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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Non-Lethal Missile Kills Computers And Electronics With EMP Burst

Credit AFR
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Non-Lethal Missile Kills Computers And Electronics With EMP Burst

The Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) Joint Concept Technology Demonstration (JCTD) recently executed the flight-test Pointing Demonstration. This test demonstrated the navigational and pointing accuracy of the CHAMP aerial platform, as well as the ability to correctly trigger the payload with great timing accuracy.
CHAMP provides the warfighter a non-lethal, low collateral damage capability that can be used against targets currently on the kinetic restricted target list. The technical requirements for the CHAMP system came directly from warfigher-provided inputs. CHAMP supports Combatant Commands faced with increasing operational limitations by providing an option to achieve mission needs while keeping collateral damage and post-conflict reconstruction costs to a minimum.

Cruising fast over the Western Utah Desert, a lone missile makes history at the Utah Test and Training Range. The missile, known as CHAMP, or Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project may one day change modern warfare, by defeating electronic targets with little or no collateral damage.

 On Oct. 16th at 10:32 a.m. MST a Boeing Phantom Works team along with members from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate team, and Raytheon Ktech, suppliers of the High Power Microwave source, huddled in a conference room at Hill Air Force Base and watched the history making test unfold on a television monitor.

Power is cut to a room of computers after being hit by a high-powered microwave pulse from a Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project.

CHAMP approached its first target and fired a burst of High Power Microwaves at a two story building built on the test range. Inside rows of personal computers and electrical systems were turned on to gauge the effects of the powerful radio waves.

Seconds later the PC monitors went dark and cheers erupted in the conference room. CHAMP had successfully knocked out the computer and electrical systems in the target building. Even the television cameras set up to record the test were knocked off line without collateral damage.

“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,”

In all, seven targets were hit using CHAMP’s high power microwaves in the one-hour test that degraded and defeated the electronics inside the test buildings.

James Dodd, vice president of Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft, part of Phantom Works said there is 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,” Dodd said.

Coleman, who led the Boeing team in the historic test flight, says the team is currently analyzing data and telemetry from the test that many consider a big step in modern non-lethal warfare.

“Today we turned science fiction into science fact,” Coleman said.

The Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate's High Power Microwave Division, is developing a multi-shot and multi-target aerial, high-power microwave (HPM) demonstration system to Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, and Destroy an adversary's electronic systems.

The CHAMP JCTD will develop and test a counter-electronics capability that integrates a HPM source into an aerial platform. HPM beams disrupt or damage targeted electronic circuits and components through various physical avenues. Through several years of testing, AFRL has proved these counter-electronics HPM effects. Several tests are being performed to demonstrate the capability; one major testing milestone is the Pointing Demonstration.

Contacts and sources:
By Randy Jackson