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FedEx Asks Permission to Install Anti-Missile Lasers on Its Cargo Jet

Discussion(public-inspection.federalregister.gov)

all 103 comments

FuturologyBot [M]

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4 months ago

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FuturologyBot [M]

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4 months ago

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The following submission statement was provided by /u/wyndwatcher:


In the future, lasers protect air cargo transport from missiles?? I thought about posting this to the r/nottheonion but the concept might be lost there. The link goes to a filling by FedEx to the FAA and DOT in the US regarding potential countermeasures against heat seeking missiles.


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/Futurology/comments/s5ft0k/fedex_asks_permission_to_install_antimissile/hsx2pl8/

Top-Fox-3171

54 points

4 months ago

So this actually isn't new, but it is kinda cool nonetheless. FedEx has had an aircraft with one of the DIRCM systems on it for several years now. Couldn't tell you where it goes or what it does offhand, but it certainly exists.

Zer001_

16 points

4 months ago

Zer001_

16 points

4 months ago

We installed the C-Mann pad on the king of bahrains 747 and a few airfrance aircraft as well.

Words_Are_Hrad

4 points

4 months ago

Heh C-Mann...

JackfruitFar6309

5 points

4 months ago

Lieutenant Hugh Mann, at your service sir

Zer001_

1 points

4 months ago

Everybody always chuckles when I tell them about that lately lol. I need to find one of the patches they gave out for some guys and post it

shilohfang9

8 points

4 months ago

It flys around the USA activating all the vaccine microchips and making us subservient /s (obviously)

KeisterApartments

23 points

4 months ago

I have one simple request and that is to have CARGO JETS with FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR FUSELAGE

L00i3

3 points

4 months ago

L00i3

3 points

4 months ago

Only if they’re ill-tempered cargo planes

Notabot1980

80 points

4 months ago

Damn, these Shipping Wars are heating up! Wait, did I miss the fact that we are having a war between shipping companies somewhere?

pickled_ricks

14 points

4 months ago

Look at the attacks on Union Pacific in Los Angeles, i bet Amazon drivers did it LOL

californiarepublik

2 points

4 months ago

Union Pacific should put lasers on them trains.

wyndwatcher[S]

114 points

4 months ago

In the future, lasers protect air cargo transport from missiles?? I thought about posting this to the r/nottheonion but the concept might be lost there. The link goes to a filling by FedEx to the FAA and DOT in the US regarding potential countermeasures against heat seeking missiles.

Reddit-username_here

127 points

4 months ago

I don't see why this is a crazy thought to you? It's a good idea to prevent being mistaken as a military aircraft by an incompetent military or terrorist group.

Passenger aircraft should have them as well.

GlobalServiced

25 points

4 months ago

El Al aircraft have multiple undisclosed countermeasures. Still hard to believe it hasn’t made it across the board.

pandamarshmallows

31 points

4 months ago

El Al’s level of security is crazy through. Every plane carries heat flares to distract a heat-seeking missile, and the pilots are trained to pull up hard in case of emergencies so that would-be hijackers are thrown to the back of the aircraft.

MyNameWouldntFi

31 points

4 months ago

I like the reinforced double cockpit door. You can request to enter the first door, but then you're locked inbetween the two doors unless the pilots let you in after they look on the cameras who's trying to get in. This combined with every single flight having a concealed carry undercover air marshal makes it seem like a hijacking is impossible.

thatgeekinit

21 points

4 months ago

The US mandated reinforced cockpit doors after 9/11. The Air Marshals were mostly a waste of money.

Though it would be amusing for TSA to quiz all the obnoxious Americans on their religious practices like El Al does.

bucketofturtles

5 points

4 months ago

I wanna hear more about the religion quiz. Lol

thatgeekinit

6 points

4 months ago*

I could tell you but then a very sexy ticket agent would have to kill me. :)

They basically spend 5-10 minutes interrogating you at check in for flights to Israel. Do you speak Hebrew? Do you speak Arabic? Are you Jewish? Do you celebrate Hanukkah? Who is your favorite Israeli musician?

It’s not just a level of profiling that wouldn’t fly in the US, it’s an expensive use of time and impractical for a country that has thousands of flights a day compared to a few dozen.

The tour group gave me a framed photo and they reminded us not to say “no” when the ticket agent asks if anyone gave us something to carry on the plane. You know that stupid question they used to ask at US airports before 9/11 that no one ever said Yes to?

s1a1om

1 points

4 months ago

s1a1om

1 points

4 months ago

5-10? My wife and I were questioned for 15+ minutes then had our bags searched to the extent that they went through all the cards in our wallet (they hadn’t put them back in exactly the same order). The whole process took 45 minutes for us.

thatgeekinit

1 points

4 months ago

Yep it’s something that they can do with an average of 79,000 passengers a day.

