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Author Topic: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile  (Read 11974 times)

Offline Triton

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Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« on: September 24, 2010, 03:27:54 pm »
Quote
Boeing and Raytheon  have won seedling contracts to define requirements for a new kind of aerial weapon for the US Air Force that uses high-power microwave (HPM) beams instead of explosives.

Source:
Trimble, Stephen. "Boeing, Raytheon win work on high power microwave missile". Flight International September 24, 2010.
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/09/24/347688/boeing-raytheon-win-work-on-high-power-microwave-missile.html

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 04:35:22 pm »
any high-power microwave missile or E-BOMB photos ? thanks

Offline quellish

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2010, 12:14:22 am »
any high-power microwave missile or E-BOMB photos ? thanks

Sure. Here's one.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 10:04:29 pm »
Works Like a CHAMP: The non-explosive missile known as CHAMP completed a flight test over the Utah desert, successfully knocking out electronic targets with its high-powered-microwave-emitting payload while causing no collateral damage, announced contractor Boeing. "Today we turned science fiction into science fact," said Keith Coleman, Boeing's CHAMP program manager, in the company's Oct. 22 release. He added, "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." Boeing and the Air Force Research Lab's directed energy directorate conducted the test on Oct. 16 at the Utah Test and Training Range, according to the company. CHAMP "successfully knocked out" the targets—personal computers and electrical systems—in a two-story building on the test range during the one-hour test, according to a separate company release. Boeing is developing CHAMP, which stands for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, under an Office of the Secretary of Defense-sponsored project. (See also Getting to the Point.)
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Offline flateric

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« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 04:39:31 pm by flateric »
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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 12:32:08 am »
I'd put it on YT, but it's hosted on BrightCove and getting is is a bit**
It's quite funny when the room of PCs gets hit and the computer in the back shoots the CD out... it barfed :)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:12:24 am by flateric »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline flateric

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 01:12:47 am »
I've downloaded it, but only can upload in the evening
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 04:03:28 pm »
CHAMP high-powered microwaves degrade or destroy electronic targets without collateral damage 
 HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, Oct. 22, 2012 -- A recent weapons flight test in the Utah desert may change future warfare after the missile successfully defeated electronic targets with little to no collateral damage.
Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., successfully tested the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) during a flight over the Utah Test and Training Range that was monitored from Hill Air Force Base.
CHAMP, which renders electronic targets useless, is a non-kinetic alternative to traditional explosive weapons that use the energy of motion to defeat a target.
During the test, the CHAMP missile navigated a pre-programmed flight plan and emitted bursts of high-powered energy, effectively knocking out the target's data and electronic subsystems. CHAMP allows for selective high-frequency radio wave strikes against numerous targets during a single mission.
"This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare," said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. "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."
CHAMP is a multiyear, joint capability technology demonstration that includes ground and flight tests.
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2454

Offline SOC

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 06:50:53 pm »
How much does one of these things cost, and what's the range they want, I wonder?  If you can get one of these into denied airspace by launching outside of strategic SAM range, then this has become gasoline on the fire of one of our other favorite debates around here.  I wonder if you can scale this up to work from outside LEO and still get the required accuracy and a small enough footprint to hit pinpoint targets...
 
Edit:  I also wonder if this has a hope in hell of working against a shielded target.  Because if not, it basically devolves into a niche weapon, right?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 06:55:15 pm by SOC »

Offline Void

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 08:25:43 pm »
But how much existing equipment is hardened against microwave attacks? Probably not many of them.

It's also worth considering that radar and electro-optics are particularly vulnerable to HPM damage. Why those targets should be interesting is obvious...

Offline sferrin

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 03:51:27 am »
How much does one of these things cost, and what's the range they want, I wonder?  If you can get one of these into denied airspace by launching outside of strategic SAM range, then this has become gasoline on the fire of one of our other favorite debates around here.  I wonder if you can scale this up to work from outside LEO and still get the required accuracy and a small enough footprint to hit pinpoint targets...
 
Edit:  I also wonder if this has a hope in hell of working against a shielded target.  Because if not, it basically devolves into a niche weapon, right?

How many unshielded laptops and other computers are laying around at an average airbase?  Zap 'em all and what's the effect?  Or what about things like fuel transportation, communications, etc. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Gerard

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 05:51:22 am »
Also useful against anything with electronics in, so fuel trucks, maybe PGM stocks, and planes in HAS

Could also hurt AEGIS / Patriot radars ?


Regards,
             Gerard

Offline quellish

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 11:41:30 pm »
Edit:  I also wonder if this has a hope in hell of working against a shielded target.  Because if not, it basically devolves into a niche weapon, right?


A target shielded from EMP is not necessarily shielded from HPM, and HPM effects can be tailored somewhat.

Offline pathology_doc

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 02:04:03 am »
What will it do to valve technology?

