Fri, Sep 19, 2003
You can sleep well tonight: DHS is handling missile
The U.S. Department of
Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology division
released on September 15, 2003 a pre-solicitation announcing a
program to address the potential threat of MAN-Portable Air Defense
Systems (MANPADS) to commercial aircraft. The notice outlines the
Department’s technological strategy for commercial air
protection and announces a briefing to industry on the subject.
The pre-solicitation is the first step in DHS’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. This initiative is not intended to develop new
technology, but rather to re-engineer existing technology from
military to commercial aviation use.
"We are pleased to release this pre-solicitation to industry to
address this potential threat against commercial aviation," said
Dr. Charles McQueary, Under Secretary, Science and Technology. "We
look forward to receiving responses and furthering Science and
Technology’s partnership with the private sector in pursuit
of solutions to protect the homeland."
The Department expects to issue a formal solicitation next week,
and will discuss this notice and overall strategy at a Briefing to
Industry which will be held in the D.C. area the week of October 6,
2003. Through this strategy, the Department will investigate
aircraft-based devices such as infrared countermeasures to provide
protections against MANPADS.
The Science and Technology division is supporting the
Department’s efforts on MANPADS through the Counter-MANPADS
Special Program Office. The goal of this office is to manage
DHS’ development and demonstration efforts for commercial air
protection as well as to liaison with the private sector.
This office has Department of Defense (DoD) detailees on staff who
are using their knowledge and expertise in this area to provide
advice and assistance to DHS in finding commercial applications for
military technologies. The office is also working closely with the
DoD to coordinate efforts between the agencies.
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