Military Embedded Systems

High-power microwave system gets multiweek test at White Sands


January 29, 2024

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

AFRL photo

WHITE SANDS, N.M. Raytheon (an RTX business) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) report successful completion of a three-week field test of the CHIMERA [Counter-Electronic High-Power Microwave Extended-Range Air Base Defense system] high-power microwave (HPM) weapon at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. 

According to an RTX news release, during the testing phase CHIMERA applied directed energy to multiple static target variations and demonstrated end-to-end fire control by acquiring and tracking aerial targets and maintaining tracking for the entire flight path.

RTX describes the CHIMERA as a ground-based HPM weapon "built to fire highly concentrated radio energy at multiple middle-to-long-range targets."  

CHIMERA is part of the Directed Energy Front-line Electromagnetic Neutralization and Defeat (DEFEND) program, which is a joint U.S. Navy/Air Force project to design, build, and test HPM systems for front-line deployment. Raytheon is partnering with experts at the AFRL, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, and the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to complete this work.

Colin Whelan, president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon, said of the recent multiweek CHIMERA test: "High-power microwave systems are cost-effective and reliable solutions that play an important role in layered defense by increasing magazine depth and giving warfighters more options to defeat adversaries quickly. The successful test of CHIMERA is a testament to the strong partnership between Raytheon and the AFRL, and our commitment to developing non-kinetic solutions that can counter increasingly sophisticated threats."

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