Military

CHAMP missile test flight knocks out electronic devices with a burst of energy

Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile
Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile
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Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile
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Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile
Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile launching
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Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile launching
Artist's impression of a CHAMP missile attack
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Artist's impression of a CHAMP missile attack
Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile showing the narrow microwave beam
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Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile showing the narrow microwave beam
Computer targets before a CHAMP missile test attack
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Computer targets before a CHAMP missile test attack
Computer targetsafter a CHAMP missile test attack
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Computer targetsafter a CHAMP missile test attack
Artist's impression of a CHAMP missile attack
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Artist's impression of a CHAMP missile attack

This week, science fiction became science fact as a Boeing CHAMP missile knocked out a building full of electronics in the Utah desert at Hill Air Force Base. There was no explosion and no flying shrapnel. There was only the sound of the missile’s engine as it flew overhead and the sputtering of sophisticated computers crashing as they were hit by a beam of high-energy microwaves.

CHAMP, which stand for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, is a cruise missile that replaces an explosive weapon with a sort of “death ray” for electronics. The effect is similar to Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) bombs that show up in James Bond films and give military planners nightmares about computer networks being disabled in a split second.

The difference is that where an EMP weapon uses a nuclear warhead or an explosive shot through a wire coil to generate a pulse over an area, the Boeing CHAMP missile aims a precise beam of high-energy microwaves at a target, or multiple targets, as it flies over.

Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile launching
Artist's impression of the CHAMP missile launching

The military advantages of such a weapon are obvious. "This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare," said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program 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."

Monday’s test, carried out in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, used a two-story building filled with electronics as the primary target. As the missile flew over in a pre-programmed course, it blasted the building with microwaves.

In seconds, the computers and other electronics inside were knocked out and even the cameras to record the test were rendered inoperative. That day, seven targets were hit and their electronics were disabled by the microwave beam before the missile flew to an “undisclosed location” and returned to Earth.

Source: Boeing

33 comments
Pewnicorn
Great, now governments and enterprise can spend billions of dollars on counter-measures.
Ross Jenkins
haha yeah my thoughts exactly, why in gods name did they tell people they have this weapon. Isn't something like that supposed to be a surprise? or maybe they actually haven't developed it, but they want their enemies to spend billions on fancy roofs!
James Barbour
How sad it is that advanced technology used to defend America is published in the general press to boost company stocks. So much for strategic advantages.
Captain Danger
Guys Do you really think that this was a secret weapon that no other country knew about until now? The Chinese probably have half the design stolen already.
Harpal Sahota
Add the microwave frequency with a Brain Scrambling frequency, and you have people also rendered to sheep. And for those that think such devices do not exist, think again ... and if nothing is delivered in your research, then get them to switch the device off! ... LOL ; D Recent reports from scientists have shown DNA is actually a waveform frequency, that can be activated or deactivated by a external bandwidth frequency ... ''Funny That!''... time to get that Foil-Hat on?
matthew.rings
@Harpal: This is *exactly* the reason you need to be wearing your aluminum foil hat! Away the Conspiracy-Theory Awareness Team (CTAT)!! ;)
Lynne Krause
Weapons technology on the march. Don't blow up buildings disable electronics.
lafreedom
good thing all my guns don't have computers in them.
Gregory Minor
This is fantastic! Imagine what would happen by shutting down a "threats" power and information infastructure.. How vulnerable would they be? Knock out their satcom, and really watch them squirm while this missiles older brother, the Tactical Tomahawk takes it to them hard. @Harpal, really? DNA can be activated or deactivated externally?
Pikeman
re; Pewnicorn That is actually the point. The USA did not defeat the USSR on the field of battle; we beat them by forcing them to spend more than they could afford and providing the slaves with as much truth as we could get across the Iron Curtain.
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