US Military’s Futuristic HiJENKS Missile Fries Enemy’s Electronics With Microwaves

Electromagnetic weapons like the soon-to-be-deployed HiJENKS missile use non-lethal microwaves to disable military equipment and communications.
Air Force Desmonstration

The United States is testing a new missile with capabilities very different from conventional missiles.

This missile is capable of generating an electromagnetic field that would weaken enemy electronic equipment – and could be implemented in the coming years to ensure the ability of the US Navy and USAF to operate in hostile areas.

What is the HiJENKS?

The High-Powered Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike Weapon, or HiJENKS, is a prototype non-lethal weapon developed by the US military.


Very little is known about this weapon, but its ability seems quite promising, and it would give the US an advantage when deployed in hostile areas.

The HiJENKS uses high-powered microwaves to generate an electromagnetic field that can disrupt electronic devices and equipment. While the HiJENKS is still in the early stages of development, it has shown a lot of potential as a tool for incapacitating enemies without causing lasting harm. 

How does it work?

The HiJENKS works by generating a powerful electromagnetic pulse that can disrupt or destroy electronic equipment.


The pulse is generated by a high-power microwave transmitter, which is mounted on an aircraft or missile. When the pulse hits the target, it can cause the equipment to malfunction or be destroyed. 

Cyber Electromagnetic Activities
Cyber Electromagnetic Activities by Steven Stover. Public Domain

Consequently, global military powers are working hard to develop electromagnetic weapons without resorting to traditional explosives.

Using electromagnetic weapons is an old concept that could soon go mainstream

Electromagnetic weapons are a type of weapon that uses electromagnetic radiation to disable electronic equipment in vehicles, aircraft, missiles, and communications systems. While they have been around for decades, they have only recently been developed into weapons. 


Early versions of electromagnetic weapons were used in the Second World War to disrupt German radar systems.

During the Cold War, the US military began researching the use of microwaves as a weapon. The research was motivated by fears that the Soviet Union was developing its own microwave weapons. The US military’s research led to the development of the Active Denial System, a non-lethal weapon that uses microwaves to heat the skin and cause pain. 

Today, they are becoming increasingly common, and many militaries are working on them.


Russia and China are developing their own electromagnetic weapons – and they are capable of stopping most of the American electric system.

That’s why the US Navy and USAF are innovating to have new ways of attacking with these kinds of weapons. Military technology in the 21st century is taking a different course than in the 20th century.

It is now necessary not only to generate weapons that destroy targets based on large explosions but also strategic weapons that can limit the enemy’s operational capability and weaken their ability to operate drones and radars.


The HiJENKS new missiles will be a perfect complement to American “soft kill weapons”

Boeing EA-18G Growler VAQ-138
Boeing EA-18G Growler VAQ-138 by Tomás Del Coro. Licensed under CC by 2.0

Similar weapons are already being tested mainly to shoot down drones such as Leonidas Pod and could also complement the activity aircraft such as the EA-18G Growler.

All these weapons are based on capabilities to hinder enemy communications and activities but without having highly destructive power.

Hijenks Kineto Tracking Mount
Kineto Tracking Mount by U.S. Navy. Public Domain

However, a missile with these capabilities will take electromagnetic warfare to the next level and help the US to keep the lead in this arms race.


The US Air Force and Navy continue to innovate to be ahead of China

Creating an electromagnetic missile like the HiJENKS is definitely an innovative weapon to give the US Navy and USAF a competitive advantage, and maintain their edge over Chinese and Russian advances.

Feature image credit: Air Force Demonstration by Ethan Wagner. Public Domain.