Military Embedded Systems

Raytheon EMP weapon tested by Boeing, USAF Research Lab


November 02, 2012

Brandon Lewis

Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

Raytheon EMP weapon tested by Boeing, USAF Research Lab

Boeing has announced that it successfully tested an electromagnetic pulse missile capable of disabling electronics without affecting structures. The Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) was tested by a Boeing Phantom Works/U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate team on October 16 at the Utah Test and Training Range.

Firing high-power microwave bursts at a multi-story structure containing electronic systems and devices, the drone-like weapon irreparably disabled the computers and electronics within seven targets in a one-hour period. The cameras recording the operation were also disabled.

CHAMP's High Power Microwave instrument that provided the disabling EMP blast is a product of Raytheon Ktech, who remotely viewed the operation. Telemetry and data from the test are now being analyzed further.

Though speculation exists surrounding the weapon’s effectiveness against military-hardened electronics, the prospects of its use are bright.

“This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,” said Keith Coleman, Boeing Phantom Works' CHAMP Program Manager. “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.”

The CHAMP program is a three-year endeavor between Boeing and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory that hopes to eventually produce five such EMP missiles.

More commentary on the weapon and test can be viewed at

Read more on advanced warfare techniques in the blog, "Sixth-generation warfare: Manipulating space and time" at


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