Military Review

HiJENKS electromagnetic warhead for the US Air Force and Navy

27

Boeing CHAMP warhead missile


The United States is again trying to create a new model weapons, capable of hitting enemy electronic systems with a powerful electromagnetic pulse. A promising ammunition called HiJENKS is being created by the forces of scientific organizations of the Air Force and Navy. To date, he has reached field testing, and in the indefinite future, it is expected to be installed on a regular carrier in the form of one of the modern missiles.

Single ammunition


At the beginning of the last decade, the US Air Force, together with contractors, developed and tested a promising CHAMP (Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project) ammunition. He could create a powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and hit enemy electronics in a significant radius. The AGM-86 ALCM cruise missile was used as a delivery vehicle for the product.

The CHAMP project had some shortcomings, which is why it was decided to create a new similar weapon. At the same time, a new structure joined the work. In 2017, the Air Force and the Navy launched the High Power Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike (HiJENKS) joint project of the “single (interspecies) high-energy electromagnetic strike system”.

The development of these weapons was entrusted to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Office of Naval Research of the Navy (ONR). It was also supposed to attract commercial subcontractors. It was planned to spend about five years on research and design. At the beginning of the twenties, the first tests were planned.

While the development of the new HiJENKS project was underway, the Pentagon managed to abandon the previous sample. The fact is that the CHAMP product had some drawbacks and, according to the calculated characteristics, should have been inferior to the promising HiJENKS. In addition, in 2019, the Air Force abandoned the obsolete ALCM missile, and the older EMP munition ended up without a carrier.

As far as we know, at the moment HiJENKS is the main American development of its class. Other projects of this kind are proposed and considered, but have not yet been developed. All the efforts of AFRL and ONR are focused precisely on the "high-energy electromagnetic system."


First success


In early July, American specialized publications, citing representatives of the Air Force and their organizations, spoke about the latest achievements of the HiJENKS project. As reported, the new sample has been successfully brought to field tests. Moreover, these activities are nearing completion, and a new phase of the project should soon begin.

Tests of EMP weapons are carried out at the test site at the base of China Lake (pc. California). Several test explosions are planned with the collection of the necessary data. They take about two months to complete. At the same time, the details of the plans and the results of the tests have not yet been announced.

It is noted that ongoing tests are critical for the HiJENKS project as a whole. If the new EMP weapon confirms the calculated combat characteristics, work on it will continue. Their result will be the appearance of a full-fledged ammunition suitable for adoption by the air and naval forces. Otherwise, you will have to continue development or redirect efforts to other projects.

Technical features


The developers of the HiJENKS project have already revealed some of the technical details. At the same time, basic data, such as design features or technical characteristics, have not yet been announced. In addition, some of the disclosed information allows you to roughly determine individual parameters.

In general, the HiJENKS product is a special warhead capable of creating a high-power electromagnetic pulse. Known data on previous American developments suggest that this project again uses the principle of an explosive magnetic generator. In this case, HiJENKS is an explosive device with additional elements that provide the creation of EMP.

The main characteristics of such weapons remain unknown. The mass and power of the main charge are not reported. Also, the power of the generated pulse is not disclosed. It was only reported that, in terms of key characteristics, the HiJENKS product, at least, should not be inferior to the previous CHAMP. However, in his case, the most interesting information remained closed.


It is alleged that one of the goals of the HiJENKS project was to reduce the size and weight of the EMP charge in comparison with the previous development. The CHAMP product was intended for installation on the ALCM rocket, the payload of which, depending on the modification, reached 1360 kg. The warhead fit in a case with a diameter of 630 mm.

All this allows us to imagine the maximum possible dimensions and weight of the new HiJENKS warhead. At the same time, it should be taken into account that modern cruise missiles and other potential carriers of such charges impose more stringent requirements on the payload. For example, the AGM-158 JASSM missile has a body section of 450x550 mm and carries no more than 450 kg of cargo. Accordingly, she would hardly be able to raise the charge of CHAMP.

It should be noted that the issue of the delivery vehicle for the new HiJENKS charge has not yet been resolved. So far, the Air Force and Navy are planning to test and fine-tune these weapons, the results of which will determine the final dimensions and weight. Based on this, a suitable carrier or carriers will be determined. It is quite possible that the JASSM cruise missile or its extended-range variant JASSM-ER will receive this role - despite the limited size and carrying capacity.

