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DHS Gives L-3 Airliner Manpads Defense Contract

By | November 13, 2006

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave L-3 Communications [LLL] a contract to assess its second generation Civil Aircraft Protection System (CAPS2) for the protection of commercial aircraft from man-portable air defense systems (Manpads).

This is an aircraft-mounted infrared decoy-dispensing system. Other firms make different aircraft-mounted systems, while still other systems would be installed on the ground at airports to protect planes during and just after takeoffs, or while coming in for landings.

Since the 9/11 attacks prompted increased security checkpoint efforts to thwart terrorists from boarding airliners, attention has focused on the possibility of terrorists using ground-to-air missiles such as Manpads to destroy aircraft filled with passengers.

L-3 unit AVISYS will support the new DHS Emerging Counter-MANPADS Technologies Assessment (ECMTA) program.

AVISYS will perform frequency interoperability and allocation analyses of its CAPS2 pulse Doppler warning subsystem technology, the MWS-20, produced by Thales unit Airborne Systems.

A contract option is included to perform CAPS2 effectiveness modeling and simulation using advanced infrared decoys developed by Alloy Surfaces and tested by the Air Force.

The ECMTA program “will provide L-3 AVISYS the opportunity to demonstrate CAPS2 capabilities for providing safe and affordable protection for the nation’s commercial aviation sector,” said Ed Gloviak, Vice President of Special Programs and Services for L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Group.

Work on this contract will be performed at the AVISYS facility in Austin, Texas.

L-3 AVISYS is currently producing CAPS2 variants for international head of state customers.

Derivative applications of the CAPS2 technology include installations for Boeing 737, Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 aircraft.

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