Electronic warfare may have gone a notch higher with the successful testing of a new missle that fires an electromagnetic pulse to disable electronic devices without causing damage to buildings and other structures.
A Boeing Phantom Works team tested the Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) last Oct. 16 in the US, Boeing said in a news release.
Science ficiton to science fact
“This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare. In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive,” said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works.
Coleman, who led the Boeing team in the historic test flight, said the team is now analyzing data and telemetry from the test.
“Today we turned science fiction into science fact,” he said.
In the test, the CHAMP approached its first target and fired a burst of high-power microwaves at a two-story building containing computers and electrical systems.
Seconds after the burst, the computers were knocked out —as were the TV cameras set up to record the test— but not much else.
Observing the test were members from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate team, and Raytheon Ktech, suppliers of the High Power Microwave source, from a conference room at Hill Air Force Base.
Killing devices, not people
In the test, CHAMP's microwaves hit seven targets, shutting off the electronics inside the test buildings.
James Dodd, vice president of Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft which is part of Phantom Works, said there is a real need for a weapon that can defeat a target without harming people and structures.
“We know this has some capabilities and some impact, we’re really trying to engage the customer to see if there is a way we can actually get this fielded and implemented sooner than later,” Dodd said. — TJD, GMA News