Online bring_it_on

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2016, 05:20:57 pm »
AFRL explores electronic disruption with CHAMP follow-on


The Air Force Research Laboratory is moving ahead with its plans to miniaturize the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile, following the release of a recent call for research information for high-powered electromagnetic cyber applications.

AFRL will leverage HPEM technologies for cyber and electronic warfare, according to a January broad agency announcement posted on Federal Business Opportunities. The work will include continued experiments in back door and front door coupling, multiple microwave pulse concepts and demonstrations for Black Dart and Vigilant Hammer exercises, the BAA states.

While AFRL has long pursued back door and front door coupling, the laboratory is continuing to shrink the size of those technologies, Don Shiffler, HPEM core technical capability lead for the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate, said in a March 15 interview with Inside the Air Force.

"All of the components to make the system work have gotten smaller," he said. "So I can put this on an air platform or ground-based [platform], and it's not the size of a building, and make it work."

Front door coupling consists of radiation which enters through an aperture of a system, such as an antenna, that is explicitly designed and intended to receive HPEM pulses, Air Force spokesman James Fisher said in a March 17 email to ITAF. Back door coupling occurs using apertures in a system that were never meant to receive or transmit energy, but high power can be applied to the electronic systems so they are disrupted anyway, he said.

"An example of such coupling would be HPEM radiation that enters through the cooling vents of a desktop computer," he said.

The research would also explore single and multiple microwave pulse concepts, which focuses on how HPEM systems emit electromagnetic waves in packets of energy. Single pulse concepts employ one pulse in a single burst, while repetitive pulse concepts employ multiple pulses in a single burst, Shiffler said. A single pulse might be employed to attack one computer system, while multiple pulses could cover a larger area, he said. The multiple pulse concept would be a new capability that AFRL would develop, he said.

The study would also examine the effects of natural phenomena on electronic systems. Natural radiation could include a lightning strike or Whistler waves associated with Aurora Borealis, Fisher wrote.

Contractors would apply these concepts during two Defense Department exercises: Black Dart and Vigilant Hammer, which focus on counter unmanned aerial vehicle concepts and cyber operations, respectively. In theory, CHAMP could be used to disrupt a drone, Shiffler said.

"These drones do fly around with little computers in them," he said. "So anything with a computer could be fair game."

While AFRL continues its CHAMP miniaturization work, Congress has pushed the Air Force to field the proven technology on a platform in the near-term. The Air Force demonstrated the computer-killing CHAMP system in 2012 on a Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile, but has steered away from immediately fielding it on Boeing's CALCM. Instead, last year AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello proposed miniaturizing the CHAMP technology and fielding it on Lockheed's extended-range Joint-Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

Fiscal year 2017 budget documents also highlight AFRL's mission to miniaturize CHAMP. In FY-15, the Air Force continued development of smaller, lighter, high-power electromagnetic systems. In its FY-17 research and development budget request, the service plans to start designing smaller, higher power technology for the next-generation high-power microwave through FY-16 and complete designs in FY-17.

AFRL focuses on research and does not have the responsibility to transition the CHAMP technology to the warfighter, Shiffler said. He did not comment on whether the smaller CHAMP technology would fly on the JASSM-ER, but said the laboratory would squeeze the technology onto whichever platform the warfighter demands.

"The big challenge is, you're trying to fit 10 pounds of junk into a five-pound bag," he said. "In terms of the time scale, we would like to think we would have a prototype of some kind in three to six years, but the problem is I can't predict the course of research so you can't schedule a breakthrough." -- Leigh Giangreco
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2016, 04:42:19 am »
Raytheon Ktech in Albuquerque, March 23, 2016

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced a $10 million investment in directed energy development in New Mexico. A $4.8 million award from the U.S Air Force will go to Raytheon Ktech in Albuquerque to continue the Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile, also known as CHAMP, for use aboard the Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM). Senator Heinrich made the announcement at the Raytheon Ktech facility in Albuquerque. The company employs 170 people in New Mexico.

http://www.heinrich.senate.gov/photos/raytheon-ktech-in-albuquerque-march-23-2016-

Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2016, 09:49:52 pm »
So this system would fry electronics in a method they aren't currently shielded for.  So the question is -- how do you shield them?  Because if this is published, the enemy would be thinking about it.

Offline Kat Tsun

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2016, 09:45:07 am »
But how much existing equipment is hardened against microwave attacks? Probably not many of them.

It's also worth considering that radar and electro-optics are particularly vulnerable to HPM damage. Why those targets should be interesting is obvious...

If you can attack something with a microwave emitting rocket, why not just use high explosive to destroy it for good? A radar is expendable, much more so than its operators.

So this system would fry electronics in a method they aren't currently shielded for.  So the question is -- how do you shield them?  Because if this is published, the enemy would be thinking about it.

All you'd need to do to negate the effects of this is replace a few electronics.