The EMP modification of the AGM-158 missile can be used with a wide range of carrier aircraft. In the Air Force, tactical and strategic aircraft of various types, from F-16 or F-35 to B-2 and B-52, will be able to use it. In the Navy, the F / A-18E / F carrier-based fighter-bomber will be the only carrier of such weapons.

Intended Role


Thus, according to the results of the HiJENKS project, the US Air Force and Navy want to get a fundamentally new weapon. With its help, it will be possible to solve special tasks and hit a wide range of different targets in a specific way. In this case, we will not talk about the destruction of specific targets, but about the incapacitation of entire systems over a large area.

EMP ammunition is proposed to be placed on a missile of the JASSM (-ER) type. Accordingly, the HiJENKS product will receive all the advantages of such a weapon. It will be able to use all major US combat aircraft. In this case, a large combat radius and a high probability of breaking through enemy air defenses will be achieved.


AGM-158 JASSM missile launch from a fighter

When triggered, the HiJENKS warhead will have to create high-power EMP and hit enemy electronic systems. First of all, the developers have in mind the electronics of combat vehicles, army communications and control equipment, etc. In addition, energy infrastructure and general communications systems must suffer from such an impact. In this case, temporary or permanent disabling will occur within a certain radius from the place of detonation.

It is assumed that such a weapon will allow almost one blow to leave the enemy in a given area without radio equipment, and at the same time without communication, without detection capabilities, as well as with serious restrictions on the use of weapons. At the same time, the combat effectiveness of the enemy should drop sharply, which will seriously simplify the work of the allied forces and reduce the risks for them.

However, there are also negative features. Thus, it is noted that EMP weapons, including HiJENKS, are indiscriminate and can hit both military and civilian targets. Moreover, it is for non-military facilities that it poses a great danger - due to the lack of measures to protect against EMP. All this means that an electromagnetic attack can have serious collateral damage. It threatens civilian energy and communications, industry, medical facilities, and so on.

Weapons of the future


Thus, the United States continues to work on the topic of weapons based on an electromagnetic pulse and has already brought to the test the second sample of this kind. In the near future, the current stage of checks will end, and after that the further fate of the HiJENKS project will be determined.

How the current events will end is unknown. But the very fact of their holding gives the Pentagon a reason for optimism. The release of the warhead for testing shows that the project has advanced far enough. And this means that the Air Force and the Navy can already work out the issues of rearmament and make plans for the future. Whether it will be possible to proceed with their implementation will become known later.
Author:
Photos used:
Lockheed Martin. Boeing, US Department of Defense
27 comments
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  1. KCA
    KCA 31 July 2022 07: 38
    +2
    I wonder how our "Alabuga" is doing
    1. ares1988
      ares1988 31 July 2022 07: 59
      +2
      Missiles or warheads "Alabuga" do not exist.
      1. KCA
        KCA 31 July 2022 08: 15
        +2
        The development was the same as the development of the "Grenade" was at one time, but there were no complexes, and then, suddenly, the "Caliber" appeared, in exactly the same guises as the "Granat", with the exception of the PGRK, and with the conventional Warhead, and surprisingly similar both externally and in terms of performance characteristics
        1. ares1988
          ares1988 31 July 2022 08: 19
          +1
          There was research, what is there according to its results - HZ. One can assume that anything is in the bins of the motherland, but not all of this will be available there.
        2. TreeSmall
          TreeSmall 31 July 2022 12: 26
          +4
          There was a development, as at one time there was the development of "Grenade", but there were no complexes, and then, suddenly, "Caliber" appeared,

