February theme: Aviation securityRaytheon's Vigilant Eagle

Published 21 February 2008

Planes are vulnerable to shoulder-fired missiles, or MANPADS, only up to a certain altitude — which means that they are vulnerable only after take-off and before landing; Raytheon offers a ground-based defensive system which would create a protective dome around airports; system would use sensors to identify missiles and pulses of intense microwave to disrupt them

There are currently somewhere between half a million and 700,000 shoulder-fired missiles