BAE hopes to win billions for laser-based civilian aircraft anti-missile system

Published 21 November 2005

We reported last week that defense giant BAE Systems says it had successfully tested a system — called Jeteyes — to beat terrorist missile attacks on commercial aircraft. Jeteyes uses a burst of laser rays to disrupt the guidance system of surface-to-air missiles. It would, if selected, yield billions of dollars in orders. The missile defense system was tested at Fort Worth airport in Texas when it was fitted to an American Airlines Boeing 767 earlier this month. BAE has already equipped military aircraft with a similar system.

DHS is backing the project, and it wants BAE to keep the cost down to an affordable maximum of $1 million for each aircraft (there are 6,800 commercial aircraft in the United States). If the laser weapon is chosen, BAE is in line to win orders for about 6,000 Jeteyes in the United States alone (BAE’s estimate of the number of U.S. civilian planes which could benefit from the system).

-read more in company news release