Is that any different than an engine explosion or control failure right after take-off? While a DC-10 might not take well to an engine failure and detachment, modern aircraft are built to be very surviavable because of events like AA 191....
You're assuming a bit too much. There's only so much you can do in redesigning airplanes to be physically tougher, because of things like weight and fuel efficiency. Aircraft were not redesigned the world over because of AA
191; that was a maintenance issue mostly, not a design issue (the only design issue noted was the flange clearance on the DC-10-10, which made it more prone to being jammed up into the wing than the same flange on the DC-10-30).
It's possible for an airplane to survive being hit by a missile, as the DHL airplane flying out of Baghdad a while ago proves (search for the pics here). I believe it was an A300 though, so not a new plane. It has nothing to do with whether an airplane's a new design or not - just how it's hit and how the pilots respond. It comes down to luck. Remember that AA
191 could have survived too if the pilots only knew what to do in that situation - the plane only crashed because the pilots retarded the throttles (as they were taught to do in an engine failure on takeoff).
An uncontained engine failure is by itself an extremely dangerous thing, depending on where that shrapnel goes. Airliners are still designed with the hydraulic systems for the flaps and slats in the wing - they have to be, because that's where the flaps and slats are, no way around it. They have backups, but the DC-10-10 had backups too and they didn't help in that particular situation. It again depends on how and where the shrapnel hits and what the pilots then do.
When you add in the explosive force of a missile, you're really talking some major destruction. You will definitely lose some control surfaces. You may lose an entire wing depending on where the missile hits and how big of a warhead it is. This is true whether the airplane is new or old. Again, still a chance for survival, but I wouldn't bet on those odds.
Someone asked what the public would do if a major airline lost a plane due to a missile hit - well, I fear that's what it's going to take before there's any real movement towards getting anti-missile systems installed on passenger airplanes. It has been attempted before and it will definitely be attempted again; we can only hope the next attempt is also unsuccessful but that the public outcry will finally be great enough to do something about the threat.
btw, I agree that airliners can be surprisingly manueverable. I have read of cases of even 747's pulling 5G
maneuvers (not usually on purpose). The experience you have when flying as a passenger is intended to be as comfortable as possible so pilots are trained (and auto-pilots programmed) to maneuver such that the passengers can barely even feel it. But airliners can really pull when they have to. The weak link, though, is the power in some airliners - pull a high-G maneuver and you'll bleed speed very quickly. And it's not like these planes have F-15-like thrust-to-weight ratios to get that speed back.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!