In a burst of modern-day technology that supporters said “turned science fiction into science fact,” a missile armed with a high-powered microwave emitter has disabled electronic targets at the Utah Test and Training Range.
The missile, known as CHAMP or counter-electronics high powered advanced missile project, was developed by a Boeing team that includes members from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab and Raytheon.
According to a Boeing news release, a two-story building filled with personal computers and electrical systems was erected on the test range. When CHAMP fired a burst of high powered microwaves, the release noted, the PC monitors went dark.
“Even the television cameras set up to record the test were knocked off line,” according to the company statement.
Boeing’s CHAMP program manager Keith Coleman said the technology marks a new era in modern 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,” Coleman added.
James Dodd, a Boeing vice president, said a need exists for weapons that can take out targets without harming people or structures.
“We know this has some capabilities and some impact,” Dodd concluded. “We’re trying to engage the customer to see if there is a way we can actually get this fielded and implemented sooner than later.”