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Genral Dynamics - Demonstration of MANPADS

General Dynamics : 25 June, 2007  (Company News)
General Dynamics to Demonstrate Ground-Based Counter-MANPADS Aircraft-Protection Technology
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics, will conduct a fully integrated system demonstration of its ground-based Counter Man-Portable Air Defense System (CMAPS) against Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) at the Naval Air Systems Command China Lake, Calif., test facility in August.

The system demonstration follows CMAPS' successful detection and tracking of more than 30 missiles during tests held at Tonopah Test Range, Nev., and China Lake in 2006, and the successful test of the CMAPS countermeasure against missiles at Camp Atterbury, Ind., in May 2007.

General Dynamics has received $2 million in funding from the Department of Defense through the Technical Support Working Group to conduct the full-scale demonstration. The company has received $10.4 million for development of the system to date.

CMAPS is a ground-based system designed to protect airplanes from MANPADS during take-off and landing. CMAPS uses a network of sensors to detect and verify the launch of shoulder-fired missiles and tracks those missiles with great precision. High-power infrared countermeasures are then directed to the missile, breaking the missile's lock on the aircraft. CMAPS can protect against multiple threats, be rapidly deployed to any airfield, and operate safely in both forward deployed and urban areas.

MANPADS are shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. They are inexpensive, proliferated throughout the world and easily concealed and transported. Used by terrorists to attack aircraft, MANPADS are heat seeking, able to reach speeds of Mach 2 and are effective at ranges up to 5 kilometers.

In 2006, Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security to explore new missile-countermeasure technologies that do not rely solely on infrared technology onboard aircraft. The General Dynamics ground-based CMAPS is a viable alternative to current aircraft-based countermeasure technologies. Developed primarily to protect military aircraft, the system also could be deployed at civilian airports to protect all aircraft operating within U.S. borders.

With its ability to detect threats, track high-speed targets, and apply directed energy to those targets, CMAPS also is expected to provide multi-mission capability for protection of other assets, critical infrastructure and ships against a broad spectrum of threats.
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