The $9 million High Energy Research and Technology Facility (HERTF) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, was designed to develop weapons using high-power microwaves (HPM), high-energy advanced pulsed power (including explosive-pumped devices), and very- high-energy plasmas. Such weapons could disrupt or destroy electronic equipment aboard satellites by irradiation from directed energy sources. It may be used for ASAT experiments. Reports suggest it may constitute a covert operational ASAT system.
The facility was located in a remote canyon in the Manzano Mountains in the south-east portion of Kirtland. It was designed to withstand blasts and intense radiation. The facility had a four-story-high bay laboratory, 25 m by 45 m, with concrete roof and walls 1.3 m thick. Up to 450 kg of high explosive could be detonated in an area below the high bay to produce hundreds of megajoules of electrical energy needed for advanced experiments.