This is stuff you only see in the movies.

“Today, we made science fiction science fact,” says Keith Coleman, CHAMP Program Manager for Boeing Phantom Works, in the video above.

And he’s right. In what could potentially change modern day warfare, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force successfully tested the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP). The missile’s primary purpose is to disable computers and other electronics from a distance, using microwaves.

Last Tuesday over the Western Utah desert, the test was directed by a Boeing Phantom Works team, along with members from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate team, and Raytheon Ktech, suppliers of the High Power Microwave source.

The pre-programmed CHAMP missile flew over its first target and shot out a burst of High Power Microwaves at a two story building, successfully knocking out rows of personal computers and electrical systems in the building. The missile ended up hitting all seven of its targets in what the company described as a highly-successful test.

It’s groundbreaking in the sense that there is now a legitimate non-lethal weapon that can defeat electronic targets without collateral damage.

“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,” Coleman said in a press release.

Previously on GeekWire: Boeing wants to take down space junk with clouds of gas 

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  • Steve Murch

    And… why are we broadcasting this capability to the world? Very impressed with the technology if it is robust in the field, and of course, yes, it would be great if weaponry weren’t necessary in this world…

    But my question is primarily around whether this is a good idea to broadcast (by Boeing and the USAF, not Geekwire) or in doing so, whether helps our defense in any way. Why is this revealed? Not sure it has a deterrent effect, only a desire to invest in countermeasures. Not sure of the motivation to make this public, but would love to know.

    • M. Thompson

      It’s a demonstration of capabilities. “This is what we have and are willing to show. Whatever is classified, you should be more afraid of.”

  • kevdawg

    Really stupid to make this public. Is it now worthless? Is it easy to defend? Is it a cool idea for the radicals to emulate? I wonder if the people who spilled this are too immature to be in positions where discretion is required.

    • Peter H

      This may be more about demoralizing local militias, than schooling China. I’m sure China knew about this way before Geekwire readers.

    • Marilyn Mazzeo

      Obama has probably already given the technology to the A Rabs and the Clintons have given it to thier beloved Chairman Mao’s ChiComs. the Clintons gave China our long range balistic missle technology so they could build missles that would reach our west coast. and destroyed our industrial base by opeing our is not going to benefit people if our enemies ove rrun us.

  • Jansen

    This puny drone’s pathetic electro-weapons are no match for my tin-foil hat!

    • Bruno

      What a waste of tax payers money into the trash over this pathetic useless drone, the money should be send on fixing the roads,schools, and other infrastructures.

      This missile drone is not necessary, as it is pathetic from the video i could see the effects wont last long.

  • Kevin Pierce

    The camera (in the computer lab scene) continued to work, which means that it was somehow shielded from the energy wave. I am guessing the use of a Faraday cage.

    • emmanuelozon

      I was also thinking that. Maybe I should start a company making Faraday cages for desktop computers.

  • Honest_Abe

    Sorry guys. My computer already shuts off without your CHAMP device. You’re OBSOLETE!!!

  • PainesGHOST

    Not surprised. US Military has been working on directed energy since the fifties. Nice to be able to take out SPECIFIC locations rather than a broadcast EMP that takes out everything for everyone. This is going to become a very widely used tool. I would think that Seal Teams would love to be able to render the enemy stone-aged BEFORE they show up. Also, what a psych tool. After a number of instances when the lights go out and then the Seals show up, after that all you have to do is put out the lights and everyone will panic. Knowing that ONLY our people have advanced electronics during an engagement changes the slope of the playing field in our favor. And WITHOUT collateral damage.
    Jansen, while that is true, you have to actually be wearing the hat when the drone attacks or your powers will still fail you. Never know WHEN that puny drone is coming…..

    • emmanuelozon

      My guns are not electronic. Go ahead, turn off my lights. I’ll wait for you in the dark.

  • emmanuelozon

    “It’s groundbreaking in the sense that there is now a legitimate
    non-lethal weapon that can defeat electronic targets without collateral

    Non-lethal, just like a Taser, huh.

    • Rolando

      What happens if people wearing pace maker to keep their hearts in rythym?

  • LarryPTL

    So what? As the threat of using Vircator or FCG weapons as engines of sabotage against competitors intensifies, businesses can easily harden their server rooms against a directed EMP assault.

    It’s also easy to harden a house during the construction phase, and the cost is small. Given some of Chuck Norris’ recent articles on the negative affects of excess radio signals inside one’s home, more people will be taking the necessary steps to shield themselves and in the process harden their houses from this kind of weapon.

  • Veritae

    Does anyone know;
    About how long until the civilian version becomes available? Seems like this could be useful for really annoying loud neighbors with way too much stereo…

    • azbob

      And a mobile version for cars with thumping bass.

  • Mj Maytum

    How much to get it to target some sites in D.C.?



  • Stinker

    Microsoft did this years ago with Vista.

    • Truth Matters

      herhehehehehehehe funny

  • ezra127

    Hmm I wonder what it would do to some centrifuges in an underground bunker in say IRAN.

  • w w

    microsoft perfected my pc to crash and shut down yrs ago,

  • Evan Aagaard

    How does it “stand to change history?” Can it also travel back in time?

  • Zadim

    Non-Lethal Microwave…haa! Did Boeing put any employees in the buildings and ask how they were feeling after (probably similar to someone putting a Chihuahua in a microwave – would not be a pretty picture).

    And what-the-hey, Boeing left an M out of the name: Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) – shouldn’t it be CHMAMP) – the name-giving department was probably outsourced

  • lamba444

    Go ahead and use it on Iran, syria and north korea already. might save some American lives as well as the others who want their freedom in the area. knowing this administration they will probably target their own and israel however

  • TS Eggleston

    Precisely why my critical communications links are inside Faraday Cages.

    Paranoid: Yes!
    Unreasonable: No!

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