The threat of unmanned aerial systems (UAS's) to American interests within the continental United States and outside our borders is an ongoing concern. Continued and rapid improvements in technology not only are increasing the availability of these unmanned technologies, but also are:
- Allowing greater UAS payloads (i.e., payload weight divided by vehicle weight)
- Easing the ability to operate, fly, navigate and transport unmanned systems
- Lowering the cost to manufacture and operate this equipment
With these technological advances, however, also comes an increased potential for hostile actors to deploy UASs in very nefarious ways. The C-UAS Hard Kill Challenge will provide the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO), United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), Program Directorate Counter-Rocket Artillery Mortar Missiles (PD C-RAM), DoD agencies, and U.S. Government agencies and coalition partners an opportunity to review the current state of technology to defeat rotary and fixed wing UASs. To assess current technology, the Joint Improvised Threat-Defeat Organization (JIDO), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is sponsoring a C-UAS Hard Kill Challenge at White Sands Missile Range, NM starting late February. Teams only need to be at the site for their portion. It is anticipated that teams will only have to be onsite for approximately 5 days. The C-UAS Hard Kill Challenge is focused on evaluating "Hard Kill" technologies that can defeat UASs with a flyswatter approach. For the purpose of this event, "hard kill" shall be defined as the physical interruption of a UAS's ability to maintain lift and continue its mission via the direct capture of the UAS, the physical destruction of the airframe and/or the permanent ability to disrupt the power to the airframe. The C-UAS Hard Kill Challenge is open to teams consisting of private industry, government entities and government/industry challenge teams. The focus of this challenge is on technologies that can "hard kill" a UAS beyond 250 meters. Participation is at the teams' own expense. During the challenge, teams will have the opportunity to "hard kill" a combined 30 rotor- and fixed-wing Group I UASs in scored events and four additional UASs in non-scored events. For those teams that cannot afford to engage 34 UASs, JIDO will hold a demonstration phase where select teams can demonstrate their systems to the government stakeholders. Teams who only participate in the demonstration are not eligible to compete for the award. Only a limited number of registrants will be selected to participate in the challenge and demonstration. A panel of subject matter experts, or SMEs, will review each team package to determine the most qualified candidates. The number of participants is limited due to logistical concerns at the range, cost of targets and range time.
Cash awards for top two teams.
Cash Prize Amount: $0
Hard Kill Challenge Overview
The Hard Kill Challenge will provide JIDO and other DoD agencies an opportunity to evaluate where current technology is concerning hard killing rotor and fixed wing UASs. This Challenge will consist of three scored phases. The first phase is primarily set-up to verify the ability of each vendor’s C-UAS system to hard kill a UAS. To advance to each subsequent phase, a vendor must hard kill a minimum of one UAS in each phase. This Challenge will only use Group I rotor and fixed wing UASs.
Phase I - Initial Assessment
Phase I is the initial C-UAS system assessment phase. During this phase there will be 12 scored test events and four unscored test events. Six test events will consist of one rotors UAS hovering 50-100m Above Ground Level (AGL) at 250m, 500m and/or 1000m. Each test event will be no longer than 15 minutes. The test events will start at a distance of 250m. Teams must defeat two rotor UASs at each distance to move to the next further distance. It is possible that all six test events will take place at 250m if the team fails to defeat two rotor UASs. Six test events will consist of one fixed winged UAS flying in an oval pattern 50-100m AGL at 250m. 500m, and 1000m. Each test event will be no longer than 15 minutes. The test events will start at a distance of 250m. Teams must defeat two fixed winged UASs at each distance to move to the next further distance. It is possible that all six test events will take place at 250m if the team fails to defeat two rotor UASs. For those teams that have defeated a minimum of one UAS (rotor or fixed winged), they will participate in four unscored test events where the Red Team will provide Counter-Counter Measures (CCMs) to the UASs. These test events will start at the farthest distance that the team previously defeat the rotor/fixed winged UAS. Phase I Scoring
. Scoring for each test event is based on a combination of time it takes to defeat the UAS and the distance. See the attachment for more details. Teams who have defeated a minimum of one UAS (rotor or fixed winged) will move to Phase II
Phase II - Single UAS Missions (Rotor & Fixed Wing UASs)
Phase II will consist of eight test events. Four test events will consist of a single rotor UAS and four test events consisting of a single fixed wing UAS conducting either an ISR or attack mission. Each mission will start at approximately 3000m from the objective based on the performance specifications of each UAS. The team's objective is to defeat the UAS at the farthest possible distance. Phase II Scoring
. Scoring for each test event is based on the distance a UAS is defeated. The farther the distance the higher the score. See the attachment for more details.
Phase III - Swarm UAS Missions (Rotor and Fixed Wing UASs)
Phase III will consist of four UAS swarm test events. This test event will be similar to Phase II with the exception being that each mission will consist of multiple UASs. The first two missions will consist of two UASs (one rotor and one fixed wing), the 3rd mission will consist of three UASs (two rotors and one fixed wing) and the 4th mission will consist of three UASs (one rotor and two fixed wings). Phase III Scoring
. Scoring for each test event is based on the distance each UAS is defeated. The farther the distance the higher the score. See the attachment for more details.
How To Enter
1. Interested parties should submit a white paper which should include the following information, if available. More information is better to allow more efficient range approvals and better inform the SMEs reviewing team submissions.
a. Business Name
b. Business Address
c. Business Webpage
d. CAGE Code
e. Company POC and Contact Information
f. Detailed System/Subsystem Description
g. System TRL Level and Justification
h. Brief Concept of Operations (CONOPS)
i. Operational View (OV-1) (optional)
j. Narrative of what it would take to be deployable and ready to use in an austere environment within 12 months.
k. Program, Product or System Security Classification Guide or Guidance used to develop necessary security measures related to documentation, storage and operations and maintenance of the system and system data, in lieu of a classification guide, classification guidelines used to protect critical system parameters or critical information related to the program/product/system/technology must be provided.
l. Information Exchange Requirements (IERs/Interface Control Documents).
2. Document Submittal Instructions
All registration submittals must have arrived to JIDO close of business 2 December 2016. Challenge invitee notifications will be made by 12 December 2016. Submittals can be made either by mail, express mail or email via challenge.gov. The discussion board can be used for questions. The addresses are below:
a. Challenge.gov registration (preferred)
b. United States Postal Service (Classified and Unclassified)
ATTN: JIDO J8-AED/Hard Kill Challenge Team
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
8725 John J. Kingman Rd. Stop 6201
Ft Belvoir, VA 22060-6201
c. Federal Express/United Parcel Service (Classified and Unclassified)
ATNN: JIDO J8-AED/Hard Kill Challenge Team
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
6200 Meade Rd
Ft Belvoir, VA 22060-5204