The Department of Defense unveils hundreds of products developed for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to better assist military capabilities. Jillian Kitchener reports.
It's a missile system with a difference, designed to render enemy electronic targets useless, not with explosives, but with bursts of high-powered energy. It's the product of CHAMP, an acronym for Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project. CHAMP is a collaboration between Boeing and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Program manager Bob Torres says the missile destroys without leaving collateral damage. SOUNDBITE (English) CHAMP PROGRAM MANAGER BOB TORRES, SAYING: "CHAMP is a high-powered microwave system integrated into a missile that is used against facilities that takes out the electronic systems inside." ..and it does so, while keeping people safe inside the buildings. SOUNDBITE (English) CHAMP PROGRAM MANAGER BOB TORRES, SAYING: "Right now the Air Force is determining how best to implement and fill this capability. The CHAMP technology was among several weapons systems on display at the Pentagon last week. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center says their technologies have successfully detected secret tunnels outside U.S. borders to a depth of 26 feet. Research mathematician Jennifer Picucci says the Electronmagnetic Induction System detects energy underground. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCH MATHEMATICIAN FOR ERDC, JENNIFER PICUCCI, SAYING: "When the digging happens, the energy goes into the ground from the shovel, so when it hits the ground, it vibrates the ground and that's going to travel through that soil and we're going to pick that up on one of our sensors and be able to find and locate where that happened." ERDC says their technology mitigates the threat of smuggling goods across the border, as well as people, drugs and explosives. The Navy meanwhile, is hoping to send Initial Response Divers to a depth of 600 feet... anywhere on the continental shelf within 36 hours of being deployed. David Camperman says the Mark 29 system is helping the Navy reach that goal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIVING LIFE SUPPORT SENIOR SCIENTIST FOR THE NAVAL WARFARE CENTER, JOHN CAMPERMAN, SAYING: "We're adding a Navy-developed re-breather -- a semi-closed circuit rebreather -- to a commercial helmet here. Together we're saving 80% of the helium they currently use. So they can dive five times longer or use five times less footprint, either way." The mission to protect Americans at home and overseas is never-ending, although for defense technology developers, so are the possibilities.