US Air Force (USAF) Senior Airman (SRA) John Farley, USAF Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Calyn Coffee, and SRA Curtis Stuart, Weapon Loaders, 12th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) at Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska (AK), load a new Raytheon AIM-9x Sidewinder missile onto a USAF F-15C Eagle during an unveiling ceremony of the missile.

In what could be a game changer, the US military has installed microwave weapons on aircrafts and is working on installing them on fighters as well. Earlier it tested the launch of missiles with microwave warheads from strategic B-52 bombers.

Since some years, the Pentagon has been actively working on directed energy weapons that can be placed on airplanes. While earlier they tested laser on aircraft both, designed to for defending against missiles as well as neutralizing ground equipment, the focus of their research has now turned to microwave “guns”, said an source from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), without divulging any further details.

The information has been confirmed by Douglas Barrie, an expert on the aerospace industry from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. Research on microwave weapons are being carried out in several countries, including the United States, Russia, Great Britain, and China.

Naturally, the plans are top secret and the Pentagon has not disclosed any information on the number of missiles with microwave warheads which have passed tests, as well as the principle of their action, power, and scope of applications. What is available in the public domain is that the United States has cruise missiles with microwave warheads which it has launched from the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers, and that the missiles hit electronic targets at 1100 kilometers.

The U.S. military is now considering options, which includes, placing these weapons, essentially guns, on fighters jets. The research work is being carried out by DARPA with primary targets being enemy sensors and radar installations.

Since years microwaves have attracted the attention of the military given the potential for application in the theatre of war. Potential applications include non-lethal destruction of enemy human resources as well as frying the enemy’s electronics. Among other things, directed microwave radiation is also effective against unmanned aerial vehicles of a wide variety of classes.

In many instances, directed microwave weapons against air defense installations are more cost effective and convenient compared to their classical equivalent of using a projectile.

Earlier this year in August, China has supposedly use microwave weapons against Indian soldiers after encroaching on Indian territory. The information got leaked following Jin Canrong stating in a lecture, which was leaked to the The Times in November. The Indian Army has denied the Chinese revelations as propaganda, and describing them as being unfounded.

China regularly tries to flaunt its technological prowess by creating videos of hot food being delivered by drones in the windy icy Himalayan mountains, military drills of its artillery, etc. Many Chinese videos have proven to be copy paste jobs lifted from Hollywood movies.

The impact of microwave weapons on the human body is often compared to the feeling of touching a hot bulb. In fact, they work on the principle of heating water in the human body.

There has been no evidence of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army using microwave weapons. However, should the information about the use of microwave weapons be confirmed, it would be the first military use of a directed energy weapon in history and could prompt a tacit retaliation from New Delhi

Perhaps, the whole information fits better in a different scenario – the PRC trying to showcase and present itself as being equivalent to the United States, both militarily as well as technologically.