Back in the early days and further in the past former House Speaker and GOP presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich, was fond of bringing up which to most seemed like some very outlandish scenarios and was excoriated for it . One which caught my attention was his warning of the dangers of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) blast to the United States and its electronics infrastructure.
For those who do not know what an EMP is or how it is generated here is a brief description provided by Wikipedia.
An electromagnetic pulse (commonly abbreviated EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. The abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation usually results from certain types of high energy explosions, especially a nuclear explosion, or from a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field. The resulting rapidly-changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.
In military terminology, a nuclear warhead detonated hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Effects of a HEMP device depend on a very large number of factors, including the altitude of the detonation, energy yield, gamma ray output, interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field, and electromagnetic shielding of targets.[...]
Why is any of this relevant? Well…Gingrich caught his fair share of criticisms for positing about such crazy developments, however, in some ways his ideas aren’t that crazy and he might have Boeing to thank for proving him somewhat correct. A variant of the technology does exist and it might not be a threat to the US but a new weapon in its arsenal.
From the Business Insider.
While the U.S. geared up for the second presidential debate last Tuesday, a building sat pulsing with computers, electronic surveillance, and security systems in the Utah high desert.
The unoccupied site was awaiting the test of a weapon the Pentagon requested four years ago to the day on 16 October, 2008.
The Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), led by Boeing’s Phantom works, promised to change the face of contemporary warfare, and its test was a complete success.
CHAMP flew over the Utah Test and Training Range last Tuesday, discharging a burst of High Power Microwaves onto the test site and brought down the compound’s entire spectrum of electronic systems, apparently without producing any other damage at all. Even the camera recording the test was shut down. […]
Needless to say the implications of this sort of weapon development is a major game-changer if our country’s military chooses to pursue it.
- A Brief Introduction to EMP (thesurvivalplaceblog.com)
- New EMP Cruise Missile Destroys Computers, Electronics (amresolution.com)
- Big Brother’s New Toy: An EMP Cruise Missile (johngaltfla.com)