EMP-the blackout bomb

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by LETHALFORCE, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    THE BLACKOUT BOMB

    IF AND WHEN our nuclear-armed adversaries decide military conflict with the US is imminent, our information civilization could turn off like a light unplugged--a nuclear explosion melting most of the integrated circuits nationwide. A megaton-class, thermonuclear explosion about 250 miles over Omaha, Nebraska, would emit an Electromagnetic Pulse large enough and strong enough to collapse information society from coast to coast at the speed of light. You wouldn't feel anything. It would come and go in less than a second, a massive radio wave, everywhere at once. Picked up by copper wires and carried to the extremely vulnerable integrated circuits at switching centers, the explosion would guarantee that there will be no official announcement of what has happened.

    This is the Blackout Bomb, the bomb the government doesn't want to talk about.

    In 1997 Congress held what was apparently its first public hearing on high-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). This topic had "riveted the attention of the military nuclear tactical community for three and a half decades since the first comparatively modest one very unexpectedly turned off the lights over a few million square miles in the mid-Pacific," testified Dr. Lowell Wood, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist who has worked for the past three decades in both the offensive and defensive aspects of EMP. "The entire topic of EMP was highly classified," said Dr. Wood.

    The Blackout Bomb is simply a high-yield nuclear weapon, or a smaller nuclear weapon designed to maximize gamma-ray emissions. The EMP "laydown" of a thermonuclear burst moves at the speed of light, striking the Earth to the horizon at line-of-sight from the detonation. Gamma rays actually radiate spherically from the blast point, creating space EMP which, Dr. Wood explained in written hearing testimony, would damage satellite electronics even at great distances from the explosion. "The basic point," he said, "is that essentially all of our conventional military capability and all of our civilian infrastructure is highly vulnerable to EMP damage. The dollar numbers in the civilian infrastructure alone can be conservatively estimated at several trillion dollars' worth of infrastructure which is at risk potentially even from a single pulse--several trillion dollars."
    Our civilization's vulnerability to EMP has increased exponentially since the 1962 Johnston Island test, which blacked out power grids and shut down autos in Hawaii, a thousand miles away from the burst. Microchips with integrated circuits are much more vulnerable to EMP than were the vacuum tubes used in the sixties. And, said Dr. Wood, the smaller that the integrated circuits get, the more vulnerable they are to EMP.

    Any future global war is likely to begin with a few Blackout Bombs. China, Russia, the United States, and other nuclear powers have several nuclear missiles, and perhaps weaponized satellites, designed to lay down EMP over continent-size areas instantaneously. While every nation on Earth is vulnerable to attack from the United States, the United States is vulnerable, indeed defenseless, to a secret class of nuclear weapons which has captured the attention of the major nuclear powers--China, Russia, Britain, France, and the United States itself--for the past thirty-eight years.

    The Blackout Bomb means that we are vulnerable to complete information civilization shutdown, and there is nothing we can do about that in a military defensive sense. Only Peace Strategy--strategy focused on achieving peace, rather than winning war--will head off a global confrontation, beginning with a lot of high-altitude electromagnetic pulse lay down.

    The Blackout Bomb means, according to Dr. Wood, that our information civilization is subject to anonymous attack: "What would the US response be to a nuclear EMP 'bolt from the blue'--or even one from a geopolitically overcast sky? What if such an attack, e.g., executed with a single rather modest Earth-orbiting bomb, arguably could have been mounted not only by Russia, but also by China or India or Iran--or North Korea? Particularly if none of our fellow citizens died as a direct-and-immediate result of such an attack, what degree of certitude of attack attribution would we require of ourselves before an American President would order a retaliatory strike imposing condign punishment on the suspect nation? Paralyzed as a modern nation, thrown back decades in time in industrial capabilities, but still retaining a reasonably full set of nuclear teeth in our national mouth, how would we Americans then choose whom to bite--if anyone?"

    Dr. Wood's intriguing allusion to "a rather modest Earth-orbiting bomb," is the only reference I have seen to satellite nuclear weaponry in government literature.

