The Empire’s Dog Feces: AFRL/Boeing’s CHAMP

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 6:11 pm by George Smith

The Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy — this time from the side of our arms manufacturers — finally think they have an electronic bomb.

And they’ve bragged about making and changing history in a p.r. video with only, ahem, one thousand some views as of yesterday.

Boeing can’t show you the Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, in their dog and pony show video with the Air Force Research Laboratory. But they can show you old computers blinking in a narrow view (‘the monitors shown in the video at Boeing’s announcement of the tests only shut down for a few seconds’ reads one piece of Plaster Caster press).

And lottsa animated footage of an animated missile flying over a city.

So the astute viewer, not a stenographer journalist unfamiliar with the long history of these things, will be prepared to ask questions like:

What’s the range when the target PC is interrupted for a few seconds?

What’s the size of the weapon?

What tactical advantage is gained by making the lights and PC monitors in select buildings blink while an unopposed missile is flying overhead?

If it is envisioned as “invaluable against enemy infrastructure like radar and missile launch sites” how is it superior to an ordinary anti-radiation homing or direct attack weapon with longer range?

And if it as short range as exhibited how can it be used as effectively in air defense suppression?

Questions, questions! Why must you ask so many questions? Can you not see, Dick, how Air Force, Boeing and Raytheon boffins have shaken the pillars of science with their work in secret military labs? Surely this will get them to a Nobel ceremony.

Tell it to the Plaster Caster tech press and the guy at Aviation Week. He’s been telling everybody the electronic rays are here for years.

Anyway, that’s where all the easily overawed ass-kissers of military electrical engineers are.

When you make the world a better place rather than make something for trivially annoying people who can’t effectively fight back to charge off on the taxpayer, send me an e-mail.

Invariably, what now happens is that something will be sold to the military that’s an expensive dud, or nearly so. Like the Sheriff, aka the infamous pain ray, brought to you by many of the very same people.

And that’s the purpose of the video — to sell it.

Here’s Boeing bragging about their efforts to clean up a river their factory polluted in Washington. Alongside the CHAMP missile that has allegedly changed the world.

Savor that “made history and stands to change the world” bullshit in the CHAMP commercial. Then look at what some really famous Nobel laureates did once here.

Not quite the same. Something seems … different.


  1. Chuck said,

    October 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Heh, a friend, now retired, spent much of his professional career working on THAAD. Given the very checkered record of that platform and the rigged tests, I wouldn’t depend on it to do anything useful in a real attack situation. He certainly has no confidence in it–and he should know.

    I’ve long thought that the proof of these things would be to house the Joint Chiefs in comfortable digs that’s the target of a conventional missile, then see how comfortable they are when told that some or the other SDI-origin defense will protect them.

    Of course, SDI as a whole, under whatever name it now goes by, has been the Cold War substitute for hundreds of defense contractors not able to survive without government contracts.

    And still we don’t get peace from it all.

  2. Mike Ozanne said,

    October 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Doea anyone know how many TLAMS, JDAMS, etc etc could have been bought with the funds spent on this research?

    It seems slightly non-logical. I can’t see how the US would be in the position of knocking down electronic systems with an EMP weapon, where you wouldn’t be in the process of blowing stuff up anyway. The apparent advantage of avoiding casualties would seem valid only in very unlikely scenarios. I’m assuming that pilots on Wild Weasel duty wouldn’t want the system crew left unharmed, trying to fix it, they’d pretty much want them scattered over the landscape.

    Now if you could create a large area effect that would be different, but unless someone repealed the inverse square law, that requires energy release on the nuclear explosion scale. Too much juice for a boondock war, and an escalation to MAD in pretty much any other scenario

  3. George Smith said,

    October 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    “It seems slightly non-logical. I can’t see how the US would be in the position of knocking down electronic systems with an EMP weapon, where you wouldn’t be in the process of blowing stuff up anyway.”

    None of these stories make any sense. The pain ray never made any sense except in the hundreds of contrived news stories written about it. When it was taken into the real world, no one wanted it, it an impractical liability, a potential p.r. disaster, one — I’m proud to say — I contributed to making.

    This is just another small group of tech geek braggarts at an arms manufacturer who’ve again made something that’s irrelevant. Almost a decade ago now, somebody went on 60 Minutes to show his electromagnetic pulse gun stop a car. The world was supposed to change.
    Nothing happened.

    Two years ago the pain ray was on 60 Minutes. The world was supposed to change. The pain ray is now parked in the garage, junked.

    Now we have an animation and a narrow angle video of really old PCs blinking.