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Proceedings Paper

Escorting commercial aircraft to reduce the MANPAD threat
Author(s): Nicholas Hock; M. A. Richardson; B. Butters; R. Walmsley; R. Ayling; B. Taylor
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Paper Abstract

This paper studies the Man-Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS) threat against large commercial aircraft using flight profile analysis, engagement modelling and simulation. Non-countermeasure equipped commercial aircraft are at risk during approach and departure due to the large areas around airports that would need to be secured to prevent the use of highly portable and concealable MANPADs. A software model (CounterSim) has been developed and was used to simulate an SA-7b and large commercial aircraft engagement. The results of this simulation have found that the threat was lessened when a escort fighter aircraft is flown in the 'Centreline Low' position, or 25 m rearward from the large aircraft and 15 m lower, similar to the Air-to-Air refuelling position. In the model a large aircraft on approach had a 50% chance of being hit or having a near miss (within 20m) whereas escorted by a countermeasure equipped F-16 in the 'Centerline Low' position, this was reduced to only 14%. Departure is a particularly vulnerable time for large aircraft due to slow climb rates and the inability to fly evasive manoeuvres. The 'Centreline Low' escorted departure greatly reduced the threat to 16% hit or near miss from 62% for an unescorted heavy aircraft. Overall the CounterSim modelling has showed that escorting a civilian aircraft on approach and departure can reduce the MANPAD threat by 3 to 4 times.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 November 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5989, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures II; Femtosecond Phenomena II; and Passive Millimetre-Wave and Terahertz Imaging II, 59890B (3 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.626996
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas Hock, National Defence Headquarters (Canada)
M. A. Richardson, Cranfield Univ. (United Kingdom)
B. Butters, Chemring Countermeasures (United Kingdom)
R. Walmsley, Chemring Countermeasures (United Kingdom)
R. Ayling, Chemring Countermeasures (United Kingdom)
B. Taylor, Chemring Countermeasures (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5989:
Technologies for Optical Countermeasures II; Femtosecond Phenomena II; and Passive Millimetre-Wave and Terahertz Imaging II
Sean M. Kirkpatrick; David H. Titterton; Roger Appleby; J. Martyn Chamberlain; Razvan Stoian; Keith A. Krapels, Editor(s)

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