This missile may look deadly, but it’s not — unless you’re an electronic. Technology developed by Boeing with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory was successfully tested to damage enemy electronic systems.
Using microwaves, the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) can disable the electronics of specific targets. This is the first success, according to Defense Tech, that brings technology closer to being able to disarm electronic systems without the electromagnetic plus generally associated with nuclear warheads, which are “not exactly a low-collateral damage tool.”
Here’s more about CHAMP from Boeing’s release:
CHAMP is a nonlethal alternative to kinetic weapons that neutralizes electronic targets. It would allow the military to focus on these targets while minimizing or eliminating collateral damage.
The CHAMP missile pointed at a set of simulated targets, confirming that the missile could be controlled and timed while using a High-powered Microwave (HPM) system against multiple targets and locations.
“It was as close to the real thing as we could get for this test,” said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. “This demonstration, which brings together the Air Force Research Laboratory’s directed energy technology and Boeing’s missile design, sets the stage for a new breed of nonlethal but highly effective weapon systems.”
More tests for the three-year, $38 million program are expected later this year.