No, it won’t cook your Hot Pockets.
The US military is developing a weapon with microwave technology — yes, microwave — designed to stop countries like North Korea from launching missiles.
According to an NBC News report, the weapon — which is still under development — could be put on a cruise missile and shot at an enemy country from a B-52 bomber. It’s designed to use microwaves to target enemy military facilities and destroy electronic systems, like computers, that control their missiles. The weapon itself wouldn’t damage the buildings or cause casualties.
Air Force developers have been working with Boeing on the system since 2009. They’re hoping to receive up to $200 million for more prototyping and testing in the latest defense bill.
There’s just one problem. It’s not clear that the weapon is entirely ready for use — and it’s not clear that it would be any more effective than the powerful weapons the US already possesses.
“To say we’ll chance it on an untested sci-fi capability rather than using known capabilities seems a bit odd,” Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert at MIT, told me. “If you’re going to go, go, and use the best tool in your inventory to go get them.”
Here’s how the microwave weapon would actually work
The weapon, which has the gloriously military-style name of Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, isn’t quite ready for action, but it could be soon. Two unnamed Air Force officials told NBC that the weapon could be ready for use in just a few days.
The weapons system has already gone through some rigorous tests. In October 2012, it destroyed multiple electronic targets, according to Air Force officials. “Today, we made science fiction science fact,” Keith Coleman, Boeing’s manager for the program, Read More Here