From Ocean’s Eleven to Star Trek, weapons that wipe out enemy electronics are a staple of science fiction films.
For years, scientists have been attempting to create such a weapon as part of Champ, or the Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project.
Now, the US Air Force claims it has advanced the technology, and says it can deploy it using the stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM).
According to Foxtrot Alpha, once integrated into JASSM, Champ will be a ‘first day of war’ standoff weapon.
Because it can be launched by both bombers and fighters, Lockheed’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM, is an ideal platform for Champ.
‘The capability is real … and the technology can be available today,’ said Major General Thomas Masiello, the Air Force Research Laboratory.
‘That’s an operational system already in our tactical air force’
In 2012, aircraft manufacturer Boeing successfully tested the weapon on a one-hour flight during which it knocked out the computers of an entire military compound.
During Boeing’s experiment, the missile flew low over the Utah Test and Training Range, discharging electromagnetic pulses on to seven targets, permanently shutting down their electronics.
Boeing said that the test was so successful even the camera recording it was disabled.
Although the project is shrouded in secrecy, experts believe the missile is equipped with an electromagnetic pulse cannon.
This uses a super-powerful microwave oven to generate a concentrated beam of energy which causes voltage surges in electronic equipment, rendering them useless before surge protectors have the chance to react.
Keith Coleman, Champ programme 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.
However, experts fear that the project could create an arms race, with countries scrambling to build their own electromagnetic pulse weapons.
Professor Trevor Taylor, Professorial Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, has previously said the Western world would be more vulnerable attack because of its increased reliance on electronics.
‘Should the US be known to have developed such a technology to the production stage, it would drive others to try to act similarly,’ he said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3097937/This-silent-missile-destroy-enemy-s-electronics-PULSES-Air-Force-confirms-work-terrifying-new-weapon.html#ixzz3bIHZgch8
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook