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AirDisaster.Com News
Discuss this story in our forums! Posted: 17 February 2004, 12:34am ET (0534 GMT)

Singapore Air to launch anti-missile defense system.
A Singapore Airlines 747-400 jetliner departs Los Angeles International Airport in this December, 2003 photo. (Chris Kilroy/View Full Size)
SINGAPORE - Singapore's government said Sunday it plans to install anti-missile defenses on the airplanes of its national carrier and a subsidiary.

Authorities are developing a defensive device that they hope to have ready for use by Singapore Airlines and SilkAir planes in two years, said Ministry of Defense spokesman Alex Tan.

The government has not yet determined how it will spread the cost between the government and the airline, Tan said. He did not provide a cost estimate.

Singapore's military planes are already outfitted with missile defense technology, the spokesman said.

Fears of an attack on commercial jetliners increased after terrorists fired two heat-seeking rockets that missed an Israeli passenger plane taking off from Kenya in November 2002.

In November, a shoulder-fired missile struck a DHL Cargo plane over Iraq, forcing it to make an emergency landing with its wing on fire [photos].

Al-Qaida-linked regional militants are believed to have tried to target Western sites in Singapore and authorities here have detained 35 terror suspects.

Some military planes use missile defenses that spew out bits of steel foil that ignite as they hit the air, forming a glowing cloud behind the plane intended to divert a heat-seeking missile.

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