According to a March 2023 report by Report Linker, DEWs constitute a buoyant $5.3 billion business in 2022 and are slated to grow to $12.9 billion by 2027.
A DEW is a ranged weapon that damages its target with highly focused energy, including laser, microwaves, and particle beams. A key driver propelling the growth of the global DEW market, a summary of the report said, is the defence of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials.
DEW equipment like lasers, radiation detectors, and biosensors are being used to defend against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (“CBRN”) emergencies.
Directed Energy Weapons Market by Technology, Platform, Application, Product, Range and Region – Global Forecast to 2027, Report Linker, March 2023
This profit-driven military-industrial market is dominated by six “defence contractors” including Raytheon Technologies Corporation (US), Northrup Grunman Corporation (US), Lockheed Martin Corporation (US), Thales Group (France) and BAE Systems (UK).
In 2021, the UK Ministry of Defence (“MoD”) awarded three contracts worth around £72.5 million to UK industry to produce advanced laser and radio frequency demonstrators as part of the Novel Weapons Programme (“NWP”), known collectively as DEWs. The development of these weapon systems for the MoD is being led by Thales and Raytheon UK.
Raytheon and BAE Systems are not only two of the companies dominating the DEW market, these two companies are also involved with environmental modification (“ENMOD”) technologies on behalf of the US Air Force.
ENMOD techniques were prohibited by the United Nations in the ENMOD Convention which was approved in 1976 in response to international concern over the use of military tactics that could manipulate and damage the environment:
Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party.
The term “environmental modification techniques” refers to any technique for changing – through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes – the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space.
Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (“ENMOD Convention”), United Nations, Geneva: 18 May 1977
Professor Michel Chossudovsky, author and founder of the Centre for Research on Globalisation, began his research on ENMOD in 2001 focusing on the HAARP system of antennas, in Gokona, Alaska. “The HAARP facility was fully operational starting in the mid-1990s with advanced capabilities. While HAARP was closed down in 2014, ENMOD techniques have in the course of the last ten years become increasingly sophisticated as well as precise. Much of the documentation has become classified,” he wrote at the end of last month.
In 2004, he published an article titled ‘The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction: “Owning the Weather” for Military Use’ in which he discussed that weather modification is rarely included in the debate on climate change. “Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use,” he said.
In 2007, he published an article in The Ecologist titled ‘Weather Warfare’ which he republished on his Substack page a few days ago as it is of “relevance to the assessment of recent climatic disasters.” We have reproduced his 2007 article below.
Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.
Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defence, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw “forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined.” During the Vietnam War, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (“HAARP”), is an appendage of the Strategic Defence Initiative – “Star Wars.” [HAARP facility was closed down in 2014. Since then, more advanced facilities have been developed]. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.
Weather modification, according to the US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report “offers the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary,” capabilities, it says, extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes:
“Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.” – Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025