Raytheon high-powered microwave completes testing
The US Air Force Research Laboratory and Raytheon have successfully completed a three-week field test of the CHIMERA HPM weapon at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
During the test, CHIMERA applied directed energy to multiple static target variations and demonstrated end-to-end fire control by acquiring and tracking aerial targets and maintaining tracking for the entire flight path.
CHIMERA, was built to fire highly concentrated radio energy at multiple middle-to-long-range targets. The ground-based demonstration system wields more power than other HPM systems to defeat airborne threats at the speed of light.
CHIMERA has been part of the Directed Energy Front-line Electromagnetic Neutralization and Defeat (DEFEND) program, a joint service effort to design, build and test HPM systems for front-line deployment.
Raytheon has partnered with experts at the AFRL, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to complete the work.
Raytheon president of advanced technology Colin Whelan said: “High-power microwave systems are cost-effective and reliable solutions that play an important role in layered defence by increasing magazine depth and giving warfighters more options to defeat adversaries quickly.”
In December 2023, Raytheon won a contract to design, build and test two HPM antenna systems that would use directed energy to defeat airborne threats at the speed of light.
Under this three-year, US$31.3 million contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Raytheon will deliver prototype systems to the US Navy and US Air Force as part of the DEFEND programme.
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