The Air Force has reportedly picked Lockheed Martin’s long-range Joint Air-to-Surface Missile to carry a new “superweapon’ – a pulse-generated beam weapon capable of destroying electronics and computers from miles away.
Major Gen. Thomas Masiello of the the Air Force Research Laboratory says the technology, known as CHAMP — for Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project — can destroy electronic equipment with bursts of high-power microwave energy, Flight Global reports.
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The technology will be "miniaturized" to fit the Lockheed missile, Flight Global reports.
This revolutionary development in weaponry, right out of a Star Trek episode, could radically change warfare, experts say, as the new revelations may spark a new arms race for such technology.
"That’s an operational system already in our tactical air force, and that is really what will make us more operationally relevant," Masiello said at a science and technology exposition at the Pentagon earlier this month, Flight Global reports.
"Both the major commands and the combatant commands are very interested in that weapon system. It’s a non-kinetic effect."
"We're not quite up to the place where the Star Trek and Star Wars movies are, but this is definitely an advancement in technology to be able to give us an opportunity to something we couldn't do before," said lead test engineer Peter Finlay.
According to Foxtrot Alpha,
the super-high-tech system will be a "first day of war" standoff weapon.
"The capability is real … and the technology can be available today," Masiello says, according to Foxtrot Alpha.
The Daily Mail reports
that in 2012 Boeing successfully tested the weapon on a one-hour flight during which it knocked out the computers of an entire military compound. The test was over the Utah Test and Training Range, the newspaper reports.
The test was so successful even the camera recording it was disabled, the newspaper reports.
Keith Coleman, Champ program manager for Boeing's prototype arm Phantom Works, claims the technology marked "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," he said during the initial test, the Daily Mail reports.
But there are also fears the project could trigger a strong reaction from U.S. competitors like China and Russia.
"Should the [United States] be known to have developed such a technology to the production stage, it would drive others to try to act similarly," according to Trevor Taylor of the Royal United Services Institute, the Daily Mail reports.
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