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1/5/2008 4:41:45 AM
Passenger jets get anti-missile devices
Updated 18h 51m ago | Comments405 | Recommend56E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints & Permissions | Subscribe to stories like this
Three American Airlines passenger jets will be fitted with anti-missile systems this spring to test how the devices affect fuel consumption and how much maintenance they require.
By Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY
Three American Airlines passenger jets will be fitted with anti-missile systems this spring to test how the devices affect fuel consumption and how much maintenance they require.
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of airline passengers will soon be flying on jets outfitted with anti-missile systems as part of a new government test aimed at thwarting terrorists armed with shoulder-fired projectiles.

Three American Airlines Boeing 767-200s that fly daily round-trip routes between New York and California will receive the anti-missile laser jammers this spring, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is spending $29 million on the tests.

Jets will fly with the jammer device mounted on the belly of the plane, between the wheels. The device works with sensors, also mounted on the plane, that detect a heat-seeking missile and shoot a laser at it to send the missile veering harmlessly off course.

Anti-missile systems have been tested on cargo planes. But "this is the first time