Raytheon microwave warhead would fry enemy defenses, not blow them up

Today in any military conflict there is a bunch of missiles and other exploding ordinance that is used against hard targets like air defenses to prevent them from being used on the opposing force and on civilians in the conflict. The way these missiles destroy the enemy equipment is by blowing it up. The high explosive warheads have the sad drawback of at times causing damage beyond what the military intends with civilian casualties always a risk, especially in heavily populated areas where defenses might be placed.

Raytheon has a very interesting new missile warhead that it is talking about that would not explode and therefore would not be able to cause any collateral damage of buildings or people near the site of the attack. The new microwave uses a warhead that emits high power microwaves. These microwaves are able to fry the electronics in weapon systems and render the hardware just as useless as if it exploded.

The warhead would be hooked to a Tomahawk missile and would be able to fly over enemy territory, analyze the target, and then tailor a beam of radio frequency or microwaves to upset or destroy the electronics that the enemy relies on. A smaller version of the warhead could even be placed on a missile launched from an aircraft. The new warhead appears to be in the concept stage at this point, but it is being developed.

[via Wired]