The U.S. military has long been known to work on sci-fi worthy weapons that can damage an enemy’s electronics without actually causing any physical damage. And while it sounds like it could be an interesting concept taken from an Isaac Asimov novel, it’s all real! Earlier in the year, the Air Force has test fired the “Counter-Electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project” also known as CHAMP.
So what is CHAMP exactly? Defensetech.org reported that it is a missile that contains a “microwave emitter that’s powerful enough to scramble electronic systems that it is aimed at. The ultimate goal of the program is to test the feasibility of installing the system – which would fire of microwave beams of various intensity at specific targets – on a larger vehicle.” Boeing mentioned that the recent CHAMP test “sets the stage for a new breed of nonlethal but highly effective weapon systems.”
CHAMP’s program manager for Boeing Phantom Works Keith Coleman said, “It was as close to the real thing as we could get for this test. 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.”
CHAMP doesn’t come cheaply. The three year joint capability tech demonstration programs includes ground and flight demonstrations that costs $38 million.
Interesting to get more updates as this develops between the two alliances as more tests will be conducted throughout the year.