With North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasting of newly developed missiles capable of hitting anywhere in the United States, America’s military is assessing potential missile defense systems with a new sense of urgency.
CNN reports that one system called “CHAMP” that may provide an answer:
It’s called CHAMP, for Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project. James Fisher, spokesman for the Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base, said it’s a high-powered microwave weapon that can 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 would fly into enemy airspace at low altitude, and send out strong pulses of electromagnetic energy. The enemy’s electronic command-and-control systems would be jammed. Analysts say the cruise missile it’s deployed on could then be splashed down at sea.
This system would present a potentially worthwhile strategic option to U.S. military leaders. In theory, CHAMP could be used to prevent an enemy’s missile from striking the U.S. without the need for a destructive preemptive strike on the enemy’s soil — and the resultant harm that would fall upon the civilian population.