          How was it "not there"?
          Adopted in 1983.
          On the balance sheet of the Navy 100 krbd (they appear in the agreement with the Americans) PLA 667AT and 945
          But the RK-55 was not the same?
      2. Romario_Argo
        Romario_Argo 1 August 2022 13: 57
        0
        KR Alabuga is simply not used anywhere - it is only a weapon of nuclear war
        after applying Alabuga, the level of induced radiation increases due to the very high level of released neutrons
        1. ares1988
          ares1988 1 August 2022 17: 42
          0
          Once again: the ALABUGA cruise missile with EMP-warhead never existed:
          https://ria.ru/20170928/1505719386.html
  2. nik-mazur
    nik-mazur 31 July 2022 08: 39
    0
    ... to hit enemy electronics in a significant radius ...
    Significant radius - how much? A hundred meters, a kilometer, ten? If the latter, then it can be a very harmful thing, and if the former, then nothing at all - it’s easier to cover with a pair of missiles with a cluster warhead for the same money.
    1. Non-fighter
      Non-fighter 31 July 2022 09: 55
      0
      100 meters is a scorched substation at least, possibly with a fire.
      1. nik-mazur
        nik-mazur 31 July 2022 11: 05
        -1
        Quote: Not the fighter
        ...this is a scorched substation...
        If a couple of MLRS missiles arrive at the substation, the result will be the same, only it will also physically ruin everything. However, the army does not care - the military can do without civilian substations.
        In general, it looks like another military toy, such as a laser or a railgun, which the Americans love so much for their high-tech and high cost. Somehow it is not visible what tasks on the battlefield an EMP missile will perform better than three hundred kilograms of TNT ...
    2. Non-fighter
      Non-fighter 31 July 2022 10: 28
      +3
      And one more addition. It must be remembered that the closest analogue of this ammunition is a nuclear weapon. The developers want to get an analogue of nuclear weapons in the electromagnetic range, because one of the damaging factors of a nuclear explosion is just an EMP wave. Hence the definition of the radius of destruction - and what power of the EMP wave do we want to have at the border of the defeat? What is considered enough power? The difference in EMP power to disable a tank and a civilian vehicle, shielded military equipment and a defenseless civilian object is significant. If we talk about the fact that military electronics are affected within a radius of 1 km, then the radius of destruction of civilian electronics UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS will be much larger.
    3. TreeSmall
      TreeSmall 31 July 2022 13: 05
      +3
      Quote from: nik-mazur
      Significant radius - how much? A hundred meters, a kilometer, ten?

      1. the pulse generates voltage up to several megavolts and an electric current flow up to tens of kiloamperes
      2. Inverse square law:
      power density Emi (at point) Su radiated by an omnidirectional radiator
      Su=Ps/ ( 4*pi*R1^2)
      Ps = radiated power [W]
      R1 = distance from emitter to target [m]
      Can you count?
      it’s easier to cover with a pair of missiles with a cluster warhead for the same money.

      -they see it as non-lethal
      - the shock wave cannot move along the wires, and the emy can at a distance of up to 2 km (the inverse square law, of course, does not apply here)
      For power lines, low-current, computer systems, there will be a good roast. In the bunker, the shock wave and fragments will not reach, but amy can reach
      - at a height, the high-explosive-compression effect of the shock wave and the charge of explosives drops sharply due to the low density of the medium, but for the emy, the opposite is true: the joy of being close to vacuum
      If you use a directional antenna, then you need to enter the gain in formula (2): the range will increase significantly, but the frequency range will be cut.
      In a nutshell, this is how it works.
      1. nik-mazur
        nik-mazur 31 July 2022 13: 56
        0
        Quote from TreeSmall
        Can you count?
        Nah, I'm not friends with electricity and matan.
        They also talk beautifully about lasers and railguns, but in reality, banal cannon artillery rules.
        I would like to understand, using a specific example, how EMP weapons fit into hostilities? In what cases does the head of the operations department say: Tanks will go here after artillery preparation, but here we will pound with an EMP missile ...
        1. TreeSmall
          TreeSmall 31 July 2022 14: 49
          -1
          Amy hasn't used rockets yet.
          Wait for tanks and artillery preparation.
          The Chinese have advanced further (in terms of energy source), if they don’t lie.
          PySy.
          If the antenna is not g for this prodigy, then approximately 150-200 meters, if directed (as in the video), then up to 1500 meters will be
          the pulse generates voltage up to several megavolts and an electric current flow up to tens of kiloamperes

