- Named counter-electronics high-powered microwave advanced missile
- Weapon destroys electronic systems without hurting people or buildings
- Champ is now an ‘operational system already in [the] tactical air force’
- Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range has been chosen as the delivery vehicle
From Ocean’s Eleven to Star Trek, weapons that wipe out enemy electronics are a staple of science fiction films.
For years, scientists have been attempting to create such a weapon as part of Champ, or the Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project.
Now, the US Air Force claims it has advanced the technology, and says it can deploy it using the stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM).
For years, scientists have been attempting to turn fantasy into reality by working on a system known as Champ, or Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The missile is equipped with an electromagnetic pulse cannon.
This uses a super-powerful microwave oven to generate a concentrated beam of energy.
The energy causes voltage surges in electronic equipment, rendering them useless before surge protectors have the chance to react.
The aim is to destroy an enemy’s command, control, communication and computing, surveillance and intelligence capabilities without hurting people or infrastructure.
According to Foxtrot Alpha, once integrated into JASSM, Champ will be a ‘first day of war’ standoff weapon.
Because it can be launched by both bombers and fighters, Lockheed’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM, is an ideal platform for Champ.
‘The capability is real … and the technology can be available today,’ said Major General Thomas Masiello, the Air Force Research Laboratory.
‘That’s an operational system already in our tactical air force’
In 2012, aircraft manufacturer Boeing successfully tested the weapon on a one-hour flight during which it knocked out the computers of an entire military compound.
During Boeing’s experiment, the missile flew low over the Utah Test and Training Range, discharging electromagnetic pulses on to seven targets, permanently shutting down their electronics.
Boeing said that the test was so successful even the camera recording it was disabled.
Although the project is shrouded in secrecy, experts believe the missile is equipped with an electromagnetic pulse cannon.
This uses a super-powerful microwave oven to generate a concentrated beam of energy which causes voltage surges in electronic equipment, rendering them useless before surge protectors have the chance to react.