Cover: Concerns about terrorists with manportable SAMs

Concerns about terrorists with manportable SAMs

Published 1993

by Marvin Schaffer

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This paper considers the likelihood that precision-guided munitions in the hands of terrorists will be used against civilian aircraft, both fixed and rotary winged, with attendant casualties. The conclusion is reached that the most likely threat is the shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile (SAM). Historically, such munitions have been used routinely on a world-wide basis at the rate of several per year for the past 20 years with considerable success. Countermeasures against what is currently in the field and available to terrorists are inadequate. In addition, SAMs of more advanced design are being developed and will likely be available on the open market. Current countermeasure approaches, already insufficient, will be completely outclassed by advanced SAM designs.

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