The U.S. Air Force confirmed last week rumors circulating for years that it's developed a cutting edge electromagnetic pulse weapon that will permanently fry all electronic devices with pinpoint accuracy. Boeing, along with Lockheed Martin are building the weapon.
The weapon in named "CHAMP," short for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. CHAMP carries a small power generator that shoots microwaves to fry electronics with pinpoint accuracy. It doesn't target nations or cities but individual buildings, permanently blacking out their electronics rather than blowing up physical targets (or innocent civilians).
CHAMP is a fearsome weapon, that can circle around and fire multiple times, pinpointing and blacking out only essential targets. This enables it to take down radar defenses in a hostile state, while sparing the electrical grid that supports the civilian population. This helps keep morale of civilians high and reduces reconstructions costs in war zones.
A leaked 2012 test flight in Utah saw a single CHAMP black out seven separate targets in succession, in one single mission.
Even way back then, a Boeing representative was able to brag: "We hit every target we wanted to," predicting that "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."
Three years later, Air Force Research Laboratory commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello says CHAMP is "an operational system already in our tactical air force."
Officially the journal Military Embedded Systems says that the Air Force Research Laboratory has contracted Boeing to build just five CHAMP devices.
But given that's public information and the trend in Pentagon acquisitions projects, the Air Force may already be building these weapons en masse.
The Air Force knows what it is in the future and is intent on fighting its next war more or less entirely by remote control. Expect CHAMP and more products like it to hit the battlefield far sooner than expected.