Raytheon has secured a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to continue work on electronic warfare (EW) payload for cruise missiles.

Under the terms of the $4.8m deal, the company will continue the counter-electronics high-power microwave advanced missile (CHAMP) aboard the conventional air-launched cruise missile (CALCM).

The contract will see Raytheon Missile Systems Ktech refurbishing the CHAMP payload and a pair of CALCMs and delivering them to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

"The pairing of CHAMP and CALCM, a proven weapon, lowers risk and brings tomorrow’s capabilities forward to today."

Raytheon advanced missile systems vice-president Dr Thomas Bussing said: "Non-kinetic systems give the US the option to defeat enemy infrastructure with little collateral damage.

"The pairing of CHAMP and CALCM, a proven weapon, lowers risk and brings tomorrow’s capabilities forward to today."

CHAMP is a non-kinetic payload developed in collaboration with Boeing and Sandia National Laboratories.

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The CHAMP programme aims to develop an air-launched, directed-energy weapon capable of paralysing enemy electronic targets with minimal or no collateral damage.

Expected to serve as a non-kinetic alternative to legacy explosive weapons, the missile facilitates selective high-frequency radio wave strikes against multiple targets during a single operation.

The technology was successfully demonstrated in October 2012.