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EMP Weapons Will Leave Enemies Electronically Blind, Deaf, and Mute

Written by on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

You ever watch two kids pretend to shoot each other?

“I shot you!”

“Nuh-uh, I’ve got a force field.”

“Well, I have shield-penetrating bullets so it goes right through your shield!”

If you’ll forgive the snaky analogy, that’s kind of how military organizations go through an arms race. Country A builds a nuke, so Country B builds a bigger nuke. To counter that, the Country A builds anti-ICBM weapons, which prompts Country B to create a stealth bomber that can confuse anti-ICBM defenses.

Each new generation of technology strives to be bigger, badder, and trickier than the weapons of the past, but what if you didn’t need to make your aircraft stronger? What if you could just hold in your hand the off-switch to the enemy’s power grid?

That’s what Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) has been trying to build, an adult version of “Nuh-uh, I broke your gun while you weren’t looking, so your bullets can’t hurt me!” What they want to do is build a weapon that can destroy or disable all electronic equipment in a certain area, leaving people without any modern conveniences or technology. Believe it or not, the technology needed to create a device-frying electromagnetic pulse is old news — we’ve been able to do it since WWII. The only problem is that you need to detonate a nuclear warhead in order to create an EMP, and at that point the effects of the EMP are kind of moot.

The US military may have found an alternative to nuclear warheads with microwaves. The Boeing buy cialis Company successfully completed a test firing of a high-power microwave (HPW) payload that would simulate the effectiveness of an actual EMP weapon. Keith Coleman, the CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works, called the test, “as close to the real thing as we could get.” Coleman and his team hopes that the test “sets the stage for a new breed of nonlethal but highly effective weapon systems.”

If things progress according to plan, CHAMP could represent one of the most revolutionary breakthroughs in modern warfare since the invention of the bullet. Theoretically, these weapons could completely cripple enemy computer systems and electronics without harming a single combatant or civilian. They could equip a missile with a HWP payload and launch it at an enemy base to cut all power and communication, or they could create a rapidly-recharging weapon platform, kind of like an EMP-shooting turret, that could rapidly disable aircraft or vehicles.

Of course, a lot of this technology is still hush-hush and in the development phase, so it will probably be years before it is perfected, and another few years after that before there’s a conflict that demands its widespread use. This is one of those rare cases where you can really get excited about a new weapon. While a bigger and badder nuke is certainly impressive, there’s nothing exhilarating about a weapon that can level a whole city. These EMP weapons, on the other hand, could save thousands of enemy and friendly lives. That’s something we should all be able to get behind.

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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