Boeing has successfully tested a missile that uses microwaves to disrupt a target’s electronic systems without causing collateral damage.
The CHAMP (Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project) missile fires a burst of high-power microwaves as it approaches a target rather than using explosive power to destroy it.
‘This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,’ said Keith Coleman, CHAMP programme manager for Boeing Phantom Works.
‘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.’
The test, carried out in the Western Utah Desert on 16 October, saw the missile fly past a two-storey building and disable computers, electrical systems and even the television cameras set up to record the mission.
James Dodd, vice president of Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft, said there was a real need for a weapon that can defeat a target and not cause harm to 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.’