Software defined radios (SDR) in the microwave X- and K-bands offer the promise of low cost, programmable operation with real-time frequency agility. However, the real world in which such radios operate requires them to be able to detect nanowatt signals in the vicinity of 100 kW transmitters. This imposes the need for selective RF filters on the front end of the receiver to block the large, out of band RF signals so that the finite dynamic range of the SDR is not overwhelmed and the desired nanowatt signals can be detected and digitally processed. This is currently typically done with a number of narrow band filters that are switched in and out under program control. What is needed is a small, fast, wide tuning range, high Q, and low loss filter that can continuously tune over large regions of the microwave spectrum. In this paper, we show how extreme throw MEMS actuators can be used to build such filters operating up to 15 GHz and beyond. The key enabling attribute of our MEMS actuators is that they have large, controllable, and out-of-plane actuation ranges of a millimeter or more. In a capacitance-post loaded cavity filter geometry, this gives sufficient precisely controllable motion to produce widely tunable devices in the 4-15 GHz regime.