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Technical Specifications: Polymer Aircraft Armour

CLASSIFIED LEVEL BLACK

PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit

Technical Document, Sigma Clearance -- Commander's Eyes Only

Filed: 19 March 2084

By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command




Overview

Under the continuing efforts of the Excalibur Program, we have scoured the globe for the best components on Earth in order to fit our aircraft with the equipment they need to survive against the alien threat. As always, only the very best equipment has been selected for the defence of our planet.

One of the fundamental truths in aircraft design is that it's easier to dish out damage than it is to take it and keep coming. Heavy objects don't really belong in the sky; it takes a constant input of power to keep things like aircraft, birds and balloons from coming back down, and if the source of this power is damaged in mid-flight, a crash is unavoidable. PHALANX uses exclusively multi-engine aircraft, but even though it's possible for our interceptors to land on only one engine, the loss of an engine during combat will immediately render the aircraft combat-ineffective. With such a drastic loss of speed and manoeuvring power, continuing the engagement would be suicide.

Adding extra armour to our aircraft is a weighty but effective solution to keeping them in the sky, protecting critical systems from damage and allowing the aircraft to stay in the fight longer than would otherwise be possible. It will reduce the severity of hits to the fuel tank and other vital systems that might otherwise result in the craft's instant destruction.

The expensive polymer used in our standard add-on armour is one of the toughest materials on the planet. It deforms wildly under heat and pressure, such as when impacted by kinetic or explosive energy, cushioning the blow across the entire armour surface. Once the energy has dissipated, the deformed plate amazingly resumes all or most of its previous shape, depending on the amount of damage received. We even have facilities in our Workshops to repair permanently-deformed polymer plates once the aircraft returns to base.

On the downside, the added weight will slow the aircraft down and significantly decrease its effective range. This is less of an issue for quick short-range interceptions, but can cause problems if UFOs are spotted in areas far distant from any of our bases.

Installing this armour add-on will completely take up the modular armour slot on one of our aircraft.


Recommended Doctrine

It is recommended to restrict this armour add-on to craft which are meant to make quick, short-range interceptions not far from their base. The installation of add-on armour on our long-range interceptors is left to the Commander's discretion, but limiting their effective range in this manner can be dangerous, as it will be several hours' work to strip off the armour once it's put on. During this time the interceptor will be 'in the shop' and unable to launch. Any rearming or refuelling of the aircraft will have to wait until the installation/removal is complete. Our techs can't work on this material with dangerous munitions or fuel on-site.

Scrambling an aircraft during a half-finished armour job is possible but not recommended. The craft will be highly unbalanced and in danger of crashing because of unpredictable handling and behaviour. It certainly won't be able to fight, as its targeting electronics will have been shut down for the duration of the maintenance cycle, and they cannot be booted up in time to be effective in a scramble situation.


Addenda

None.




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