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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Should civilian airliners be equipped with those deflective flares that fighter jets have?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (5707 points ) 3 months ago

I know most fighter jets have a deflective flare they can deploy, to attract a missile away from them if they are fired upon.
Should civilian aircraft have that same capability, it could be all computer controlled.
Think it’s a good idea?

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28 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Or would it be to costly and we all know no one is supposed to fire upon a civilian airliner.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Some Israeli airlines are known to have countermeasures on at least some of their fleet and have successfully protected them from missile attacks at least once (Mombasa 2002). What’s holding back wider adoption at the moment is civil aviation authorities are concerned that they pose a fire risk and planes fitted with such devices are not allowed to land at some airports.

rojo's avatar

I don’t think we are at that point, yet.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Air Force One has anti-missile technology.

Why shouldn’t we all?

rojo's avatar

It would make more economic sense to remove the Air Force One anti-missile technology to achieve parity.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s actually more of a liability right now. If planes keep getting shot down the numbers will likely change

CWOTUS's avatar

They just need an airliner analog to the “No Guns Allowed” signs posted near schools and some other buildings. That will certainly keep them… just as safe as schools, courthouses, post offices and Federal buildings.

“Do Not Shoot Down” in big letters ought to do the trick.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@CWOTUS yeah in every language on the planet that should work.LOL

rojo's avatar

Here is an article about something called SkyShield developed by an Israeli firm. It might work in such a way but damn, the name is too close to Terminator movie verbage to make me comfortable with it. Damn you Hollywood!

ucme's avatar

Tail light morse code like in Con Air, or MLB allstars strapped to the wings…“batter up”

ragingloli's avatar

The retrofitting would cost the airlines too much dosh.
Plus all the inspections and the flares themselves.
Oh the expense!
They have shareholders to please and profits to maximise.
A shot down airplane every decade, pocket change.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Is this some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the jet being shot down recently?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

7 times militaries have shot down civilian aircraft , even the US is guilty of it, I don’t get it some jerk kills people in a shopping mall and everyone screams for gun control, is that not a knee jerk reaction as well, and people shrug and say oh well if it even saves one life it’s worth it.

Now try and say maybe these airliners should have some kind of an anti missile defence system on board, and big business screams to costly, oh yeah and here is a link to those planes being shot down.
http://www.vox.com/2014/7/17/5912699/7-times-militaries-have-shot-down-civilian-planes

Dutchess_III's avatar

@SecondHandStoke I don’t understand why some people can’t seem to understand that the President and his family have far more need of protection than the average American. Just because the President has something doesn’t mean you should have it too.

ragingloli's avatar

@SQUEEKY2
That is 7 planes in 60 years, globally.
The US alone has 8000 gun homicides per year
Do you even comprehend the vast difference in prevalence?

kritiper's avatar

The plane that was shot down was hit by a radar directed missile so a flare system would not have worked. Also, planes are designed to fly with one engine out so a heat seeking missile may not take a plane down.

Pazza's avatar

Seems like it would be a lot easier and cheaper to…....
‘not send them over an war torn area where they can be targeted with missiles’......

Lightlyseared's avatar

@kritiper deploying chaff is just as simple as deploying flares

SQUEEKY2's avatar

According to the link on rojo’s post they sent the plane that way because they saved $1500 in fuel costs, good to know they rerout planes for weather conditions for safety, but send one over a war zone to save fifteen hundred bucks in fuel costs, there is something very wrong with todays world.

kritiper's avatar

Since the threats are very few and very far between, and missiles can fly so fast, pilots wouldn’t have the time to manually ID and counteract the threats. Any missile deterrent system would have to be fully automated. Remember, the missile that hit MH17 was travelling at approx. 1 mile per second. From missile launch, the airplane crew would have had about 6 to 7 seconds, or less, to react.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I agree,any missile counter measure installed on the aircraft would have to be 100% automated.

CWOTUS's avatar

Is this the most ridiculous discussion yet on Fluther?

To be the least bit effective, missile countermeasures have to be included with 1) high speed capability of the aircraft – speed which civilian passenger planes do not possess, and 2) effective evasive maneuvering capability (the ability to make high speed course changes, climbs and dives – juking and jiving) which are also quite far outside the operating parameters of civilian airliners.

I don’t know what countermeasures El Al has on Israeli airliners, and perhaps – perhaps – those are marginally effective against shoulder-launched anti-aircraft. But dedicated, truck-based or better military-grade anti-aircraft missiles are not going to miss an airliner, I think, no matter what kind of chaff, electronic countermeasures or maneuvering the pilot can manage – and that’s if – if he even has the capability to detect it in the first place. Civilian airliners are not built to even detect hostile fire; I can’t imagine any civilian airline company specifying that in the avionics package that they specify for any plane in their fleet, and they certainly don’t train their pilots on evasive tactics and equipment. Airline pilots do not knowingly fly civilian aircraft into disputed air space. Airlines do not spend money on equipment that they know they will not use, and which no civilian agency has ever (or would ever) require.

In addition to all of that, if anyone thinks that a heat-seeking missile that “just takes out an engine” wouldn’t knock the plane down “because it could still fly on one engine” – is forgetting, perhaps, that it still takes both wings to keep the plane aloft. Heat-seeking missiles that “take out an engine” would certainly take out the wing that it’s attached to. At least.

This has been an absolutely absurd discussion. Surreal, almost.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@CWOTUS and yet your here, go figure??!?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Sorry @CWOTUS that wasn’t called for, but you really want to know what is FUCKING absurd, is that airline chose that flightpath over a WAR ZONE because it saved them $1500 in fuel costs, that is totally absurd, and maybe missile counter measures can’t or wont work in a civilian airliner, but the way technology keeps advancing maybe one day it will be, until then maybe big business won’t risk peoples lives for a lousy few bucks,but then again that would be absurd thinking they wont risk peoples lives for a few bucks, when all that matters in this fucked up world is max profits.

ragingloli's avatar

@CWOTUS
It would also ignite the fuel that is stored in the wings.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@CWOTUS Couldn’t resist incorrect but common use of the word “surreal.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not sure what you’re referring to @SecondHandStoke but he used the word correctly.

Great post @CWOTUS.

jca's avatar

“Surreal” looked good to me, too.

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