It's perhaps every tech-lover's nightmare, but it's something everyone should be aware of: electronics-killing missiles. On October 16th, Boeing tested one such weapon named CHAMP, a non-lethal high-powered microwave missile that successfully snuffed the life out of a bunch of PCs, making history in the process. In fact, the test was so successful, the missile killed the cameras set up to record the event as well.
The test was carried out by the Boeing Phantom Works team and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate team members, as well as members from the high-powered microwave supplier Raytheon Ktech. The target was a two-story building filled with desktop computers and electronics. The missile fired a burst of microwave awesomeness at the building, at which point every electronic thing inside died. Throughout the test, seven targets were hit using the missile.
Said Keith Coleman, the CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works, "This technology marks a new era in modern-day 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." He followed this up by stating, "Today we turned science fiction into science fact." The success of the test is, according to the Boeing statement, a big step in non-lethal warfare.
According to James Dodd, VP of Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft, there is a need for this type of weapon. “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." For now, Boeing is taking a look at the data and telemetry from the completed mission.