In a military context, a high-value asset (HVA) is a ship, aircraft, sensor, or other system that either is an exceptionally potent weapon, or a force multiplier. When in a combat area, high-value assets such as airborne warning and control systems, tanker aircraft or aircraft carriers are surrounded by rings of escorts. Russian air-to-air missile designers have spent considerable effort in developing long-range radar and weapons, such as the Novator R-172 missile, for engaging airborne HVAs from outside their escort protection.
Even in areas considered safe, the most stringent protective measures surround assets such as nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, command and control centers, intelligence facilities, the largest transport aircraft, etc. In addition to fences and other barriers, as well as sensors, there may be a guard force preauthorized to use deadly force on intruders.