It's just a longer duration form of jamming: Instead of waiting for the jamming to stop, you have to replace a radar. Instead of waiting for new personnel to arrive, you just get a trailer.

Probably most importantly, instead of relying on by the minute updates like a self-defense ARM would, you now require an unrealistic amount of intelligence on the locations of radars to attack along your programmed route. This means its mostly useful against fixed radar sites. Which means it's mostly worthless, because fixed sites be can be avoided altogether on-the-fly and present little threat to future VLO aircraft.

Anything this sort of weapon can attack can be better attacked by using a more conventional bomb or dispenser.

It's just another of America's weird global policeman weapons like Conventional Trident, "God Rods", and the other things in Prompt Global Strike. Useful if you want to send commandos to arrest someone or blow something up, can achieve total surprise against a third world military, and have the time to gather the intelligence necessary to plan the maximally effective route for such a missile. Not so useful in a war, though.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 01:34:50 pm by Kat Tsun »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2016, 01:54:25 pm »

If you can attack something with a microwave emitting rocket, why not just use high explosive to destroy it for good? A radar is expendable, much more so than its operators.

It's just another of America's weird global policeman weapons like Conventional Trident, "God Rods", and the other things in Prompt Global Strike. Useful if you want to send commandos to arrest someone or blow something up, can achieve total surprise against a third world military, and have the time to gather the intelligence necessary to plan the maximally effective route for such a missile. Not so useful in a war, though.

The main targets would likely be base stations/Cell towers/microwave backhaul or any transmitters that could be used as part of a "signals of opportunity" passive detection system.
Destroying thousands of cell towers individually with PGMs would be cost and sortie prohibitive.
 
CHAMP gives you a in-flight retargetable, rechargable capability that affords multiple shots at multiple targets per sortie.
It's very challenging to get a sub-munition dispensing cruise missile to do all of that with the same Pk and at the same cost.

Offline Kat Tsun

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2016, 04:57:23 pm »
Is there evidence of in-flight retargeting being an ability? That would require not using CALCM or JASSM, which can only hit fixed targets. JASSM-ASuW has a datalink, but it's not in service yet.

Yes, you are correct about the dispensers, but I'm not so sure you are correct about needing large amounts of PGMs to destroy a cell network. Mostly because I don't think it's necessary, and if it is necessary, then attacking the antenna is the absolute most important thing to attack.

If true [about the targets], that's surely a two-way street, and given the US Army seems to be less than fully self-sufficient in the electromagnetic spectrum (limited personal communications gear and no electronic attack ability), it would probably be a detriment to any Army troops in theater. The Russian Army, for all its many faults, has managed to keep its radio-electronic combat ability mostly intact, so it seems rather silly since the Russians already have signals interception gear that can listen to and intercept radio from very long distances, with very different equipment than a cell tower base station.

Is there any precedent for using cell infrastructure as a sleeper signals intelligence system?

Ukraine being the most obvious place it might happen

It seems the only people who would be regularly using cell networks, outside of Western armies, would be insurgents. Cellphones tend to transmit very loudly, omnidirectionally, and unencrypted, so they present an obvious threat of interception, but wouldn't any sort of "signals of opportunity" be ciphered, directional, and low power, and require an unreasonable assumption of proximity to be detected, assuming you haven't replaced the civil base station with an automated DF system or something?

A DF cell network could be countered by basic emissions control (confiscate cell phones), deception measures (looping transmitters), and general common sense. The antenna are useful, but I don't see the military need to destroy large quantities of civilian electronics either. They'd just be replaced by militarized base stations and as mentioned, at that point you might as well have bombed the tower proper anyway.

I'd think it could be useful for something like breaching an air defense area by temporarily (for third world this means permanently) disrupting radar operation, but that makes it really more in the realm of an active decoy like TALD than an actual weapon, and while non-physical attack carries deniable plausibility of a sort it's also undermined a bit by being on a cruise missile which can just be shot down and recovered.

So I'm still inclined to see this as a way of breaching Saddam's southern line of radars after months of preparation more than shutting down the cell network of East Ukraine.

What really kills it is the use of CALCM as the carrier, though. I'd consider that a dead giveaway that this sort of weapon is more for beating up a rowdy North Korea than anything else, if it ever becomes anything else.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 04:59:05 pm by Kat Tsun »

Offline fredymac

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2016, 05:13:32 pm »
I suspect that focused EMP attack systems are political in nature.  They allow temporary removal of civilian infrastructure (power plants, commercial airline ground radars, communications systems, etc) without  causing casualties.  For military applications, it would be tradeoff between using EMP or a jamming platform (Growler) against specific threats.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2016, 11:10:43 am »
Is there evidence of in-flight retargeting being an ability? That would require not using CALCM or JASSM, which can only hit fixed targets. JASSM-ASuW has a datalink, but it's not in service yet.


