Like Wonder Woman, Commandos Want Transparent Plane Armor

Spencer Ackerman


It’s not quite Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. But for the U.S. military’s elite commandos, it’s close enough.

The U.S. Special Operations Command recently put out a solicitation that’s unusual even for a military organization that controls mystery helicopters and stealth drones. It’s after something it calls a “Transparent Ballistic Protection System,” which is pretty much what it sounds like: “production aircraft transparent armor panels and aircraft shipsets.”

Alas, the solicitation gives little indication of the actual problem such a system will solve. Adding armor to a helicopter or a plane is well and good (provided it doesn’t screw with allowing the aircraft to stay airborne). The Taliban’s shootdown of a Chinook in August provided a ghastly reminder of the vulnerabilities of helos.

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