end customers, says EADS.

Lufthansa Technik chairman August Henningsen says the company is receiving "more and more requests from our customers for this sort of technology and we feel we have to be able to offer something". He estimates a market of up to 300 head-of-state aircraft alone, most of which do not have anti-missile protection. He says, however, that so far no airlines have requested the technology.

Gulfstream - the only business jet manufacturer to offer missile protection systems as an option - is fitting its tenth aircraft with the BAE Systems Matador infrared jammer, says chief executive Bryan Moss.

Lufthansa Technik is opening its first Middle East sales office in Dubai. Henningsen said at the show the move would allow customers "more immediate access to our services, with no time, language or cultural barriers".

Flight International's conference on missile countermeasures takes place in Washington DC on 28 January. Contact for details.

Source: Flight International