CALCM was supposed to have a retargeting capability. It was funded but I'm not sure if it was deployed.  But whatever ends up hosting CHAMP will surely be retargetable and ideally, recoverable.


Yes, you are correct about the dispensers, but I'm not so sure you are correct about needing large amounts of PGMs to destroy a cell network. Mostly because I don't think it's necessary, and if it is necessary, then attacking the antenna is the absolute most important thing to attack.


Is there any precedent for using cell infrastructure as a sleeper signals intelligence system?
..
Cellphones tend to transmit very loudly, omnidirectionally, and unencrypted, so they present an obvious threat of interception, but wouldn't any sort of "signals of opportunity" be ciphered, directional, and low power, and require an unreasonable assumption of proximity to be detected, assuming you haven't replaced the civil base station with an automated DF system or something?

"Signals of opportunity" is a catch-all term.  I was actually thinking specifically of cellphone or other tower-based transmitters as "illuminators of opportunity" for a multistatic radar system i.e. "passive radar."

Lockheed's "Silent Sentry" uses FM radio or HDTV signals and there are many other examples out there including those that use 3G, LTE, WiMAX etc.

Offline Kat Tsun

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2016, 04:04:55 pm »
If passive radar were that capable, AESA would not be necessary because ASQ-239 would sniff out all the planes.

Passive radar requires illumination or emission. VLO aircraft would still remain a high threat. An FM radio broadcast is going to be lower power and less focused than a fire control radar anyway, and something like F-22 or F-35 can fly far enough away it's not relevant to begin with. Besides that, there's a high potential for false alarms. It's nothing more than marketing hype pandering to claw away at an already strained defense budget. No one has bought them yet, no one will buy them later.

The only reasonably dangerous threat to VLO aircraft is some sort of VLO AWACS with an ultra-modern LPI and ultra-low sidelobe (USL) radar. This is a workable solution, see Sensorcraft. Passive radar would be an actual regression in technology for ground troops anyway. They have more sensitive detection systems. The investment will be going into more capable militarized radars and antenna, with emphasis on placement on VLO platforms for future unmanned air search vehicles. The next step would be an LPI and directional datalink/transceiver for the ground forces control station, which is something Joint STARS sorely lacks.

It might be useful for policemen or airports, or something, if the problems with coherence are ever solved.

If it is re-targetable that is an improvement, but it's still pointless because they're putting it in the dumbest possible airframe.

Considering this "CHAMP" can be defeated by air defense systems c. the early 1980s (cf. "dude with rocket"), it is clearly already outdated. Cruise missiles have relatively poor survival rates in combat against low altitude air defense, so I don't see why a non-VLO missile would be any different. Especially since the missile in question uses the same form of radar guidance as TLAM, which is an easily tracked source of radiation, and can be intercepted by an anti-aircraft ARM, or a radar missile with a passive radar mode for its seeker.

If it were going to be used for attacking an ultra-modern multi-static radar, which has never found a customer in some twenty years of marketing, it would be put in something more capable than that to begin with. Like ACM, which eliminated the most obvious (electromagnetically) and somewhat obscure method of attacking cruise missiles with a laser altimeter.

If you really need to knock out something like an entire country's cellphone network or whatever, you'd just nuke them with an airburst and let voltage do the work for you.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 04:14:52 pm by Kat Tsun »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2016, 06:40:18 pm »
If passive radar were that capable, AESA would not be necessary because ASQ-239 would sniff out all the planes.

Passive detection *is* SOP for F-22 and F-35. But an AESA is still needed for providing updates to weapons, ranging for non-emitters, SAR maps, AEA etc.

That's the same CONOPS for these systems: passive detection and coarse tracking that can be used to cue other systems with better resolution.

Passive radar requires illumination or emission.

Right. That was the whole "illuminators of opportunity" thing I mentioned.

An FM radio broadcast is going to be lower power and less focused than a fire control radar anyway.

That's why I mentioned HDTV which is in the 100 - 1000 kW range. Again, these systems cue FCRs and are not FCR replacements.

It's nothing more than marketing hype pandering to claw away at an already strained defense budget. No one has bought them yet, no one will buy them later.

There is internal friction for the vendors themselves since most of them also sell conventional monostatic radars which are more lucractive in terms of the maintenance contracts.
So the upsell aspects tend to crowd out these systems more so than the technical aspects. But there are more systems coming to market so we'll have to see.  Certainly, there has to
be contingency planning to counter them.


This is a workable solution, see Sensorcraft.

As evidenced by the fact that Sensorcraft went all of nowhere?

Considering this "CHAMP" can be defeated by air defense systems c. the early 1980s (cf. "dude with rocket"), it is clearly already outdated. Cruise missiles have relatively poor survival rates in combat against low altitude air defense, so I don't see why a non-VLO missile would be any different. Especially since the missile in question uses the same form of radar guidance as TLAM, which is an easily tracked source of radiation, and can be intercepted by an anti-aircraft ARM, or a radar missile with a passive radar mode for its seeker.

