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Homeland Security

Counter-Man Portable Air Defense Systems (C-MANPADS)

Since the tragedies of September 11th, the threat terrorism presents to commercial aviation has been the focus of considerable attention. The latest threat, although not new to the world, is the risk of shoulder-fired missile attacks or MANPADS. By some estimates there are likely over half a million MANPADS worldwide. Certain portions of those weapons are widely available and obtainable on the black market. Information as to the number of MANPADS in the hands of non-state or terrorist groups vary, but by one estimate over two dozen non-state groups have these weapons in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. The availability, portability and concealable make-up of MANPADS all add to the appeal of these weapons to terrorist groups. There are currently 517 commercial service airports, which account for 100% of commercial passenger emplanements; 30 Large Hub Primary, 37 Medium Hub Primary, 72 Small Hub Primary, 243 non-hub Primary, and 135 non-hub non-primary.

In response to this growing threat to commercial aviation, Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct research and development of missile defense systems for commercial aircraft. On February 5, 2003, Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced legislation (H.R. 580, 5. 311) calling for the installation of missile defense systems in all turbojet aircraft used in scheduled air carrier service. On March 13, 2003, during a mark-up session of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Boxer offered an amendment to S. 165 that would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a 90-day study of the threat and report to Congress on recommendations for protecting airliners against shoulder fired missiles.

Pursuant to FY 2003 Wartime Supplemental Appropriations (P.L. 108-11, 4/16/2003), the DHS initiated a two-phase Systems Development and Demonstration (SD&D) program for antimissile devices for commercial aircraft. DHS will investigate directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) and other technologies to provide protection against man- portable air defense systems (MANPADS). DHS did not intend for this program to develop new technologies, but rather to migrate existing technologies to the commercial airline industry.

The Department of Homeland Security has developed and submitted to Congress a program plan for countermeasures against the shoulder-fired missile threat to commercial aircraft. Based on this report, the Science and Technology Directorate established a program office to oversee the Department's MANPADS efforts. These actions are aimed at leveraging existing military research and development programs, and re-engineering those capabilities so that they are consistent with airport operations and commercial air carrier maintenance, support, and logistics schemes.

The Department of Homeland Security's S&T Directorate conducted a competitive, multiple phase effort to develop countermeasures to shoulder-launched missiles that may be employed by hostile forces and terrorist groups against commercial aircraft. This S&T program, referred to as Counter-MAN Portable Air Defense Systems, was initiated in 2003 to identify existing candidate technologies that could lead to an effective and affordable solution for commercial aircraft.

In September 2003 DHS S&T released a solicitation announcing a program to address the potential threat posed by MANPADS. The solicitation is the first step in the Department's two-phase systems development and demonstration program for anti-missile devices for commercial aircraft. Phase I will provide an analysis of the economic, manufacturing and maintenance issues needed to support a system that will be effective in the commercial aviation environment. Phase II will include development of prototypes using existing technology which will be subjected to a rigorous test and evaluation process.

Counter-MANPADS Phase I

An Industry Day was held on 15 October 2003 in Washington, DC, to describe the Counter-MANPADS Program procurement process, which began with an invitation for industry to submit White Papers and Corporate Qualifications. The conference, hosted by DHS S&T, was attended by over 200 participants from 91 organizations. To hasten program commencement, DHS S&T will utilize the procurement instrument known as Type 845, Other Transaction Agreements. Twenty-four white papers were received from industry on October 27. Invitations for full proposals will follow to those respondents with the most promising white papers. At least two awards are projected during the first phase of this program, which begin in January 2004. A second program phase will result in a down-selection of the one or two most promising design candidates, and prototypes will be tested in simulated and live-fire environments. White papers responding to the counter-MANPADS program solicitation are currently being reviewed. Respondents receiving favorable reviews will be encouraged to submit full proposals.

On January 6, 2004 the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology division announced that teams led by BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and United Airlines had been selected for agreement negotiations. The team developed a plan and tested prototypes to help determine whether a viable technology exists that could be deployed to address the potential threat that MAN-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) pose to commercial aircraft. BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and United Airlines were selected from among 24 candidates that submitted White Papers in response to a solicitation issued the first week of October 2003. Of that group, five contractors were invited to submit full proposals. Raytheon [RTN] and Alliant Techsystems [ATK] were among the five not selected in the final round.

