Individual protection of aircraft as an essential factor……
Indywidualna ochrona statków powietrznych…..
INDIVIDUAL PROTECTION OF AIRCRAFT AS AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR OF FLYING IN CONFLICT ZONES AND TERRORIST THREAT AREAS INDYWIDUALNA OCHRONA STATKÓW POWIETRZNYCH NIEZBĘDNYM WARUNKIEM LOTÓW W STREFACH KONFLIKTÓW I ZAGROŻEŃ TERRORYSTYCZNYCH Andrzej Lewandowski¹, Leszek Loroch², Monika Świech³ (1) (2) (3) Air Force Institute of Technology
Instytut Techniczny Wojsk Lotniczych
01-494 Warszawa ul. Księcia Bolesława 6 e-mails: (2) email@example.com, (3) firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract. The paper presents ground-to-air weapon threats for aircraft, especially regarding man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) and the methods for reducing the threats. Polish participation in military conflicts along with international terrorism result in increasing threats for aircraft. The conducted analysis result in efforts for providing individual protection of aircraft and new countermeasures. Employment of these systems on military aircraft contributes to improved flight safety in threat areas, however expensiveness of individual protection systems make them uncommon on civil aircraft.
Keywords: terrorism threats, aviation safety, MANPADS
Streszczenie: Praca przedstawia zagrożenia dla statków powietrznych (SP) ze strony naziemnych środków ogniowych, szczególnie przenośnych przeciwlotniczych zestawów rakietowych oraz sposoby zmniejszenia zagrożenia. Polski udział w konfliktach zbrojnych i terroryzm międzynarodowy przyczyniają się do zwiększenia zagrożeń. Wskutek analiz, podejmowane są prace w zakresie indywidualnej ochrony SP i nowych sposobów przeciwdziałania. Wyposażenie wojskowych SP w te systemy poprawia bezpieczeństwo lotów w strefach zagrożeń, lecz wysoki koszt systemów powoduje, że cywilne SP nie są w nie wyposażane.
Słowa kluczowe:zagrożenia terrorystyczne, bezpieczeństwo lotów, MANPADS.
INDIVIDUAL PROTECTION OF AIRCRAFT AS AN ESSENTIAL FACTOR OF FLYING IN CONFLICT ZONES AND TERRORIST THREAT AREAS 1. Introduction The paper presents terrorist ground-to-air weapon threats for military and civil aircraft, especially regarding man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) and the methods for reducing the threats. Nowadays about 20 countries produces 37 kinds of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). It is estimated that since the invention of MANPADS in the turn of the ‘50s and 60’s around 1 million pieces have been manufactured. The MANPADS threat for all kinds of aircraft rises constantly due to the fact that the non-proliferation regulation process runs very slowly. The 1995 Wassenaar Agreement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Technologies was only implemented by 33 countries. It is supposed that 350-700 thousand MANPADS belong to arsenals of over 100 countries.
Non-state actors, such as terrorist groups can have admission to over 100 thousand MANPADS. After the September 11th attack on WTC, restricted control procedures were implemented into airports. Due to the improved security on airports the terrorist threat moved beyond the protected area, where weapons like MANPADS can be employed.
This is a subject of special importance for states involved in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for the whole European Union whose contingent is planned to be send to Chad, where a serious arsenal of different kinds of weapons is beyond the governmental control. For this reason the employment of individual protection assets on commercial and military aircraft becomes the issue of great importance. This can contribute to the improved flight safety in threat areas.
2. The ground-to-air fire assets threats for civilian and military aircraft The analyses of the recent local wars indicate a serious employment of anti-aircraft assets, which can cause serious threat for the enemy’s air forces. During the Vietnam war, different kinds of fire assets, from AK-47 to anti-air guns and artillery, including the first-used MANPADS (see Figure 1), were employed. 80 percent of the aircraft damage incidents were caused by ground-to-air fire assets. The threat for aircraft has continuously been rising ever since.
Machine guns 12,7 mm
Anti-aircraft artilery 14,5, 23, 57 mm
Weapons of the future: lasers, thermobaric weapons, new explosives
The mass-scaled employment of MANPADS was the case during the 1979 Afghanistan war, when mujahedins shot down 300 soviet aircraft with about 1000 American MANPADS.
The Balkan war provided another example, were NATO forces lost 61 combat aircraft, 7 helicopters, 30 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 238 self-guided missiles.
The Iraq case presents a similar level of this kind of threats for air traffic. It is estimated that despite detecting and neutralizing of about 6 thousand MANPADS in 2002, 4-5 thousand MANPADS are still in hands of the anti-governmental forces. For the last five years 36 incidents of attacks against transport aircraft have taken place. Several single cases of battering helicopters have happened. The situation is similar in Afghanistan, where attacks are directed mainly against transport aircraft.
The spectrum of ground fire assets against aircraft becomes wider. Beside MANPADS there are employed large-calibre machine guns and grenade launchers for destroying aircraft on ground. In the future, the greatest threat among MANPADS will be made by radio-guided (Javelin, Starburst) and laser-guided (RBS-70, Starstreak) systems.
A lot of them are implemented into countries described by the United Nations as unstable. For instance, one of the most lethal artillery-missile systems, Pantsir-ISE, was delivered to the United Arab Emirates (50 pieces), and another deliveries are planned to Algeria and Syria.
Table 1. Suspected Shoulder-Fired Missile Attacks Against Large Civilian Turbojet Aircraft (1978-Present)
Catastrophic: 59 fatalities of 130 people on board.
Angolan Airlines (TAAG)
Catastrophic: 130 fatalities of 130 people on board.
Angolan Airlines (TAAG)
Hull Loss: aircraft overran runway on landing after being struck by a missile at 8,000 ft during climb out. No fatalities with 130 on board.
Ariana Afghan Airlines
Substantial Damage: Aircraft was damaged by the missile, including damage of two hydraulic systems, but landed without further damage. No fatalities.
Transair Georgian Airlines
Catastrophic: Shot on take-off by unknown weapon. 106 fatalities.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Catastrophic: 41 fatalities of 41 people on board.
Hull Loss: Aircraft wing struck by missile departing Baghdad. Aircraft suffered a complete loss of hydraulic power and departed the runway during an emergency landing.
Syria, which possesses SA-14 and SA-14, is going to purchase SA-18-Needle from Belarus, as well. Iran has received a serious number of TOR-M1 systems, and further deliveries of S-300 systems are planned.
The above listed on-ground fire assets make significant threat for civilian aircraft, as well. For the last 28 years, 35 civilian aircraft have been attacked from ground, 24 of which were shot down. As a result, there have been at least 500 fatalities (see Table 1).
The experience has proved that the most sensitive time of attack is while taking off and landing, thus the most significant threat zone is nearby airports and airfields. Its spatial characteristics are illustrated at Figure 2.