Until recently, almost the only thing fighter jets and commercial aircraft had in common were the ability to fly through the air. Surely this isn’t a big revelation – one aircraft is designed for air combat, the other is obviously designed for air travel. Unfortunately, though, in the world we live in fighter jets aren’t the only planes that need to be ready to face a threat in the air. In recent years, even the commercial aircraft from Israel have found themselves in the crosshairs of SAM’s (surface to air missiles).
As a result, Israel came to the conclusion when it comes to their commercial aircraft that the best offense is a good defense. So here’s what they decided to do: they developed a laser weapons system able to be installed on the underside of their jets.
Israel is calling this project the Sky Shield, which is a fitting name seeing as they’re trying to shield their planes in the sky. The system includes a thermal camera which will be able to identify any kind of threats in the air, and once identified, the laser system will be able to quickly remove the threat. As of now, it appears these lasers are being developed to primarily stop missiles.
It’s unclear as to when the Sky Shield will be implemented, but so far the testing of the system has been impressive with a 100% success rate. Officials state that they’d eventually like to see this technology on-board all of Israel’s commercial aircraft.
I wonder if we’ll see the day when most all of our commercial aircraft are outfitted with defensive weaponry. It’s a sad state of the world when a airliner can’t fly through the air without the fear of being hit with a missile, but unfortunately, it’s also the world we live in.
What do you think?
[Image via Gizmodo]