Under the agreement, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and United Airlines each received approximately $2 million for Phase I of the project. In this first phase, which lasted approximately six months, these contractors will produce a plan to adapt military missile detection and countermeasure technologies for commercial aircraft use. Phase I also provided an analysis of the economic, manufacturing and maintenance issues necessary to operate counter-MANPADs systems in the civil aviation environment.

One technology that was identified for potential commercial use is the so-called Directed InfraRed CounterMeasure (DIRCM), an infrared device that jams missile guidance systems. Current DIRCMs cannot be easily adapted to the US commercial air fleet, and must be re-engineered. The current available DIRCMs have roughly 300 hours of life before they must be repaired or refurbished. While suitable for the military or special purpose aircraft, given their maintenance and logistical infrastructure, this is not regarded as suitable for US commercial air fleet use. The cost of the training, ground support equipment, supplies and spares, and logistics trail that would need to be in place at every US airport could be prohibitive. Estimates put this cost at as much as $5 billion to $10 billion per year, a burden that the US commercial air carrier industry said it cannot bear.

Counter-MANPADS Phase II

In fiscal year (FY) 2005 the DHS S&T Directorate Integrated two competing Counter-Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) prototypes with planned airframes and performed on-board ground and flight testing to verify system performance and continued air worthiness of the aircraft with the countermeasure system installed. Phase II included a prototype demonstration and rigorous test and evaluation process of existing technology.

Northrop Grumman's Directed IR Countermeasures AN/AAQ-24 (V) NEMESIS system Program is currently in use by the military in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and the company's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) is in use by US Transportation Command on the C-17. BAE Systems North America is a major producer of aircraft self-protection systems, including the Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasure / Common Missile Warning System (ATIRCM/CMWS), the ALQ-144 IRCM, ALQ-156 missile warning system, and the AN/ALQ-204 Matador Infrared Countermeasure (IRCM) and the AAR-47 missile warning sensor.

The program involved two distinct design approaches that met system installation requirements. The BAE Systems design located most system components inside the aircraft, with MWS and PTH external to the aircraft. The Northrop Grumman Corporation esign located most system components are within the external pod, with MWS and PTH external to the pod. Both Contractors (BAE and NGC) configured their Counter-MANPADS designs to separate the defense article from the structural supports and integration components. The A-kit consists primarily of common structural materials and components [to support the interface for the DIRCM system to the aircraft] specifically for commercial aircraft managed as Commodity Jurisdiction items. The B-kit includes defense articles/DIRCM system (pointer-tracker head, sensors, and laser) that would be managed as USML with Security Management Plans.

United Airlines [UAL Corp.] teamed with AVISYS and ATK on the Widebody Integrated Platform Protection System (WIPPS) developed by AVISYS. The AVISYS system presents an inbound missile with an array of hotter infrared (IR) decoys discharged by the aircraft. The latest "third generation" IR decoys are described as "visually covert" and hence "politically safe."

On 05 November 2004 the Department of Homeland Security awarded a sole source contract [Solicitationr Reference Number RSGA-05-00007] to The Boeing Company for Technical Services to Support the Counter Man Portable Air Defense Systems Program. The Contractor shall provide technical experts to assess two Counter Measure (CM) system installation approaches proposed by BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, in the areas of structural and electrical impact, drag, aircraft interfaces, and design adaptability/universality across Boeing?s commercial fleet. The Contractor identified high level risks and technical issues with respect to the Counter-MANPADS systems interface on the Boeing 737-300/-800, Boeing 747-200/-400, Boeing 757-200, Boeing 767-200/-300, Boeing 777-200 and MD-80. The objective of this effort is for the Contractor to identify issues (including certification) that needs to be addressed, going from the prototype programs which BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman will complete in Phase II to the US commercial fleet retrofit, and which will identify the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) for non-recurring cost impact, that would be part of the life cycle cost implications for the fleet. Each significant technical risk and/or issue was to have a corresponding Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) cost projection according to the following categories: High: Greater than $10 million Medium: Greater than $1 million, but less than $10 million Low: Less than $1 million.

