Aircraft Threatened

By Marta Lawrence

The danger posed by shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles is very real, says the U.S. Department of State. A fact sheet describing the devices, their origins, and capabilities has been released by the department.

“Man-portable air defense systems [MANPADS] in the hands of criminals, terrorists, and other non-state actors pose a serious potential threat to passenger air travel, the commercial aviation industry, and military aircraft around the world,” says the fact sheet. More than 17,000 excess or illicitly held MANPADS have been destroyed since terrorists attempted to shoot down a civilian airliner in Mombasa, Kenya in 2002.

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