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BAE Enters Phase III of Airliner Missile Defense Program

NASHUA, New Hampshire — BAE Systems has entered Phase III of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) program to protect commercial airliners against infrared guided-missile threats.

BAE Systems' JETEYE system is based on the U.S. Army's Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system to protect military aircraft. The system was flown and tested against simulated man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, on an American Airlines Boeing 767 in late 2005.

During the 18-month Phase III program, JETEYE will continue flying on the same American Airlines 767 and will also fly on an ABX Air cargo aircraft to continue the reduction of the potential cost to the airline industry by streamlining system installation, reducing aerodynamic drag, and improving reliability and maintainability.

"We took technology that protects the lives of our service men and women every day and integrated it in a system that has proven its effectiveness on a commercial platform," said Burt Keirstead, BAE Systems program director for JETEYE in Nashua, N.H. "A key tenet of the Phase III program is to refine the technology, improving reliability and minimizing cost." The company is well on its way to exceeding a DHS requirement of 3,000 hours' mean time between failures, Keirstead said.

BAE Systems has delivered more than 14,000 infrared countermeasure systems worldwide — more than all other companies combined. The company was selected by DHS in 2004 to adapt proven military technology to protect commercial aircraft against shoulder-fired missiles.

BAE Systems is the premier transatlantic defense and aerospace company, delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. BAE Systems, with more than 100,000 employees worldwide, had 2005 sales that exceeded $28 billion.

BAE Systems Enters Third Phase of Commercial Aircraft Missile Defense System Program