USAF, Navy Concluding Five-Year Microwave Weapon Test

The US Navy and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are wrapping up a five-year joint effort to develop high-power microwave technology capable of knocking out adversary electronics.

The High-Powered Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike (HiJENKS) weapon is undergoing a two-month test at Naval Air Station China Lake, California. 

Successor of CHAMP

The microwave weapon is the successor to the Counter-Electronics High-Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), jointly developed by the AFRL and Boeing a decade ago.

The HiJENKS builds on the CHAMP effort by utilizing contemporary technologies to pack the weapon’s attributes into a miniaturized system better suited for more rugged environments, AFRL high-power electromagnetics division chief Jeffry Heggemeier said.

A CHAMP projectile sends out high-frequency radio waves to disable the “target’s data and electronic subsystems,” Boeing explained in a 2012 press release. 

Integrated With JASSM-ER Body?

The weapon used the body of the AGM-86 Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) to carry the microwave-based payload, The War Zone wrote, adding that the HiJENKS could use the frame of the AGM-158B Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range.

However, Heggemeier said that a platform has not yet been designated for the microwave weapon, adding that it is compatible with a wide range of carrier systems.

“We’ll start looking at more service-specific applications once we’ve done this test that demonstrates the technology,” he said.

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