What kind of missiles are defending DC?

I’ve only heard “aintiaircraft missile batteries”. What are they?

Stingers. Both truck mounted and shoulder mounted.

How Stinger Missiles Work

As Sam says, Stingers. Mounted on Avenger (modified Hummer) vehicles.

I’m kind of surprised. Does a Stinger have a big enough warhead to stop an airliner in its tracks? I would have thought Patriots or Hawks. And I know the Sparrow has a ground launched variant, but I don’t know its name. But I 'spose those are all radar guided, which might be more problematic.

According to the Army, a Stinger hit can result in the loss of an engine or a wing, followed by free-fall of the aircraft.

I think it’s probably dependent on the type of airliner. If it has tail-mounted engines, I would expect a Stinger hit to the engine would probably result in enough damage to the tail to make the airplane unflyable. 2.2kg of modern explosives is actually a significant blast.

If a Stinger hit a pod-mounted under-wing engine, however, It hink it might be entirely possible that the engine would just separate (they are designed with shear pins so they break free rather than stress the wing after a catastrophic failure). In which case, the airliner could continue flying on, especially when it’s in the descent phase.

So they shoot down the plane…great!
Where does it impact?

Even 2.2kg of old-fashioned gunpowder is worthy of deep respect !

Obviously, it could impact anywhere, which includes a scarcely populated area. A hijacked airliner stands a much better chance at hitting its intended target if the hijackers have control of it. Shoot it down, and at least there’s a chance ground casualties could be light.

Even if it still hits downtown D.C., that’s better than hitting the Capitol or the White House. I don’t think we’re trying to minimize loss of life here, more like loss of leaders and symbolic buildings.

Well, I don…never mind.

Yes. And the US Army/AF/Marines don’t have the “HUMRAAM” (Hummer-mounter AMRAAM <Advanced Medium Range AA Missile, the successor to the Sparrow>) in their operational arsenal anyway (the Navy DOES have a Sea-Sparrow SAM). Then there was also the Chaparral, which was a SAM version of the Sidewinder, but that was replaced by the Stinger-Avenger in the 90s.