The Air Force Research Laboratory has developed a cruise missile that could use microwave energy to potentially disable North Korean missiles on the launch pad, according to NBC News.
The technology, which the Dayton Daily News has reported on previously, zaps microwave energy at a target to disable electronics, such as computers inside a building or a weapon’s circuitry.
Headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, AFRL has also pursued what its leaders have called “game-changing” battlefield technology, including hypersonic weapons, autonomous drones and artificial intelligence.
AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., developed and tested the weapon called CHAMP, or the counter-electronics high-powered microwave advanced missile.
“The purpose of that weapon is to non-kinetically take out computers and (information technology) infrastructure,” retired Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, a former AFRL commander, said in a 2014 interview with this newspaper.
The technology was tested over a Utah range, AFRL leaders have said.
‘We were very successful in flying in a cruise missile a directed energy, high-powered weapon,” former AFRL Executive Director Ricky Peters also said in a 2014 interview. “If we can miniaturize that so it could carry it on those platforms than we’ve got another game-changer.”
NBC reported White House officials discussed the weapons in August, but the weapon is not operational.