Counter Electronics Aerial Platform Demonstrates Accuracy
By Mr. Robert Torres, AFRL/RDHA, Directed Energy
/ Published November 30, 2011
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- The Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) Joint Concept Technology Demonstration (JCTD) recently executed the flight-test Pointing Demonstration. This test demonstrated the navigational and pointing accuracy of the CHAMP aerial platform, as well as the ability to correctly trigger the payload with great timing accuracy. CHAMP provides the warfighter a non-lethal, low collateral damage capability that can be used against targets currently on the kinetic restricted target list. The technical requirements for the CHAMP system came directly from warfigher-provided inputs. CHAMP supports Combatant Commands faced with increasing operational limitations by providing an option to achieve mission needs while keeping collateral damage and post-conflict reconstruction costs to a minimum.
Combatant commanders expressed the need for military options on the battlefield that will keep troops far from enemy fire while achieving the desired effect of containment and control of the area. One possible method employs directed energy against the variety of electronic systems that our enemies use in military and asymmetrical warfare applications. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate's High Power Microwave Division, is developing a multi-shot and multi-target aerial, high-power microwave (HPM) demonstration system to Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, and Destroy an adversary's electronic systems.
The CHAMP JCTD will develop and test a counter-electronics capability that integrates a HPM source into an aerial platform. HPM beams disrupt or damage targeted electronic circuits and components through various physical avenues. Through several years of testing, AFRL has proved these counter-electronics HPM effects. Several tests are being performed to demonstrate the capability; one major testing milestone is the Pointing Demonstration.