CALCM is almost surely not the final platform just a familiar platform that was convenient for Boeing to use to demonstrate what they need to demonstrate given the funds they were awarded.


If you really need to knock out something like an entire country's cellphone network or whatever, you'd just nuke them with an airburst and let voltage do the work for you.

Which is a great way of debilitating your own radar, comms and other sensors,

Offline Kat Tsun

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2016, 02:09:16 am »
So what you are really saying is active emission is still SOP. A fancy RWR that can't provide targeting information is still a fancy RWR.

Sensorcraft is entirely practical. Just because something isn't workable right now doesn't mean it's a dumb solution. You might as well say the anti-tank missile was dumb because Cannonball fell on its butt, or computer fire control is dumb because MBT-70 was expensive, or any number of ideas thought out before the technology was mature. Weapons have a gestation period measured in decades, not years.

It's the smartest solution to dealing with VLO aircraft I've seen, since it uses their worst enemy against them. AWACS was the biggest threat to B-2 on its deep penetration mission. Why would it be any different for F-35 or F-22? Or PAK FA?

Fixed emitters are absolute trash against VLO, but I guess they provide a fiction of security. They can be plotted on maps, their positions are known, and are avoided easily by effective routing and selective suppression by SEAD. Unless you are dealing with some serious restrictions on routing like in Serbia, they present little to zero threat, no matter the number. The most important thing about your concept is that it relies on things which the positions are known, plotted accurately (in civilian maps and public domain), and are obvious targets for bombing for more reasons than a conceptual method of detection. The weakest link is that you're relying on an infrastructure which is already critically necessary for a modern society to function, and would probably be disabled in large part by destruction of power generator stations.

Speaking of that, I can see CHAMP being used in the capacity to deny information sharing in a rowdy third world state, like keeping the next Milosevic off the 1440p airwaves, but that still falls under the domain of global policing TBH.

Airborne radars, on the other hand, are a threat solely because they move. You can fly around a fixed radio, whether it's a Fan Song or a digital television antenna. It's more difficult to route around an aircraft flying a racetrack, and even more difficult when you're not able to effectively attack the aircraft because it has low sidelobes and is VLO. Further, the compartmentalized nature of military communications and detection systems is a massive advantage in their favour. When all the lights go out and the people are left wondering why their televisions stopped working and the air conditioning turned off, the only people with electrical power left on a wide scale will be the military.

Monostatic radars are also things that actually work, so I doubt anyone would look for this as a solution to the problem of VLO. It's incredibly vulnerable to a fairly simple solution that military electronics are built to survive, that being atomic attack, but also it's less effective than just having a couple of search aircraft because it can't move, it relies on civilian power infrastructure, and it's so big it would be expensive to maintain as a militarized network. It just exists as a big blob that can be selectively poked holes in by SEAD and EA. You don't need to blow up the entire cell network, just a few towers brought down to clear routes through it. Or fly high up. Probably either works.

It's only debilitating if you have no voltage or surge protection built into your electronics. What military electronics aren't hardened against NEMP? Even the terrible COTS setups the US Navy uses on its warships, which lack the radiation hardening to survive TREE (which would be an actual threat), are extremely well protected against EMP. Cell towers and such not so much, since they're generally hooked up to the power lines and which will probably blow their surge protectors sky high, followed shortly by whatever the surge protectors were protecting. Considering the differences between EMP hardening and microwave hardening, I still don't see the value in having waves of cruise missiles fly around a country and zap cell phone infrastructure. That's something a nuclear weapon or two can do the same job and be much cheaper.

Hardening of military electronics against nuclear EMP, however, is a perfectly legitimate reason to develop a microwave weapon that can attack said electronics. It's actually an extremely smart solution to the problem of "how do kill radar" without using Apache gunships that might not be available or even capable.

CALCM might not be the final missile for such a weapon, but it being the first says a lot about the intentions. The USAF has no plans to use this thing against someone with competent/modern low altitude air defenses, like the Russian Army, because the missiles would just be shot down like Tomahawk. If it had any plans to retain a cruise missile capability against a near-peer threat like the Russians (or future Chinese) it would just have retained AGM-129 and used those instead.

Not to say that might not happen in the future, but it seems unlikely.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 02:16:52 am by Kat Tsun »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2016, 07:03:18 pm »
So what you are really saying is active emission is still SOP. A fancy RWR that can't provide targeting information is still a fancy RWR.

Who says a RWR can't provide targeting information? They just don't have the azimuthal or range resolution of the radar even as part of a multi-ship T/FDOA network. So active illumination is still required but used as sparingly as possible. 

