Washington: Amid tension over North Korean Missile program US now ready to deploy microwave weapons that proponents believe could stop North Korea from launching missiles by frying their electronics.
The Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) is an air-launched directed-energy weapon capable of incapacitating or damaging electronic systems. The CHAMP is superior to other electronic warfare weapons because it destroys electronics, rather than jamming which temporarily affects systems that come back online when it stops being applied.
The microwave weapons, known as CHAMPs, are fitted into an air-launched cruise missile and delivered from B-52 bombers. With a range of 700 miles, they can fly into enemy airspace at low altitude and emit sharp pulses of microwave energy to disable electronic systems.
Advocates say they could be used to stop North Korea from launching missiles by targeting the ground controls and the circuitry in the missiles themselves. The weapons are not currently operational.
By October 2012, according to Air Force documents, CHAMP was ready for an operational test. A B-52 bomber launched the missile over the Utah Test and Training Range, a 2,500-square-mile testing area larger than Delaware. Mocked-up buildings were rigged with communications and computer systems that simulated possible enemy capabilities.