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Meet the missile that wipes out everything electric

Posting in Cities

Ever wonder what it would be like to go without electricity, apart from the odd five-minute power cut? Ask Boeing -- the firm is working on a missile that could completely wipe out all of your electronics.

Boeing are developing what is dubbed the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) -- a missile that slams targets underneath with microwaves which can take out everything electrical, from your coveted iPad to critical city power systems.

The aircraft and defense company recently tested CHAMP at the Utah Test and Training Range in the Western Utah Desert. The first target, a two-story building, was filled with computers. After being hit with a high-powered microwave pulse, every single PC died -- as did all the television cameras set up to record the experiment.

Every computer in the building was disrupted and went black.

"This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare," said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. "In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy's electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive."

The team hopes this kind of missile could be used in warfare not only to disrupt critical electronic systems, but to cause such damage with little or no collateral damage -- something which may become a huge leap in modern non-lethal warfare.

Currently, the multi-year project is far from being suitable for military use.

Image credit: Boeing

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— By on October 24, 2012, 1:46 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure