Finding out information on Air Force One's security systems was probably the hardest part of my research because most of the information about Air Force One is kept classified. By now, VC-25A could have already changed their systems for all I know, but this is what I got out of my research, so I hope that you enjoy it.
- About five devices are located at the tail of the plane and behind the four engines. Previously used on the last Air Force One, which flew Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Ford, and Carter through the current Air Force One, VC-25A, the device emits signals to foil attacks by heat-seeking missiles.
- A missile launch warning receiver located at the tail is intended to report and track missile threats by zeroing in on certain parts of the missile if it is fired at Air Force One. The receiver is also on use on special-operations warplanes like the MC-130H Combat Talon II.
Some of the missile detection and missile evasion systems on the tail of Air Force One. The green light above what looks like an exhaust vent is the system that reports and tracks missile threats. Remember that there are also systems like these behind the four engines. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdolan/6439111053/
- An Infrared countermeasures system, which can be directed by the missile launch warning receiver, fires pulsating flashes of infrared energy that confuses a missile’s guidance system which causes the missile to steer off course, away from Air Force One.
- There is shielding on Air Force One to protect onboard electronics from an electromagnetic pulse that could disable the Aircraft’s systems.
- Air Force One's electrical systems are so well protected that they could take the force of a nuclear bomb and still work!
- There is a security system on Air Force One that can send up a flare to confuse heat seeking missiles. The flare lets out heat, therefore attracting the missile.
- Secret Service Agents on Air Force One are armed with sniper rifles, machine guns, and other guns that are rarely seen by the president. These are only used to take down a person that is putting the president in a state of danger, not to take down a whole plane.
- Air Force One is usually never guarded by fighter jets or any other military planes. This only happens in special circumstances, like on 9-11 when the nation was under attack from terrorists and President George Bush was hurried into Air Force One, which stayed up in the air for a while until it was safe to come down.