FedEx is seeking permission from the FAA to equip its planes with anti-missile lasers
· Jan 14, 2022 ·

If you were thinking of applying to work in FedEx's air division, this would be, like, a little unsettling, right?

Package delivery giant FedEx wants to equip some of its aircraft with military-style missile countermeasures, which could allow it to continue flying over contested areas that might otherwise be closed to air traffic, according to a filing posted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a notice of this "special condition" posted Friday, the FAA dryly observed that its design standards for commercial cargo planes "did not envisage that a design feature could project infrared laser energy outside the airplane" and therefore it sought special approval for this "novel design feature." The proposed infrared laser system is intended to fool missiles fired from the ground.

Look we're all wondering the same thing right now:

It would seem to be more than a little odd. But apparently the issue is a pressing one:

"In recent years, in several incidents abroad, civilian aircraft were fired upon by man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS)," FAA said in its filing. "The FedEx missile-defense system directs infrared laser energy toward an incoming missile, in an effort to interrupt the missile's tracking of the aircraft's heat."

Betcha never knew that air-shipping your custom kebab grill from Turkey was such a harrowing undertaking did you?!

Next time you see a FedEx driver, maybe thank him for his service!

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