A new report from SBIR on Munition-Delivered Non-Kinetic Effects explains that the Department of Defense wants to “develop and demonstrate an innovative, cost-effective, munitions-based electronics systems that can deliver non-destructive, non-kinetic RF effects against a wide range of electronics, critical infrastructure, and computer-based systems”. The initial design will fit in a 155mm projectile which means it could one day be fired from the stealthy DDG 1000 Zumwalt destroyer.
Extensive use of wireless RF networking for critical infrastructure and communications systems provides an alternative attack vector for the neutralization of an adversary’s underlying industrial, civil, and communications infrastructure without the destruction of the hardware associated with those systems. Advances in munitions-based microelectronics and power technologies make possible the implementation of non-kinetic cyber and electromagnetic “ or electronic warfare (EW) “ attacks that could be delivered via artillery launched munitions. The precision delivery of the non-kinetic effects (NKE) electronics payload close to the target allows low power operation which limits the geographical extent of impacted systems, and reduces the overall impact on the electromagnetic spectrum.
PHASE I: Design and prototype an electronics subsystem for incorporation into a standard Army munition. The initial design will fit in a 155mm projectile, with a transition path for size reduction to allow incorporation of multiple NKE sub munitions per projectile.
PHASE II: Further develop and mature the NKE prototype system. Integrate the NKE system into an appropriate munitions platform. Explore, implement and demonstrate advanced non-kinetic attack techniques. Develop test methods and evaluate the system performance in the field.
PHASE III: Finalize all aspects of the NKE and prepare for distribution. Develop a commercialization plan to transition the electronics subsystems to industry and relevant users. Private Sector Commercialization Potentials: The final NKE electronics system will support a number of commercial communications protocols. The ruggedized, hardened electronics subsystem may be transitioned to a wide variety of industrial and civil applications that call for operation in extremely harsh environments.
Sources: DOD, National Interest, Nextbigfuture