Air Force developing weapon that could disable North Korean missiles

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New US weapon could stop North Korean missiles

It is referred to as CHAMP, for Counter-electronics Excessive Energy Microwave Superior Missile Mission. James Fisher, spokesman for the Air Force Analysis Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base, mentioned it is a high-powered microwave weapon that will be delivered on an air-launched cruise missile, deployed from an American bomber.

Fisher says the cruise missile with a CHAMP system strapped to it could fly into enemy airspace at low altitude, and ship out sturdy pulses of electromagnetic power. The enemy’s digital command-and-control techniques can be jammed. Analysts say the cruise missile it is deployed on could then be splashed down at sea.

The Air Force says CHAMP was not developed particularly to counter the North Korean risk. However retired Gen. David Deptula, who as soon as headed US Air Force intelligence, mentioned the purposes could be efficient towards North Korea.

Retired Air Force intelligence officer Col. Cedric Leighton went additional, saying CHAMP could be a game-changer with North Korea.

“It will be very helpful within the Korean theater as a result of it would not require the presence of great numbers of floor forces,” Leighton mentioned. “It would not require Particular Operations forces. And it would not require kinetic bombing assaults. … In essence, what could occur is an assault can happen, and never a single individual on the enemy aspect would lose a life.”

Leighton mentioned a CHAMP system could disable a North Korean missile on the launchpad or in flight.

Fisher mentioned the Air Force examined the CHAMP system in 2012, at a testing vary in Utah bigger than the state of Delaware. Buildings have been rigged with communications and different techniques just like what enemy militaries would have.

Mary Lou Robinson, who heads analysis and improvement of CHAMP on the Air Force Analysis Laboratory, informed NBC Information, “It completely did precisely what we thought it was going to do.” Robinson mentioned that they had a number of goal lessons, and so they “predicted with virtually 100% accuracy” which techniques would fail.

Whereas CHAMP holds the promise of a nonlethal weapon towards the North Koreans, skeptics say it has doubtlessly harmful drawbacks.

“The North Koreans would see many of those missiles flying in,” says Jeffrey Lewis, an adjunct professor on the James Martin Heart for Nonproliferation Research on the Middlebury Institute of Worldwide Research at Monterey. “They might attempt to shoot them down. They are not truly going to know that they’re armed with high-powered microwaves as a substitute of, say, typical explosives and even nuclear weapons.”

CHAMP weapons aren’t at present operational. Neither Fisher, Robinson, nor different Air Force officers would say when the weapons could be deployed. However Leighton mentioned in a disaster, “The CHAMP system could be deployed inside days.”

CNN’s Brad Hodges contributed to this report.

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