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Raytheon: Defense on the Cheap
By Rich Smith
June 16, 2005

It's been a hot topic among defense analysts ever since 2002, when terrorists fired two shoulder-launched antiaircraft missiles at an Israeli airliner in Mombasa, Kenya: How do we protect U.S.airplanes from similar attacks? And how do we protect them at a price that won't bankrupt the airlines once and for all?

Since the Mombasa attack, various figures have been bandied about regarding how much an adequate defense system might cost. Some say as "little" as $10 billion to equip every U.S. commercial aircraft with anti-missile technology (electronic jammers, flares, and the like). Some say $40 billion. Some break it down to the per-aircraft price of $1.6 million. And the Department of Homeland Security has Britain's BAE Systems and America's Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) working on bringing the cost per plane down below the psychological barrier of $1 million...
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