    When I was a child, the United States government never questioned its responsibility to educate the American people about the true effects of nuclear weapons in the hands of our potential enemies. Education about the blast, thermal, and radiation effects of nuclear weapons was considered a fundamental part of the govern&shyp;ment's duty to provide for the common defense and to promote the general welfare. Nobody imagined a day would come when the nation had grown totally vulnerable to information civilization collapse from weapons deployed by potential enemies, and the United States government would not actively warn the nation of the true nature of this peril.

    Dr. Wood noted that hardening systems to withstand EMP is a small part of the cost, if done as part of the initial design. Yet no civilian and few military systems have been hardened to resist EMP. However, I respectfully disagree with Dr. Wood's recommendation that any civilian hardening to protect us from EMP be done. After a flirtation with civil defense and bomb shelters, Americans realize that nuclear attack against the United States is not something they are willing to prepare for because there is no rational way to prepare for it.

    Russia, China, and the United States form a Nuclear Triangle with constant low- to high-key nuclear weapons confrontation in the air. If we start hardening our civilian infrastructure to withstand EMP, it will signal to the Russians and Chinese that we are moving toward the brink of nuclear war.

    Accept for a moment that I am correct: the greatest danger of nuclear attack on the United States today is from Russia or China. This Nuclear Triangle is in a constant state of nuclear weapons confrontation, hot or cold, always taking steps either away from the brink of nuclear war, or toward it. All three nations are poised to strike suddenly with high-altitude nuclear explosions over the others' territory, collapsing all the vulnerable electrical systems below, and destroying unprotected satellite electrical systems in line-of-sight of the blast.

    In addition to intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads in the megaton class, which China is known to have in the tens, and Russia and the United States in the thousands, all major nuclear powers, according to Dr. Wood, have been developing a top-secret class of EMP nuclear weaponry. The secret EMP nuclear weapon of choice may be an orbiting thermonuclear bomb in a maneuverable satellite, miniaturized to maximize gamma ray emission, perhaps disguised as a telecommunications satellite.

    Neither Russia, China, nor the United States have defense to prevent an "Earth-orbiting bomb." Russia and China are far less dependent on computers than is the United States. On this field of battle--high-altitude electromagnetic pulse warfare driven by nuclear explosions--the United States is the most vulnerable nation of the three contestants, simply because it is the most dependent on integrated circuits.

    The United States and Russia took different approaches to EMP warfare from the outset, stated Dr. Wood: "The Soviets basically decided that EMP represented not only an exceptionally severe threat to the integrity of their military apparatus and their civilian infrastructure, but also offered extraordinary opportunities to their strategic offensive forces." The Russians now have inherited "more than a dozen Soviet SS-18 ICBM's which carried large unitary warheads in the 10 megaton class that were believed to have the primary function and military role of conducting an extremely severe military EMP laydown":

    "That EMP strike component exists today in the Russian strategic order-of-battle, moreover at its maximum Cold War strength. I very confidently predict that it will be one of the last features of Soviet strategic nuclear weaponry to be retired from the Russian force structure."

    The Russians have done much more EMP hardening and military/civilian preparedness training than has the United States, testified Dr. Wood. "We Americans, in contrast, collectively saw EMP as a major nuisance which could be rather precisely understood, defended against 'good enough' and thereafter largely ignored." Satellites are especially vulnerable to the x-rays and gamma rays from a high-altitude nuclear explosion, which is different from atmospheric EMP but radiated spherically around the explosion. No United States satellites, he added, can be considered reliably protected from space EMP, because EMP testing of protective systems is erratic.

    Chinese weapons strategists must have been ecstatic when they realized that even the possibility of placing one Blackout Bomb over the American Midwest would threaten their arch-enemy with devastation as a modern, post-industrial nation. Now, watching the United States rush into a field of battle--information and space weaponry-where it has a distinct strategic disadvantage, being the adversary most dependent on integrated circuits, a democracy with a population blissfully unaware of the Blackout Bomb, Chinese war strategists are focused on dominating information warfare.

