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CHAMP fries electronics with microwaves

Boeing has announced that its new CHAMP missile has had a successful first test flight. The CHAMP, or Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, had its first test flight earlier this year at the Utah Test and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base. The CHAMP missile is a non-lethal alternative to kinetic weapons that is able to neutralize electronic targets.

The goal is to create a weapon that can eliminate the threat posed by weapons and structures that rely on electronics to operate without having to worry about collateral damage. The test flight pointed the CHAMP missile at a set of simulated targets and confirmed that the missile could be controlled in flight and that timing of the High-powered Microwave (HPM) system could be controlled.

"It was as close to the real thing as we could get for this test," said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. "This demonstration, which brings together the Air Force Research Laboratory's directed energy technology and Boeing's missile design, sets the stage for a new breed of nonlethal but highly effective weapon systems."

The program to develop the CHAMP missile has spanned three years and cost $38 million so far. More tests of the missile system are set for later in the year. Boeing supplies the airborne platform and is the prime contractor and systems integrator on the program. The HPM is supplied by subcontractor Ktech Corp. The pulse power system is provided by Sandia National Laboratories under a separate contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory. 





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