update deskIsrael at War

How the US could fry Iran’s nuclear facilities without casualties

Microwave missiles are "ready to take out any military target, including nuclear facilities,” says the former chief of the USAF's Microwave Division.

Advanced IR-6 centrifuges in the underground Natanz uranium-enrichment facility in central Iran. Credit: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Advanced IR-6 centrifuges in the underground Natanz uranium-enrichment facility in central Iran. Credit: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The U.S. Air Force has quietly deployed a new type of missile that can destroy the electronics of Iran’s nuclear facilities using high-power microwaves, without causing any fatalities, according to an exclusive report by DailyMail.com.

The missiles, known as the Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), were developed by Boeing’s Phantom Works for the USAF Research Laboratory. After successful testing in 2012, around 20 of these microwave missiles became operational and were deployed to various locations around the globe in 2019.

The CHAMP missiles are air-launched cruise missiles fitted with an electromagnetic pulse cannon that generates a concentrated beam of high-power microwave energy, DailyMail.com reports. This energy can fry the computer chips and electronic systems of targeted facilities, rendering them inoperable.

“We hit every target we wanted to,” said Boeing’s CHAMP Program Manager Keith Colman after the successful 2012 test, adding, “Today we made science fiction into science fact.”

Mary Lou Robinson, former chief of the USAF’s High Power Microwave Division, confirmed to DailyMail.com that the missiles are “ready to take out any military target, including nuclear facilities.”

The key advantage of these microwave weapons is that they can penetrate buried bunkers and command centers through electrical and communications connections, disabling electronics without causing structural damage or loss of life.

“The beauty of the HPM missile is that its microwave beam can penetrate bunkers where facilities are hidden without harming humans inside,” DailyMail.com reports.

They also can disable defensive radar systems, striking their targets undetected.

“Most amazing of all, the missile renders inoperable any radar that might detect it as it flies to and from a target. Thus, a country cannot take out CHAMP before it strikes and has no way of knowing why its facilities have suddenly gone dead,” according to the report.

While details are limited due to operational security concerns, the existence of this operational microwave missile capability highlights the stealthy options available to the U.S. military to counter threats such as Iran’s nuclear program through electronic disruption rather than kinetic force.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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