Europeans deny defense system to Israeli airliners

Ynet news picks up a Der Spiegel report that Switzerland and other unnamed European countries are planning to deny landing rights to Israeli airliners equipped with anti—missile defense systems. The technical ground on which the decision is allegedly being made is badly explained, so no verdict on its merit can be made.

The US is reportedly examining the option of anti—missile defense systems for our civillian aircraft. I wonder if the Europeans have told the United States that our airplanes will be grounded if they land in Switzerland, as is threatened for Israeli aircraft so equipped?

Thomas Lifson  2 27 06

UPDATE:

Jonathan Schlein offers very helpful information:

Dear Mr. Lifson:

I read your February 27 piece about Switzerland's refusal to allow Israeli planes equipped with the Flight Guard anti—missile system to land in its territory. The Flight Guard system is manufactured by Israeli Aircraft Industries and is designed to foil shoulder—fired heat seeking missiles. When a missile is detected the system automatically ejects a series of flares designed to divert the missile.

The flares are designed to burn out before reaching the ground. Europeans, being highly risk averse, fear that the flares will reach the ground and start fires. In this instance, their actions seem to be motivated more by safety concerns than anti—semitism.

As for the U.S., several airlines are considering installing anti—missile systems on their commercial planes. These systems would use lasers to confuse the missiles, thus avoiding the flare problem. Unfortunately, the cost is high —— about $1 million per plan.

Regards,

Jonathan Schlein

See also, "The MANPAD Threat" here.

Ynet news picks up a Der Spiegel report that Switzerland and other unnamed European countries are planning to deny landing rights to Israeli airliners equipped with anti—missile defense systems. The technical ground on which the decision is allegedly being made is badly explained, so no verdict on its merit can be made.

The US is reportedly examining the option of anti—missile defense systems for our civillian aircraft. I wonder if the Europeans have told the United States that our airplanes will be grounded if they land in Switzerland, as is threatened for Israeli aircraft so equipped?

Thomas Lifson  2 27 06

UPDATE:

Jonathan Schlein offers very helpful information:

Dear Mr. Lifson:

I read your February 27 piece about Switzerland's refusal to allow Israeli planes equipped with the Flight Guard anti—missile system to land in its territory. The Flight Guard system is manufactured by Israeli Aircraft Industries and is designed to foil shoulder—fired heat seeking missiles. When a missile is detected the system automatically ejects a series of flares designed to divert the missile.

The flares are designed to burn out before reaching the ground. Europeans, being highly risk averse, fear that the flares will reach the ground and start fires. In this instance, their actions seem to be motivated more by safety concerns than anti—semitism.

As for the U.S., several airlines are considering installing anti—missile systems on their commercial planes. These systems would use lasers to confuse the missiles, thus avoiding the flare problem. Unfortunately, the cost is high —— about $1 million per plan.

Regards,

Jonathan Schlein

See also, "The MANPAD Threat" here.