Three win anti-missile work

Teams led by BAE Systems Plc, Northrop Grumman Corp. and United AirLines Inc. have been chosen to design prototypes of anti-missile devices to protect commercial aircraft.

The three prime contractors have been invited to negotiate the agreements under which they will perform the work, Homeland Security Department officials said.

The teams will each plan a prototype to help determine whether a viable technology exists that could be deployed to protect commercial aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles. After this six-month phase, DHS will pick one or two contractors to develop prototypes that will be tested before DHS goes to the White House and Congress with a recommendation.

DHS officials said they want the contractors to adapt existing technology for commercial use, rather than develop new technology.

The department has received $60 million for the program in fiscal 2004 and will request $60 million for fiscal 2005, according to a DHS statement.


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