CHAMP’s Future Unclear

The Air Force is still determining whether it wants to advance the non-explosive missile design known as CHAMP onto the acquisition track, said David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology, and engineering. Despite a successful flight test last fall, the Air Force has yet to “demonstrate that there’s really a feasible capability,” Walker told members of the House Armed Services Committee’s intelligence, emerging threats, and capabilities panel on April 16. “We’re waiting to see the outcome of this concept development to see where we’ll go forward with this and whether we move into an [analysis of alternatives] here in the near future,” he added. However, Walker noted that the current fiscal environment makes it difficult to estimate when the Air Force will make a decision. Boeing-developed CHAMP carries a high-powered microwave payload meant to render an adversary’s electronics useless as it flies overhead. Walker said, in the meantime, the Air Force Research Lab is working to develop even better HPMs. (Walker’s prepared testimony)