President George W. Bush's FY 2006 DHS budget request includes a total of $41.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. This is an increase of seven percent over the enacted FY 2005 funding. The Counter-MAN Portable Air Defense Systems (C-MANPADS) funding request was increased by $49 million to a total of $110 million in the budget. This program continued to research the viability of technical countermeasures for commercial aircraft against the threat of shoulder-fired missiles.

Counter-MANPADS Phase III

Based on the Phase II results in FY 2006, the Counter-MANPADS Program initiated Phase III to conduct operational test and evaluation on Counter-MANPADS advanced prototype equipment installed on commercial aircraft operated by U.S. cargo carriers. The primary objective was to reduce the residual risk of operations in the commercial environment and lower the cost of ownership. To maintain competition between two different approaches to design and integration, the Counter-MANPADS Program maintained two contractors in Phase III. In FY 2006, each contractor updated its designs to incorporate enhancements for reliability improvements, technology protection, and emergency ground notification. Operational testing and evaluation was performed on multiple aircraft types to capture true operations and maintenance costs, as well as technical performance and reliability data. In FY 2006, eight operational test aircraft were modified and nine Counter-MANPADS systems were procured to support reliability developments, test data collection, and critical technology protection measures. Additionally, live fire test evaluations provided insight into the overall effectiveness of the system installed on commercial aircraft. Finally, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification was completed for additional relevant aircraft types, models and series not addressed in Phase II.

After completing the second of three planned program phases, DHS was to provide a report detailing the equipment performance, projected costs, and potential deployment options. The anticipated release date for the report was March 2006. The "Department of Homeland Security Counter-MANPADS Program Summary, Report to Congress Detailing Phases I and II Findings of the Counter-MANPADS Program," by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate was submitted 31 July 2006. The new DHS assessment, which was not made available to the public, was first reported by the Associated Press on 31 July 2006. On 11 August 2006, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, Secrecy News took this report off-line.

By issuing National Security Presidential Directive-47/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-16 (NSPD-47/HSPD-16) of June 20, 2006 ("Aviation Security Policy"), President George W. Bush established U.S. policy, guidelines, and implementation actions to continue the enhancement of U.S. homeland security and national security by protecting the United States and U.S. interests from threats in the Air Domain1. NSPD-47/HSPD-16 directed the development of the National Strategy for Aviation Security (National Strategy), which established the overarching framework for a comprehensive and integrated national approach to security the Aviation Transportation System,

By March 2007 a total of 11 FedEx MD-10 aircraft were in operational testing, with passenger 757 and DC-10 aircraft in development. although the S&T Directorate made some progress in developing counter-MANPADS to protect large aircraft from shoulder mounted missiles, most domestic flights are not made in these large planes, but in smaller, yet still very sizable aircraft, like 737s, the most widely used passenger airplane worldwide.

The House Appropriations Committee recommended $4,880,000 for the Counter-MANPADS program [House Report 109-476] fy FY2007, the same as the President's request and $104,020,000 below the amounts provided in fiscal year 2006. The Committee noted that the request reflected the completion of Phase III testing in fiscal year 2006, which provided the Administration and Congress information about the applicability, reliability, and cost of airborne counter-MANPADS currently being evaluated.

The Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology Directorate, announced in Sepember 2006 that it would enter into negotiations on a sole source basis with Dopplertech Incorporated, 9345 South Frontage Rd, Yuma, AZ 85367, for a new contract for technical support in the precision radar tracking of in-flight missiles to support the live fire test of Counter Man Portable Air Defense Systems (Counter MANPADS). This requirement was for that portion of the Program Office-directed Test and Evaluation (T&E) designed for assessing the potential effectiveness of IRCM systems. Two competing laser countermeasure systems were tested in a Live Fire test program at the Aerial Cable Range (ACR), White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, during 2007. Approximately 40 missiles were launched at the ACR target during single- or dual-missile missions from co-located or non-co-located launch points. The 3-week live fire test was preceded by a two-week setup period. The scope of this work included Pre-test planning and Live Fire.

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Page last modified: 13-07-2011 12:50:51 ZULU