    Major Mark A. Stokes of the US Army War College wrote in his book-length report, "China's Strategic Modernization: Implications for the United States" (September, 1999, p. 26), that China's enthusiasm peaked when its 30 leading authorities on strategy and warfare convened in December 1995 in Shijiazhuang for a "Forum for Experts on Meeting the Challenges of the World Military Revolution." These experts called for the development of weapons which can "throw the financial systems and army command systems of the hegemonists into chaos. These types of weapons are useful for underdeveloped countries to use against a nation which is "extremely fragile and vulnerable when it fulfills the process of networking and then relies entirely on electronic computers." China must abandon the strategy of "catching up" with more advanced powers and "proceed from the brand new information warfare and develop our unique technologies and skills, rather than inlay the old framework with new technologies." Some observers believe by adopting information-based approaches to warfare, "China can effectively leapfrog into the 21st century as a preeminent military power."

    Major Stokes did not connect this statement to high-altitude EMP nuclear weaponry. In fact, his study of China's real and imagined electronic weaponry has only cursory mention of EMP. Is the Blackout Bomb so secret and potentially panic-causing that even many military strategists are in the dark about its true significance?

    Dr. Lowell Wood noted in testimony at the EMP hearing in Congress that nuclear strategists in the United States do war simulations based on the presumption that a capable enemy would begin hostilities with high-altitude EMP weaponry. Since the Russians and Chinese know that we are ready to lay heavy EMP on them at the outset of hostilities, they try to be prepared to do the same to us, preferably first. Therefore, if we careen closer to nuclear conflict with Russia or China, the advantage of first-strike EMP escalates rapidly.

    The main reason that the Blackout Bomb probably will loom as a very effective but unused weapon of nuclear confrontation against the United States is global interdependence: Russia, China, indeed the whole world would be set back massively by collapse of information civilization in the United States.

    All Americans have a life-or-death interest in stopping US development of National Missile Defense. Deployment of an effective National Missile Defense would make the US invulnerable to counterstrike. Russia and China can't let this happen. A preemptive Blackout Bomb strike against the US becomes ever more likely as the US strives to become militarily omnipotent with National Missile Defense.

    Today, as we contemplate Russia's escalating nuclear confrontation with the United States and deal with the US push to deploy a National Missile Defense system, the Blackout Bombs in the hands of the Russians and Chinese, and perhaps other nuclear powers, are a wild card.

    Dr. Wood and other hearing participants recommended a national assessment of EMP vulnerability, military and civilian. But that would mean the government would have to talk about EMP, so the idea has gone nowhere.

    As a Peace Strategist, I believe we should spread the word about high-altitude electromagnetic pulse weaponry to educate and warn people. And a national assessment of EMP vulnerability should take place as soon as possible.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Truth Seeker - The E-Bomb

    The E-Bomb

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    In the blink of an eye, electromagnetic bombs could throw civilization back 200 years. And terrorists can build them for next to nothing.

    The Next Pearl Harbor

    The next Pearl Harbor will not announce itself with a searing flash of nuclear light or with the plaintive wails of those dying of Ebola or its genetically engineered twin. You will hear a sharp crack in the distance. By the time you mistakenly identify this sound as an innocent clap of thunder, the civilized world will have become unhinged. Fluorescent lights and television sets will glow eerily bright, despite being turned off. The aroma of ozone mixed with smoldering plastic will seep from outlet covers as electric wires arc and telephone lines melt. Your Palm Pilot and MP3 player will feel warm to the touch, their batteries overloaded. Your computer, and every bit of data on it, will be toast. And then you will notice that the world sounds different too. The background music of civilization, the whirl of internal-combustion engines, will have stopped. Save a few diesels, engines will never start again. You, however, will remain unharmed, as you find yourself thrust backward 200 years, to a time when electricity meant a lightning bolt fracturing the night sky. This is not a hypothetical, son-of-Y2K scenario. It is a realistic assessment of the damage the Pentagon believes could be inflicted by a new generation of weapons--E-bombs.