Just because something isn't workable right now doesn't mean it's a dumb solution [...]
Weapons have a gestation period measured in decades, not years.


Which is just as much an argument in favor of illuminators-of-opportunity based multi-static radar.

It's the smartest solution to dealing with VLO aircraft I've seen, since it uses their worst enemy against them. AWACS was the biggest threat to B-2 on its deep penetration mission. Why would it be any different for F-35 or F-22? Or PAK FA?

It's also the least scalable, most expensive and most susceptible to attrition. Silver bullet, monolithic solutions have not been
shown to be resilient in a long campaign.

The weakest link is that you're relying on an infrastructure which is already critically necessary for a modern society to function, and would probably be disabled in large part by destruction of power generator stations.

Have you actually seen modern cell phone towers? They have independent power supplies (solar, wind, natural gas), diesel backup generators and batteries that will ride the consumer-driven demand for higher energy densities.  Even small nations have tens of
thousands of cell phone and other transmitter towers. And we haven't even gotten to the mobile or portable varieties yet.

Against a high-end threat, PGMs and SEAD weapons will have other priorities and emphasis in a long campaign will tends towards conservation.


Monostatic radars are also things that actually work,

Where did I say that they don't work? In fact, they are rather integral to this scheme.

It's only debilitating if you have no voltage or surge protection built into your electronics. What military electronics aren't hardened against NEMP? Even the terrible COTS setups the US Navy uses on its warships, which lack the radiation hardening to survive TREE (which would be an actual threat), are extremely well protected against EMP.

You are aware that hardening dictates that you are several process generations behind modern electronics? You get less capability at higher costs which typically means reduced quantity. You'll run out of rad-hardened milspec long before an enemy runs out of COTS.

EMP is just one component of nuclear weapons effects and probably the least debilitating. The effects from the fireball, turbulence and debris kicked up are just as debilitating (on radar, comms, sensors etc) and longer lasting.

Hardening of military electronics against nuclear EMP, however, is a perfectly legitimate reason to develop a microwave weapon that can attack said electronics. It's actually an extremely smart solution to the problem of "how do kill radar" without using Apache gunships that might not be available or even capable.

Military radars are worth expending a PGM or SEAD weapon against.


CALCM might not be the final missile for such a weapon, but it being the first says a lot about the intentions.

It says no such thing. It says everything about budget, availability, familiarity, ease of integration etc; AFRL really had
no preference whatsoever for a particular aerial vehicle.

If it had any plans to retain a cruise missile capability against a near-peer threat like the Russians (or future Chinese) it would just have retained AGM-129 and used those instead.

You are familiar with LRSO?

Offline Kat Tsun

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2016, 11:02:59 pm »
If it's connected to the civil power grid, it will be destroyed by NEMP, assuming you detonate high enough and with enough megatons. This also applies to bank mainframes, Internet servers, and loads of other stuff that rely on civil electrical infrastructure. Military electronics won't care so much because their antennae, compared to the national power grid, are very small, and they generally have comparable or better voltage protection. Just look at the literal bunkers that IBM's blade servers live inside, on Zumwalt, for evidence enough. There are also militarized modern CPUs, like Cell. They live inside vibration and voltage protected boxes.

Radiation hardening and EMP hardening are separate things. You can make electronics that are directly EMP hardened, but it's not worth it when you can use surge protectors or something. The former tends to slow down electronics development by a decade or more, but Cell BE is a 65 nm (actually the biggest is 90 nm, so more wiggle room) chip and could be speculatively been RH by today. The USAF has 65 nm RH chips. Cell's plenty more powerful than the COTS systems Zumwalt and Aegis run on right now, too.

My point is that I doubt the USAF is shaking in their boots at the prospect of fighting the East Ukrainian Civil Air Defense Troops/Cell Tower Police. Saying that something that has an untapped military potential (and probably remains untapped in the near future) is going to be the "main target" is a bit silly. You're right that having lots of emitters is the go-to "solution" to VLO, but having lots of trash emitters that aren't very efficient, like the omnidirectional and fixed HDTV or FM radio station, is worse than having fewer numbers of more effective and mobile systems.

Having a squadron of AWACS will present a much more difficult problem than trying to queue FCRs with HDTV stations. That's really only assuming the AWACS are VLO aircraft with highly sensitive/powerful, ultra-low sidelobe radars to confound active and passive radar tracking, and actually reflect enough energy off a VLO aircraft to be able to track it.

The biggest threat to VLO will be combinations of airborne emitters and fighter-interceptors equipped with passive IR/active radar sensors. Rather, I should say is, because all those threats existed in the 1980s too. The most modern and important addition to this will be the segregation of the control station and the emitter and addition of directional, LPI datalinks.