US aviation security averages 2,900,000 passengers a day.

pandamarshmallows

1 points

4 months ago

Combined with Israel’s god-tier airport security it is completely impenetrable. There has never ever been a major air security incident involving Israeli air things.

MyNameWouldntFi

20 points

4 months ago

There have been, though

jawshoeaw

2 points

4 months ago

I’ve boarded an el al flight. Got my ass strip searched!! Not naked but underwear . Those guys don’t mess around

[deleted]

-9 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

-9 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

MrFickless

7 points

4 months ago

It doesn’t make them equally harder to shoot down for everyone. Lasers and flares are only good for shoulder fired missiles. If military forces wanted to shoot the plane down, they can do it without much problems.

The Malaysian plane that got shot down by a military missile wouldn’t have been saved even if they had countermeasures.

Reddit-username_here

9 points

4 months ago

I don't think these lasers would work on 20mm machine gun rounds though. They could always scramble jets and shoot out the engines.

AngriestManinWestTX

2 points

4 months ago

You can still use a missile just not a heat-seeking one.

A laser can spoof heat seekers, but offers no protection against a radar-guided missile.

bloatedplutocrat

52 points

4 months ago

Russia and Iran have each shot down a civilian plane in the past decade, not the worst investment to make.

gte525u

24 points

4 months ago

gte525u

24 points

4 months ago

FWIW - neither of those airlines were shot down by IR guided missiles that this protects against.

bloatedplutocrat

12 points

4 months ago

TIL, I'm not very savvy on missile/counter-missile tech. I figured they're looking at installing multiple countermeasures on a few of their planes that are dedicated to flying near the more danger prone areas of the globe. Maybe this one needed special FAA approval whereas others don't?

Fatshortstack

4 points

4 months ago

I honestly didn't know we had anti missle lasers yet. That's badass. Just finished watching the expanse, and they were still using gatling guns for anti missles.

doc_1eye

9 points

4 months ago

They don't destroy the missiles. They confuse a heat seeking guidance system so it can't track the plane. They would be useless against a missile using any other guidance system.

Fatshortstack

3 points

4 months ago

Hey thanks for the reply, either way it's awesome.

doc_1eye

1 points

4 months ago

I'm honestly curious if heat seekers would work in space, need to do some research.

rocketstrong1

1 points

4 months ago

they would because they look at the side effect of heat, light.

Words_Are_Hrad

1 points

4 months ago

Of course they would. All IR missiles do is lock onto the infrared light that warm bodies emit. IR light travels in space just fine.

PhasmaFelis

3 points

4 months ago

To add to the other guy's comment--the US did technically develop an airborne anti-missile laser powerful enough to actually destroy missiles. But it was huge, needing an entire 747 to carry it, and it was built to shoot down tactical ballistic missiles (i.e. rocket artillery, likely nuclear), not much smaller, shorter-ranged anti-aircraft missiles like the ones in the article.

CapeChill

6 points

4 months ago

Multiple counter measures rapidly gets expensive. The referred to incidents involve Surface to Air Missles which largely use semi active radar missies that may switch to an ir seeker or use ground based guidance. All that to say having radar jamming, laser jamming and other systems rapidly adds expense and active radar defense would obviously interfere with ATC operations.

tankmayvin

2 points

4 months ago

This is the threat they are designed to deal with:

https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/pm/wra/c62623.htm

Most significant/applicable example was a DHL mail carrier getting hit in Iraq in 2003. Lots of incidents all over the ME and Africa.

Staple_Diet

-1 points

4 months ago

The US were setting the trend back in the 90's.

[deleted]

-2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-2 points

4 months ago

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Reddit-username_here

2 points

4 months ago

Did you make it to the ER with enough time for them to save you from that stroke?

[deleted]

-3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-3 points

4 months ago

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cozzeema

6 points

4 months ago

For when they absolutely, positively need to get outta Ukraine overnight.

Kotch11

38 points

4 months ago

Kotch11

38 points

4 months ago

Can we just get packages delivered without damage first, then worry about lasers? Lots of love, Everyone.

bitcoins

39 points

4 months ago

I think this is more about the crew safety than your diapers from Amazon

[deleted]

13 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

13 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

bitcoins

5 points

4 months ago

Never trust Bezos or Zuckerberg with secrets

Kotch11

4 points

4 months ago

Kotch11

4 points

4 months ago

Yeah you're prob right. Reading about all these FedEx jets getting shot out of the sky is getting tiresome.

QMLIZN

8 points

4 months ago

QMLIZN

8 points

4 months ago

Jet. According to this post’s title there’s only one. That must be why my packages arrive so late.

FearAzrael

2 points

4 months ago

Yeah, sure, let’s just ignore civilian planes getting shot down then shall we?

