A review of past and state-of-the-art aircraft fire/explosion detection and extinguishing components is presented. The lessons learned from previously fielded systems are briefly discussed so that they can be applied to the modern protection systems as they are implemented.Also, the operational features and characteristics of both fire and explosion protection components and equipment are identified and discussed so that trade studies based on these components strengths and weaknesses can be conducted. By appreciating these components strengths and limitations, a system definition which is optimized for the given application can result. The application of detection and suppression technologies to select aircraft environments is also discussed. Environments considered included: fire protection for engine powerplant compartments, fire and explosion protection for vulnerable dry bay compartments, explosion protection for aircraft fuel tanks, and fire protection for aircraft cargo bay compartments.Based on the parametric characteristics of the perceived hazard, the protection systems and components, and the specific environment of the aircraft which requires protection, the definition and configuration of an optimized approach for protection can better be defined.