The most likely targets for CHAMP as it exists are going to be emitters that would otherwise require the Air Force to ask the Army to lend them a battalion of helicopter gunships, like was done in the opening days of Desert Storm, because like you said. Personally, I think it's a bit of a false economy because you're going to have to bomb those radars anyway when they get replacement parts delivered to the unit, but whatever. Ceded on that point since I doubt that many militaries in the world actually have sufficient spare parts, or even basic competence, to accomplish that.

It's a policeman's baton, nothing more. The current combination of capability and survivability of the airframe point towards North Korea and Iran, rather than PRC or Russia. If/when that changes, it'll be a good complement to the combined SEAD/EA effort which would be equally helped by decoys, destruction, jamming fires, and cyber attack.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 11:16:25 pm by Kat Tsun »

Offline quellish

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2016, 04:50:09 pm »
It's the smartest solution to dealing with VLO aircraft I've seen, since it uses their worst enemy against them. AWACS was the biggest threat to B-2 on its deep penetration mission. Why would it be any different for F-35 or F-22? Or PAK FA?

Both the B-2 and F-22 were designed with the SuAWACS threat as part of the requirements.

Radiation hardening and EMP hardening are separate things.

EMP and HPM are also different things. CHAMP is a HPM weapon.

That's really only assuming the AWACS are VLO aircraft with highly sensitive/powerful, ultra-low sidelobe radars to confound active and passive radar tracking, and actually reflect enough energy off a VLO aircraft to be able to track it.

Those are conflicting requirements which is why no such system exists.

The current combination of capability and survivability of the airframe point towards North Korea and Iran, rather than PRC or Russia.

There is no airframe. CHAMP is a payload. A CALCM was used in the test because it was expedient.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2016, 06:27:43 pm »
What's the main difference between "EMP" (like a nuclear weapon) and "HPM" (CHAMP)?  Don't both cause damage by inducing currents in soft-targets? And would a nearby lightning strike be closer to EMP or HPM in effect?  What about something like the Carrington Event?
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Offline moonbeamsts

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2016, 12:56:28 am »
Is the tomahawk  warhead version still in inventory that dipenses bomblets(spools of carcon fibre) to disrupt power grids? This CHAMP is just another tool for soft kills of systems.

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2016, 10:46:48 am »
Is the tomahawk  warhead version still in inventory that dipenses bomblets(spools of carcon fibre) to disrupt power grids? This CHAMP is just another tool for soft kills of systems.

The power stations in Libya sure got a dusting of cobwebs!!

Offline Kat Tsun

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2016, 12:09:07 am »
It's the smartest solution to dealing with VLO aircraft I've seen, since it uses their worst enemy against them. AWACS was the biggest threat to B-2 on its deep penetration mission. Why would it be any different for F-35 or F-22? Or PAK FA?

Both the B-2 and F-22 were designed with the SuAWACS threat as part of the requirements.

Radiation hardening and EMP hardening are separate things.

EMP and HPM are also different things. CHAMP is a HPM weapon.

That's really only assuming the AWACS are VLO aircraft with highly sensitive/powerful, ultra-low sidelobe radars to confound active and passive radar tracking, and actually reflect enough energy off a VLO aircraft to be able to track it.

Those are conflicting requirements which is why no such system exists.

The current combination of capability and survivability of the airframe point towards North Korea and Iran, rather than PRC or Russia.

There is no airframe. CHAMP is a payload. A CALCM was used in the test because it was expedient.

1) That's not hugely relevant, the point is mobile emitter has a better than zero chance of being evasively routed around by VLO aircraft. A fixed emitter will just be flown around or above sufficiently far away that it is basically irrelevant. A mobile emitter is more difficult to route around because it moves.

2) I never stated otherwise. That was referring to the partly jocular and extreme example of using HEMP in a civil power grid to shut down national cell infrastructure (and all other infrastructure).

3) I disagree. I will not press the point beyond a brief explanation, however.

There is nothing conflicting with having a mobile emitter and a VLO airframe. Passive radar can be defeated by ultra-low sidelobes and LPI, and active radar can be defeated by stealth shaping and RAM. They counter entirely separate systems. Just because you know an emitter is there doesn't mean it can be attacked easily. None of the technologies in Sensorcraft, a VLO airborne radar, are ready for development, but that doesn't mean it isn't the next step in airborne emitters. The combination of low sidelobes and VLO would make it difficult to attack with an ARM, make it difficult to maintain a steady track with a fire control radar, and confound efforts to locate the aircraft accurately enough to complete an engagement without widely dispersed sensors.

As I understand, AWACS today tend to operate in a semi-continuous method that makes them vulnerable to attack by passive radar methods (ex. long range anti-radiation missiles developed by the USSR, Brazo, ERASE, Seekbat), so I think that this sort of system would require a rather substantial change in the operation of AEW to be completely effective, and it would also require that AEW/AWACS operate at very high altitudes. Sensorcraft himself was envisioned as flying ~65,000 feet, or roughly U-2 altitude, though much further from the FLOT.

