Threat Report: How The U.S. Plans To Battle Terrorism On Land, Sea, And Air

 

 

” Protecting the United States from violent extremists requires creativity, hard work, and technological expertise. Here are a few of the more dire threats—and the counterterrorism technology to thwart them.”

Image: Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty Images 

” War and revolution in the Middle East have opened military arsenals in Libya and Iraq to extremists and black markets. This is not good no matter what the bad guys buy, but it’s especially dangerous if terrorists get their hands on shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles. Though many international flights avoid taking paths over known conflict areas where they might be at risk even at 35,000 feet, shoulder-fired missiles are portable and could be smuggled near enough to an international airport to do serious damage to planes during takeoff and landing. Missiles like the heat-seeking Russian Iglas, which are already in Iraq, can fire up to 11,000 feet in the air along a 2-mile-long corridor, making most airports viable targets. “

Image: Akradecki at en.wikipedia

” Systems that can protect airplanes from missiles do exist. Some U.S. military transport planes are already equipped with Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) pods that can blind incoming missiles. A 550-pound pod mounted under the fuselage uses a laser to beam infrared energy into the missile’s heatseeker, overwhelming the sensor and causing the missile to lose its target. In the last decade two defense manufacturers, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, made prototypes for civilian airliners. But they were too expensive to employ widely. The only way the airlines will ever consider them a good return on investment is if shooting down civilian airliners becomes a regular threat. “

Read more about future terrorist threats and the countermeasures fielded by the forces of civilization at Popular Mechanics