Forget bombs or the robopocalypse. In our minds, the most fearsome weapon is the one that disables our gadgets. That’s what makes Boeing’s newly tested Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) scarier than most projectiles. The missile bombards targets underneath with microwaves that shut down computers, power systems and just about anything electrical in their path. Thankfully, CHAMP’s invisible payload arrives in discrete bursts and arguably makes it the world’s most advanced (and likely expensive) non-lethal weapon: the prototype can target multiple individual buildings without ever having to detonate and hurt someone. Boeing is still developing CHAMP in a multi-year program and doesn’t have guarantees that it will become military ordnance, which gives us enough time to accept that saving lives is far, far more important than the risk we’ll have to stop fiddling with our technology.
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