That said, it's almost completely evolutionary in concept. Some aspects like solving wing deformation to maintain a good radar antenna, would be revolutionary. Multistatic radar is totally revolutionary, though.

They may yet both exist. I'm sure they will in the future, but I suppose my main point was that neither exist in any real, practical sense today. Sensorcraft is not workable because of the engineering problems which surround it, that doomed it to failure. The idea, that of a VLO AEW/'sensor' aircraft, is far from bankrupt. Likewise, I don't see multistatic radars using civilian infrastructure for their radiation sources, given the vulnerability of civil infrastructure to attack and evasion vs. mobile systems.

It mostly seems like an argument for the return of fixed SAM sites, but from the perspective of the search radar rather than the TEL. It leverages COTS systems, but more often than not, COTS appears to be a false economy.

4) The previous page states that CALCM is being used for the payload of the missile. Unless I've misread, or if there is more detailed information, I read that as CALCM would carry the payload in an operational sense. If it's simply a test article, then I've misread, and apologies.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 12:26:23 am by Kat Tsun »

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2016, 01:56:18 am »
It leverages COTS systems, but more often than not, COTS appears to be a false economy.

Amen to that!
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2016, 02:46:27 pm »
That said, it's almost completely evolutionary in concept. Some aspects like solving wing deformation to maintain a good radar antenna, would be revolutionary. Multistatic radar is totally revolutionary, though.

So your entire argument is really just: one is revolutionary while the other is totally revolutionary?


Offline sferrin

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2016, 03:05:11 pm »
Is the tomahawk  warhead version still in inventory that dipenses bomblets(spools of carcon fibre) to disrupt power grids? This CHAMP is just another tool for soft kills of systems.

The power stations in Libya sure got a dusting of cobwebs!!

As I recall there was an even better way to knock out power grids but they didn't deploy it because it was permanent.  The spools of fiber can be cleaned up (I recall reading of the Iraqis cleaning up during Desert Storm, restoring power, then the wind would blow with more fibers scattered about the landscape and the power would go out again.  Rinse and repeat.)  The "better" option was using powder instead of fibers.  Problem was it would get inside places via air currents, short things out, and was almost impossible to clean up.  It effectively turned equipment into junk.  So if you only want to take the grid down for a limited time rather than destroying it it was a poor option.
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Offline quellish

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2016, 02:14:42 am »
1) That's not hugely relevant, the point is mobile emitter has a better than zero chance of being evasively routed around by VLO aircraft. A fixed emitter will just be flown around or above sufficiently far away that it is basically irrelevant. A mobile emitter is more difficult to route around because it moves.

When modern low observable aircraft are used in combat they employ a number of sources of information for routing. They do not simply fly "around or above" points on a map.
The B-2 and F-22 were - again - designed with the SuAWACS threat in mind. It was a requirement for them to be able to passively detect and counter mobile threats - including AWACS.

There is nothing conflicting with having a mobile emitter and a VLO airframe. Passive radar can be defeated by ultra-low sidelobes and LPI, and active radar can be defeated by stealth shaping and RAM. They counter entirely separate systems. Just because you know an emitter is there doesn't mean it can be attacked easily. None of the technologies in Sensorcraft, a VLO airborne radar, are ready for development, but that doesn't mean it isn't the next step in airborne emitters. The combination of low sidelobes and VLO would make it difficult to attack with an ARM, make it difficult to maintain a steady track with a fire control radar, and confound efforts to locate the aircraft accurately enough to complete an engagement without widely dispersed sensors.

The original statement:

That's really only assuming the AWACS are VLO aircraft with highly sensitive/powerful, ultra-low sidelobe radars to confound active and passive radar tracking, and actually reflect enough energy off a VLO aircraft to be able to track it.

Specifies a "VLO aircraft" with "highly sensitive/powerful" "ultra-low side lobe radars".
A "highly powerful" radar is counter to the needs of low observability.
The radars used by low observable aircraft are designed to have a very low probability of intercept or detection. They do this through several means - the most important of which is to use the *least power output possible*. A "powerful" radar is not an asset to a low observable aircraft, it is a liability.

An AWACS aircraft with VLO properties would strain the laws of physics as we know them today. It is a big, warm, powerful antenna in the sky - exactly the opposite of what you want in a low observable aircraft. This is why alternatives like space based radar and bistatic systems like Covert Strike are attractive.

Offline Dragon029

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Re: Boeing and Raytheon to develop high-power microwave missile
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2016, 04:09:07 am »
To be fair, part of being able to use your radar without being either detected or targeted is dependent on your radar being sensitive, which is tied to the size of your array aperture, which is tied to the number of T/R modules in an AESA, which is tied to max output power.

A "highly sensitive/powerful" radar operating at a low output power will have a better chance of detecting enemies from longer distances without being detected in turn.

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