|Aviation Week & Space Technology
10/20/2008 , page 28
New USAF weapon could shut down or damage enemy electronics
After years of hopeful talk and a number of test failures, U.S. Air Force researchers are planning to demonstrate an airborne, electronics-killing, standoff weapon that could receive funding in the Fiscal 2010 budget.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is planning to develop a weapons system that integrates a payload capable of generating pulses of high-power microwaves (HPM). The Joint Concept Technology Demonstration is called ?Champ,? according to officials at Eglin AFB, Fla. If selected for funding in Fiscal 2010, the program would include feasibility studies and flight-testing.
>> SNIP <<
Flying experiments at Eglin were noted as early as 1992, when air-launched cruise missiles were modified to carry an electrically charged coil wrapped in conventional high explosives. When ignited, the explosives destroyed the missile and crushed the coil, which ?squirted? out a beam of high-power microwaves. However, the beam was difficult to aim and its power was hard to predict. Unofficial comments from Air Force officials and the Eglin test community indicated an errant beam burned out small motors that power seats and windows in cars parked near the test area.