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Kris Jenkins
Kris Jenkins

Hard Kill


Most team members agree with the factual findings, but many reject the recommendation that the project be killed. So, although top management stops development of the paper filler, it authorizes continued research on products to be used in paper coating and plastics manufacturing. At the end of 1991, however, a test of the paper-coating product produces poor results and offers little hope that it can be improved. In early 1992, the plant is sold and the entire project is stopped, having cost a total of Fr 150 million (nearly $30 million in 1992 dollars) over seven years.

Those are soft-kill active defense systems that use a laser to confuse and disrupt the seekers on infrared missiles. Many of the aircraft NAVAIR mentions in its contracting notice question already have DIRCM defenses.

The Navy itself is working on a separate hard-kill active protection system to defend rotary-wing aircraft from rocket-propelled grenades. This program, called the Helicopter Active RPG Protection (HARP), is the only hard-kill self-protection system for aircraft that the Navy included in research and development portion of its budget request for the 2019 fiscal year. In 2012, Israeli firm Rafael demonstrated a prototype of an air-launched interceptor that could shoot down RPGs.

A hard-kill system for larger aircraft might also be able to tackle these less advanced threats and would definitely be an added boon in guarding against the increasing danger of short-range, man-portable surface to air missiles. These shoulder-fired systems continue to proliferate around the world and terrorist and insurgents continue to make good use of them to bring down low- and slow-flying aircraft and drones.

The biggest limitation of all of these hard-kill systems using physical interceptors is their magazine depth, which effectively turns them into dead weight when they run out of ammunition. Laser-based systems could offer significantly more total engagements, but each projector can only shoot at a single target at a time and needs to keep its beam on the target for an extended period of time. Clouds, smoke, and other obscurants can easily impact the range and power of the beam and only one of the turreted lasers can't provide full 360 coverage around an aircraft by itself.

Combining the hard-kill system and other defenses with a picket of unmanned platforms might be able to mitigate these limitations. An individual UCAV might only need to carry one or two types of protective systems, reducing its overall size and cost. It could then work in concert with other drones in a small group to provide the most effective anti-missile bubble possible around one or more manned aircraft.

Whatever the Navy ultimately envisions for its hard-kill self-defense arrangement working, the aircraft the service is interested in protecting are increasingly vulnerable now to potential adversaries such as Russia and China, which have made significant investments in advanced aircraft and improved, networked air defenses. While HKSPCS might not offer a complete defense for larger transport and combat support platforms by itself, it would definitely be an important part of a multi-part defensive suite for those vital aircraft.

RoboCop meets the Great Escape. Its a race to the surface and Freedom. The transhumanist Royals of Eris have activated hard kill measures to eliminate their now useless Fleshie population. Not all the Fleshies are ready to die. One family, the Henry's, plan to escape. Led by their oldest son, Brock, who was involuntarily converted into a cyborg without his permission, the Henry's form a coalition with the underground cyborg community and rebel. To live they must reach the surface and the Planetary Peacekeepers sent to rescue them.

As it turns out, there is not one, but many answers to this question. Cockroaches won the evolutionary jackpot when it comes to survival skills. Many aspects of their genetics, reproductive cycle, and physical characteristics play impor


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