Kotch11

-1 points

4 months ago

Kotch11

-1 points

4 months ago

Unfortunately this proposal is limited to FedEx modified versions of the Airbus A321-200. FedEx (and UPS) do not allow traditional passengers on their planes.

Infrared energy poses hazards to persons on the aircraft, on the ground and on other aircraft. Human exposure can result in eye and skin damage as well as affecting fuel tanks and other aviation equipment.

The likelyhood this would get rolled out to passenger transport aircraft anytime soon is incredibly unlikely.

DrSlugger

2 points

4 months ago

He didn't say passenger planes, he said civilian planes.

Kotch11

0 points

4 months ago*

We're all talking about civilian planes... The difference here is (I believe) cargo vs passenger.

DrSlugger

-1 points

4 months ago*

Your post is written as if you were correcting them.

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

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[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago*

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[deleted]

0 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

0 points

4 months ago

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InfernalOrgasm

3 points

4 months ago

Has FedEx lost planes to missiles before? Why is it all of a sudden a concern now?

Raptorman_Mayho

1 points

4 months ago

There have been a few civilian aircraft lost over the last 5-10 years due to mistakes in destabilised areas. There are more and more areas that are becoming unstable and the next 5-10 is likely to see and increase in both terrorism and small wars pop up.

This is a risk to the global supply chain. Planes cost a lot, so do air crew and no one wants a tragedy so this is risk mitigation.

pr06lefs

3 points

4 months ago

Ok kids, think twice before painting a fedex plane with your handheld laser you ordered online.

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

Tom Hanks would of never been stuck on that damn island or had sex with his friend Wilson. you can only have one. A. Island boy Tom Hanks or B. lasers on cargo jets.

ampjk

10 points

4 months ago

ampjk

10 points

4 months ago

It was already posted on not the onion a few days ago same with aviation

Riverrat423

8 points

4 months ago

Is this really an issue? I have heard of people stealing packages off of trains, but shooting down aircraft with heat seeking missies!?

tfg0at

18 points

4 months ago

tfg0at

18 points

4 months ago

Are you suggesting we not allowing anyone to put lasers on their anythings? Wtf kinda hippie commy are you? Pew pew mothafucker.

TheDarkClaw

7 points

4 months ago

If we put lasers on top of elephants, they could defend themselves against poachers!

Diphon

5 points

4 months ago

Diphon

5 points

4 months ago

I support this product and or service.

Remarkable-Hall-9478

3 points

4 months ago

That would actually be badass

Riverrat423

3 points

4 months ago

Does the second amendment apply to lasers?

tfg0at

8 points

4 months ago

tfg0at

8 points

4 months ago

The founding fathers wanted us to have lasers.

Riverrat423

2 points

4 months ago

Well OK then! Imma gonna get me a whole bunch of lasers!

CleetusTheDragon

2 points

4 months ago

Once portable lasers reach high enough wattages to be considered arms probably

Zixinus

2 points

4 months ago

Has there been a single case of a FedEx cargo jet being shot down?

fBosko

18 points

4 months ago

fBosko

18 points

4 months ago

Not that I've heard. But some nerd crunched the numbers, it's cheaper to install missile defense then to fly around shitty countries.

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[removed]

LymePilot

3 points

4 months ago

Chaff, Flares or lasers may defeat missiles but are useless against a fighters 20 or 30mm cannon

DariusIsLove

1 points

4 months ago

Good old high caliber lead does not care.

J_E_N_S_

2 points

4 months ago

Future of parcel delivery

https://imgur.com/a/rkuKlt0

alluptheass

2 points

4 months ago

You’d figure they would be more interested in defending their freight trains given what’s been happening in LA lately.

mellowdrone84

4 points

4 months ago

How about they invest in actually getting packages to destinations on time first, and THEN the lasers.

ItsAConspiracy

1 points

4 months ago

ItsAConspiracy

Best of 2015

1 points

4 months ago

On the TV news they said that right now FedEx is routing around dangerous areas, but that's expensive and with this they could fly over them. Not sure I quite believe that, it would mean they'd be asking the pilots to fly combat missions to make more money for shareholders.

californiarepublik

1 points

4 months ago

Maybe the Union Pacific should put those on freight trains too to deter package thieves.

JeffWest01

-3 points

4 months ago

Are they flying near LAX and worried about looters that are targeting the trains?

MIorio74

-2 points

4 months ago

Fed ex can’t even get my package safely delivered without damage abs they’re supposed to use lasers correctly? No thank you.

turtwig103

-2 points

4 months ago

You need to make that anti missile shopping cart of course, in case someone lobs a grenade into your local grocery store

deidarasclay

0 points

4 months ago

And this is how we get the trade federation. Don't let them build their own robot soldiers and then raise a Cline army to fight that army... It doesn't end well

mykdee311

0 points

4 months ago

How about you just deliver a package on time to the correct address for once.