Saturday, May 28, 2005

Airline Missile Defense 

Good move:
In an airplane hangar north of Fort Worth, technicians are preparing to mount a fire-hydrant-shaped device onto the belly of an American Airlines Boeing 767. It is an effort that could soon turn into a more than $10 billion project to install a high-tech missile defense system on the nation's commercial planes.

The Boeing 767 - the same type of plane that terrorists flew into the World Trade Center - is one of three planes that, by the end of this year, will be used to test the infrared laser-based systems designed to find and disable shoulder-fired missiles. The missiles have long been popular among terrorists and rebel groups in war zones around the world; the concern now is that they could become a domestic threat.

We all saw how the airline industry was affected by 9/11, now imagine if a shoulder-fired missile took down a 747 in the U.S. Would anyone feel safe flying again? It wouldn't just be the tourist industry that suffered, who'd want to fly for business trips? $10 billion may be alot of money, but it's just a fraction of the Pentagon's budget. Maybe the Pentagon should put this missile defense system on hold, and focus on keeping airplanes safe.


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