Good stuff in the Summer 2005 Survivability Journal...
What is notable is the lack of real knowledge about how well modern transport category aircraft will fare when taking damage from a MANPADS or other instrument of ill intent. This is supported by the article I posted about the P-8A LFT&E which is "blazing the trail" on acquisitions.
No Point In Vulnerability Reduction? (by Sidishus Oct 12 2005 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
Point is that taking an airliner "off the shelf" and slapping on some warpaint for HVAA roles is a recipe for tragic, unnecessary losses down the road unless significant efforts and investments are made in Vulnerability Reduction.
And as this and the other articles in the Journal suggest, it will be expensive indeed to make them viable.
Boeing has the leg up here given the work already underway on the P-8. EADS will also have to wrestle with the chore of combat hardening their highly complex semi autonomous flight control software as well. This was a big expense for the F-22 program.
Large Aircraft Survivability Initiative (LASI)
by Mr. Carter (Ben) Brooks, Mr. Gregory J. Czarnecki, Dr. Christine M. Belcastro, Dr. Celeste M. Belcastro, and Mr. J. Michael Heard
Shoulder-launched missiles, also known as ManPortable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), have become a significant threat to civil and military aviation. Because of predictable flight paths, slow speed, and high Infrared (IR) signatures, large aircraft are particularly at risk during takeoff and landing.
Encounters with MANPADS threats in Mombassa, Kenya (2002), and Iraq (2003 and 2004) have highlighted the need to assess large aircraft survivability and methods to mitigate MANPADS damage.
The Large Aircraft Survivability Initiative (LASI) is an Air Force initiative that encourages government and industry collaboration to improve commercial and heavy military aircraft survivability to
MANPADS and other threats. Like the S-400, KS-172, and FT-2000
The LASI team consists of the Air Force 46th Test Wing, NASA, and a number of industry partners. LASI planning began in 2002 with the identification of five data voids relative to large aircraft survivability:
Lack of high-fidelity IR signatures of large commercial aircraft
—These IR signatures are required to perform MANPADS hit-point predictions, which are used by the vulnerability community to focus Modeling and
Simulation (M&S) vulnerability assessments and to select meaningful shotlines for testing.
Lack of information concerning large aircraft vulnerability to MANPADS
—Test data are needed to validate aircraft vulnerability assessments used for
operational risk assessments. A combination of test and validated M&S data is needed to support national investment decisions concerning IR countermeasures.
Lack of information concerning the safety of flight and recoverability of commercial aircraft damaged by a MANPADS strike
—Accurate assessments of MANPADS damage are needed to develop damage mitigation strategies (including damage adaptive control system technologies)
that provide improved recoverability and, in the event of a hit, insure continued safety of flight.
Lack of fire-protection technologies that are compatible with commercial aviation
—Affordable, low-weight fire-protection concepts are required to insure that hits from a variety of munitions do not result in aircraft kills caused by onboard
Lack of information concerning commercial aircraft vulnerability to Electromagnetic Effects (EME)
—Test data are needed for operational risk assessments and to support national investment decisions concerning shielding and other countermeasures.
The LASI team addresses all five areas of deficiency. Under partial sponsorship by the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program (JASP), IR signatures have been collected by the 46th Test Wing and NASA on three large aircraft, with other signature tests planned.
Preparations for assessing large aircraft vulnerability to MANPADS are now under way and include test-asset acquisition, improvements to missile-launch
devices, test-plan development, and pre-test prediction analyses. These
vulnerability assessment activities, co-sponsored by the Joint Live Fire
(JLF) program and JASP, are being conducted by the 46th Test Wing’s
Aerospace Survivability and Safety Flight at Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base (AFB), Fairborn, Ohio, and the 46th Operations Group at Eglin AFB. Wind-tunnel tests are planned at NASA Langley to develop models of aircraft response to MANPADS damage.
Results from these tests will be used to analyze the safety of aircraft flight relative to incurred MANPADS damage and to develop and Technology (R&T) capabilities provide the means to implement new security products for civilian aviation that will contribute to national security needs.control-accommodation methods for on-board mitigation of MANPADS damage.
Lastly, test planning and test-asset collection have been initiated in support of fire-prediction methodologies and EME protection.
In summary, with JASPO and JLF support, the LASI team has begun to
address a number of data voids concerning large aircraft survivability in a
threat environment. These data voids must be resolved to define and evaluate
alternative solutions to improve survivability. LASI results will be used to promote safety-of-flight while supporting aircraft vulnerability assessments,
operational risk assessments, and Infrared Countermeasures (IRCM)
The value of this information to the Department of Defense (DoD) Department of Homeland Security, the aviation industry, and the nation’s economy
will prove immeasurable.