ADVANCED WEAPONS

Microwave Weapon Designed to Render Electronics Useless

3/1/2011
By Eric Beidel
The Air Force wants to disable enemy electronics without harming nearby buildings or people.

Lockheed Martin Corp. has won a $230,000 contract to produce a concept for a weapon that uses microwave energy beams instead of explosives to take out electronic systems.

The ultimate goal would be to deny the enemy use of certain electronics for a certain amount of time without destroying the equipment or nearby structures. High-power microwave bursts may be able to accomplish this.

Both Lockheed Martin and the Air Force have been working on this problem for years. The latter’s former secretary Michael Wynne said in 2006 that such nonlethal weapons should be used domestically in crowd control situations before they are brought to an international battlefield.

The current contract, though, is strictly related to electronics.

“This type of weapon is completely nonlethal, so we can take out specific electronic targets deep within an enemy’s infrastructure without concern for human collateral damage,” said Tom Remenick, an advanced programs manager at Lockheed Martin.

The contract also calls for developing a plan for the system to be stored on an aerial platform and to be able to engage multiple targets at once.

Topics: Science and Engineering Technology

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