Aviators around the world should be on their guard against small shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, the U.S. State Department said recently. The weapons, also known as Manpads (man-portable air defense systems), "pose a serious threat to passenger air travel, the commercial aviation industry, and military aircraft around the world," the State Department said. Forty civilian aircraft have been hit by Manpad missiles since 1975, causing 28 crashes and over 800 deaths. All of the incidents, except for an unsuccessful 2002 attempt to shoot down an airliner in Kenya, occurred in "zones of conflict." Only two of the attacks occurred in the Western Hemisphere, one in Costa Rica and one in Nicaragua.
More than 1 million Manpads and missiles have been manufactured worldwide since they were first produced in 1967. Because they are so potentially deadly yet easy to transport, conceal, and use, they are "particularly attractive weapons to terrorists and criminals," the State Department said. Thousands of the weapons are believed to be in circulation on the black market, at prices starting at just a few hundred dollars. For more details about the weapons, plus a list of all the known civil attacks
Like every othet "threat", such as a deceased pilot on Hamilton Is having less than thereputic amounts of weed in his system from a joint smoked 3 weeks earlier, a regulatory framework of SEVERE CONSEQUENCE should be enacted as a matter of URGENCY to mirror the DAMPS requirements for people who may, or may not be, pissed TERRORISTS with shoulder launched MISSILES.
If you really need a reason, just "DO SOMETHING"- ANYTHING to placate the travelling public before the press gets hold of this information.
ASIC doesn't count when you fire it from Lakemba.
I may even pass it on if you blokes don't do something. This is probably worse than the Hindenburg disaster.
Well - if the current lot aren't burning the roof off your house, they are giving it some reffo to live in. I really cant see this shambolic bunch of numpties knowing what a MANPAD is, let alone protecting you from one. Oh, the humanity.
My goodness! You people are treating this like a joke.
Obviously none of you have any appreciation of what goes on in Australia. The public have been spooked by aeroplanes landing because the Regulator said they were too low. Well,,, Duuur! I guess Tiger Airlines would say you have to fly below MDA eventually if you want to land.
Next week, there WILL be a LAW against this MANPADS threat.
You fool! Do you see a lowercase i in front of the name? Obviously this is not an Apple Product! The MANPAD is currently made by Samsung by has been blocked from sale in Europe thanks to copyright claims by Tampax...
Without flares, you can't beat it, and in any case, you have to see it to beat it. Any rear quarter shot with an IR directed MANPAD will most likely not be seen by any commercial transport crew, due to the restricted fields of visibility from the cockpit. Given the generally low altitude engagement envelope for most of them, the lack of flares, and the lack of maneuverability of the typical commercial transport aircraft, you simply have one choice:
Factor in the odds of someone shooting a MANPAD at you before you choose to go flying.
At some point, if you feel the odds are too high for your risk tolerance, your options boil down to this: don't go flying.
That is technology and its advance, at work for you.
Figuring out how to root out whatever MANPADS may be harbored in your area isn't something aviation professionals have control over. That's something that intel and police organization get to try and work out.
I think Lonewolf has it right. If someone's planning on having a pop, you either accept the odds and roll the dice, or take a job flying for El Al (although that might also mean loaded dice) or simply stay on the ground.
Forty attempts in 36 years isn't that many, considering how many of these things are rattling around ready to be fired by whichever band of locals wants to lay claim to someone else's corner of a mosquito-ridden hellhole. No-one's really going to lose sleep unless the next one comes from the back of a Toyota pick-up on the Heathrow perimeter.
One of the reasons that MANPADs have not featured too highly in recent conflicts is because of the status attached to possessing a MANPAD. IE: A Taliban (or equivalent) fighter walking around with a MANPAD is an important person because he has a MANPAD. Should he fire his missile then he is just a simple fighter with much less status.
How this applies in a western democratic sense is less defined, but I believe the security forces would have a good chance of finding out in advance because MANPADs don't look normal when carried "in the street", so to speak.
In terms of risk reduction, does anyone in Australia have access to a MANPAD, even in the military? I think ARMY's missile defences are sparse and not man portable, Air Force have nothing at all, and Navy's are all definitely shipborne. This means that not only does our potential MANPAD terrorist threat have to try to look normal in the street without raising attention, but he also needs to smuggle a significant weapon into the country.
Like some important pollie said a few years back, be alert, but not alarmed.
Why bother with the expense of a shoulder launched SAM and all the training needed to use it correctly. For the same results simply park a jeep type truck under the approach with a 50cal machine gun on, you probably have as good a chance of doing damage and its probbly easier to set up.
The IRA never manged to inflict any casualties with a SAM in the uk so what chance any other organisation.