Coming to the skies near you – the flying electro-magnetic pulse weapon

Over the last few years, I have repeatedly expressed concern about the potential importance of the threat of an electro-magnetic pulse that could disable or destroy electronic installations.  Such a pulse could come from an errant solar flare or other extreme space weather or it could be produced by a nuclear warhead exploded in the upper atmosphere.  Both could have devastating impacts on ground-based electronic equipment and on electric power grids.

Now comes news of a weapon that could be carried in a cruise missile that can be programmed to disable the electronic systems in individual buildings.  Apparently, the U.S. Air Force and its contractor Boeing, along with Raytheon, have created the High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, which was just tested over a Utah desert.

The cruise missile, which was launched from a U.S. bomber, was pre-programmed to fly over a target and shoot a burst of high power microwaves at a two-story building. It knocked out rows of personal computers and electrical systems which were shown in a video taken of the test.

Following the first target, the cruise missile then was guided to six other targets, resulting in knocking out all electronics.

Even if this was a US initiative, it sounds as though more effort needs to go into protecting UK infrastructure and critical systems against such attacks – which is more or less what I was saying about three and a half years ago.

One thought on “Coming to the skies near you – the flying electro-magnetic pulse weapon”

  1. An unknown and misunderstood threat to our society, and those around the world, yet it was sneaked onto the National Risk Register earlier this year by the Gov’t.

    Right now the Cabinet Office are busy trying to figure out how the nation would bounce back after such an event, but also whether their recommnedation is to advise ministers to inform the public.

    The US on the other hand have elected to include Space Weather onto their Homeland Security website http://www.ready.gov – take a look under natural disasters. A credit to the current administration.

    Considering the risk is defined as being moderate to high – why is the UK Gov’t not advising its citizens of this enormous threat?

    If you thought global warming was a threat to mankind, think on! Global warming is nothing compared to this present risk.

    For more information click the link below:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmdfence/1552/1552.pdf

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