Future high-power microwave package will be mounted onboard an AGM-86 air-launched cruise missile
US Air Force Research Laboratory recently announced its intention to develop and test new missile technology during next years. Developed over the past half decade under a program called Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), the technology for a steerable counter-electronics weapon will be “available” in 2016, said Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello, who commands the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
“It can target electronics well enough to fly over a city and shut down electronics in a single building,” Masiello said Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference here.
Tests over the past few years have proved the concept; now the AFRL is working to get the technology into a test missile. By 2016, Masiello said, the lab plans to design, develop and test a multishot, multitarget, high-power microwave package aboard an AGM-86 conventional air-launched cruise missile.
Beyond that, Masiello said, AFRL’s roadmap for high-power microwave (HPM) weapons calls for integrating the technology onto “maybe, a JASSM-ER-type weapon” in the mid-2020s and aboard “small reusable platforms” such as the F-35 or advanced UAVs by the end of the decade.
"It’s unclear whether such weapons will actually enter production; there’s no program of record yet" he said.