          Approximately, like an average lightning (not on the ground, but at the initialization point)
          1. nik-mazur
            nik-mazur 31 July 2022 15: 05
            0
            Quote from TreeSmall
            About like an average lightning ...
            That is, a lightning rod is enough for all the power of this miracle technology to go into the ground?
            1. TreeSmall
              TreeSmall 31 July 2022 18: 01
              -1
              No.
              Although military equipment is protected, and the calculation of air defense in combat mode we get confused from our own generators.
              There, the action is not like lightning, and the lightning rod does not provide 100% protection. More peace of mind for the soul and for a piece of paper (when an object is accepted)
              1. nik-mazur
                nik-mazur 31 July 2022 19: 51
                0
                Quote from TreeSmall
                ...action is not like lightning...
                Clear.
                Although it is still unclear in what situations and for what purposes it can be more effective and useful than a simple rocket and artillery strike.
                If only the Terminators are fighting from that side. But I think that they will be all right with EMP protection too ...
  3. Non-fighter
    Non-fighter 31 July 2022 09: 54
    +3
    Civilian objects are the first target, no matter what they say about military use.
    1. agond
      agond 31 July 2022 12: 12
      +1
      And at what distance can this charge hit the control of small UAVs
  4. iouris
    iouris 31 July 2022 12: 55
    0
    And also a graphite bomb.
    "I, Van, want the same!" (Manturov, Borisov, etc.)
  5. Igor Valimukhametov
    Igor Valimukhametov 31 July 2022 15: 00
    +1
    We are probably developing something similar. How many times have hints been made about weapons based on other physical principles that have not been used in military affairs before. Yes, and Alabuga was already, however, its radius of action was only 3 km
  6. Jackson
    Jackson 31 July 2022 17: 38
    0
    Doubtful somehow. Of course there will be failures, but to fail ...
  7. km-21
    km-21 31 July 2022 21: 12
    +1
    It is unlikely that this can be implemented. Even a very powerful EMP will weaken with the square of the distance. After 1000 meters, there will be little left of him. And protecting the equipment is very simple. It is enough to place it in an equipotential case (made of metal with low resistivity), and protect all inputs and outputs with high-voltage arresters and high-speed suppressors with automatic switching of fusible protective inserts as they are consumed.

    Therefore, it is possible that the Americans are bluffing. Declaring what is impossible to create, they are trying to send the enemy on the wrong path.
    1. TreeSmall
      TreeSmall 31 July 2022 22: 16
      0
      Therefore, it is possible that the Americans are bluffing. Declaring what cannot be created,

      And the Chinese?
      And when the weapon explodes over the target area, no lives would be at risk. Rather, the strong electromagnetic waves produced would “cause the effective burnout of key electronic devices in the target information network within a range of 2km,” engineering scientist Sun Zheng and his co-researchers at the China Academy said in a paper published this month, in a domestic journal titled Tactical Missile Technology.


  8. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 2 August 2022 10: 10
    0
    Hence the definition of the radius of destruction - and what power of the EMP wave do we want to have at the border of the defeat?

    If a nuclear charge of one megaton destroys some kind of electronics, non-directional EMI, within a radius of 100 kilometers. That is a charge of one ton of explosives, with the same efficiency, it will do the same for a 100 times smaller radius, or about one kilometer.
  9. AML
    AML 5 August 2022 09: 03
    0
    Quote: iouris
    And also a graphite bomb.
    "I, Van, want the same!" (Manturov, Borisov, etc.)

    A rubber bomb was dropped on China. 100500 people died. The bomb keeps bouncing.
  10. AML
    AML 5 August 2022 09: 24
    0
    Quote: Kostadinov
    Hence the definition of the radius of destruction - and what power of the EMP wave do we want to have at the border of the defeat?

    If a nuclear charge of one megaton destroys some kind of electronics, non-directional EMI, within a radius of 100 kilometers. That is a charge of one ton of explosives, with the same efficiency, it will do the same for a 100 times smaller radius, or about one kilometer.

    Cheto you are a little mistaken in the calculations.
    The power falls off inversely with the square of the distances. If we assume that the efficiency of devices is the same and a megaton charge will induce a charge of 1 million volts at a distance of 1 km. That's a kiloton of 1 volt.
    In order for this to work with sane energies, current conductors must be formed by analogy with lightning. But this is a directed action and a completely different story.