Raytheon Proceeds In The Development Of Electromagnetic Weapons


Raytheon Missiles & Defense has received funding from the the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to complete the technology critical design review (CDR) of their Microwave Technology Testbed system. A CDR ensures that a system can proceed into production, demonstration, and testing, and can meet performance requirements within cost, schedule, and risk.

The Microwave Technology Testbed seeks to develop and advance electromagnetic weapons technologies with very long range and extreme power levels to defend against enemy ballistic and hypersonic missiles. Electromagnetic weapons use high-power microwaves to damage or destroy the guidance and control electronic subsystems in enemy weapons systems.

The Microwave Technology Testbed will test the lethality of different electromagnetic weapons technologies for ballistic and hypersonic missile defense. It will also procure long-lead items for the testbed, as these are difficult and time-consuming to obtain. Procuring these items early in the design process aids in keeping to the overall production schedule.

Raytheon researchers will proceed from a baseline design, advanced technology insertion evaluation, and test planning, and prepare to support future phases for integration of the Microwave Technology Testbed into existing systems. The work is expected to be completed by February of 2024.

In 2020, Raytheon received a contract from the MDS for the testbed to “contract to mature a non-kinetic defense capability that supports very long range and extreme power levels, accelerate lethality analysis, and procure long-lead items for the testbed.”