The US Air Force has asked Lockheed Martin to design a weapon that uses high-power microwave energy beams to disable enemy electronic systems without endangering personnel.
The Non-Kinetic Counter Electronics Capability (NKCE) project is expected to create a new class of advanced weaponry that is likely to be deployed via fighter jet or helicopter.
"This type of weapon is completely non-lethal, so we can take out specific electronic targets deep within an enemy's infrastructure without concern for human collateral damage," explained Tom Remenick, Advanced Programs manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
"The ability to specifically render the enemy's electronic equipment useless will give our Warfighters a distinctive advantage in any conflict."
According to Remenick, the weapon will ultimately require an aerial delivery platform for "operational flexibility" and the ability to engage multiple targets per mission.
"[For example], the system would be aimed at buildings or other structures containing identified electronic equipment that high-power microwave bursts would quickly render useless," he added.