I've just stumbled upon Why don't El Al 747's stay at the gates at JFK? in the hot topics. I kind of get why El Al decided to put missile defense systems in their planes but I was wondering: How common is this? Are there other airlines who do this?
It's far from being common. The following carriers use missile defense on all or part of their fleet:
- El Al
- Israir and Arkia "can be assumed" to use the laser-type from Elbit (flightglobal.com, 2009).
While Elbit has not identified any of the carriers likely to receive the equipment, a source familiar with the agreement says "it can be assumed" that all three major Israeli airlines - El Al, Israir and Arkia - are in line to be fitted.
- FedEx uses Northrop Grumman Guardian (Wikipedia).
Missile defense systems are also reportedly installed on some VIP business jets.