...And FAA Reviews Israeli System
The FAA is reportedly dubious of allowing El Al aircraft equipped with the system, called Flight Guard, to land at U.S. airports due to safety concerns about the flare-based technology. Israeli Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman is slated to discuss the issue with U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta today, according to Reuters. El Al's first Flight Guard-protected aircraft are expected to launch in June. The Flight Guard system automatically releases diversionary flares if a heat-seeking missile is detected by an on-board sensor. It reportedly costs about $1 million per airplane to install. The DHS recently awarded $2 million each to Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and United Air Lines to help find ways to protect commercial aircraft against the missiles. The companies are to report their initial findings by June.