    Illusttation by Edwin Herder

    The first major test of an American electromagnetic bomb is scheduled for next year. Ultimately, the Army hopes to use E-bomb technology to explode artillery shells in midflight. The Navy wants to use the E-bomb's high-power microwave pulses to neutralize antiship missiles. And, the Air Force plans to equip its bombers, strike fighters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles with E-bomb capabilities. When fielded, these will be among the most technologically sophisticated weapons the U.S. military establishment has ever built.

    There is, however, another part to the E-bomb story, one that military planners are reluctant to discuss. While American versions of these weapons are based on advanced technologies, terrorists could use a less expensive, low-tech approach to create the same destructive power. "Any nation with even a 1940s technology base could make them," says Carlo Kopp, an Australian-based expert on high-tech warfare. "The threat of E-bomb proliferation is very real." POPULAR MECHANICS estimates a basic weapon could be built for $400.

    An Old Idea Made New

    The theory behind the E-bomb was proposed in 1925 by physicist Arthur H. Compton--not to build weapons, but to study atoms. Compton demonstrated that firing a stream of highly energetic photons into atoms that have a low atomic number causes them to eject a stream of electrons. Physics students know this phenomenon as the Compton Effect. It became a key tool in unlocking the secrets of the atom.

    Ironically, this nuclear research led to an unexpected demonstration of the power of the Compton Effect, and spawned a new type of weapon. In 1958, nuclear weapons designers ignited hydrogen bombs high over the Pacific Ocean. The detonations created bursts of gamma rays that, upon striking the oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere, released a tsunami of electrons that spread for hundreds of miles. Street lights were blown out in Hawaii and radio navigation was disrupted for 18 hours, as far away as Australia. The United States set out to learn how to "harden" electronics against this electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and develop EMP weapons.

    America has remained at the forefront of EMP weapons development. Although much of this work is classified, it's believed that current efforts are based on using high-temperature superconductors to create intense magnetic fields. What worries terrorism experts is an idea the United States studied but discarded--the Flux Compression Generator (FCG).

    A Poor Man's E-Bomb

    An FCG is an astoundingly simple weapon. It consists of an explosives-packed tube placed inside a slightly larger copper coil, as shown below. The instant before the chemical explosive is detonated, the coil is energized by a bank of capacitors, creating a magnetic field. The explosive charge detonates from the rear forward. As the tube flares outward it touches the edge of the coil, thereby creating a moving short circuit. "The propagating short has the effect of compressing the magnetic field while reducing the inductance of the stator [coil]," says Kopp. "The result is that FCGs will produce a ramping current pulse, which breaks before the final disintegration of the device. Published results suggest ramp times of tens of hundreds of microseconds and peak currents of tens of millions of amps." The pulse that emerges makes a lightning bolt seem like a flashbulb by comparison.

    An Air Force spokesman, who describes this effect as similar to a lightning strike, points out that electronics systems can be protected by placing them in metal enclosures called Faraday Cages that divert any impinging electromagnetic energy directly to the ground. Foreign military analysts say this reassuring explanation is incomplete.

    The India Connection

    The Indian military has studied FCG devices in detail because it fears that Pakistan, with which it has ongoing conflicts, might use E-bombs against the city of Bangalore, a sort of Indian Silicon Valley. An Indian Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis study of E-bombs points to two problems that have been largely overlooked by the West. The first is that very-high-frequency pulses, in the microwave range, can worm their way around vents in Faraday Cages. The second concern is known as the "late-time EMP effect," and may be the most worrisome aspect of FCG devices. It occurs in the 15 minutes after detonation. During this period, the EMP that surged through electrical systems creates localized magnetic fields. When these magnetic fields collapse, they cause electric surges to travel through the power and telecommunication infrastructure. This string-of-firecrackers effect means that terrorists would not have to drop their homemade E-bombs directly on the targets they wish to destroy. Heavily guarded sites, such as telephone switching centers and electronic funds-transfer exchanges, could be attacked through their electric and telecommunication connections.


    Knock out electric power, computers and telecommunication and you've destroyed the foundation of modern society. In the age of Third World-sponsored terrorism, the E-bomb is the great equalizer.

    To ignite an E-bomb, a starter current energizes the stator coil, creating a magnetic field. The explosion expands the tube, sort-circuiting the coil and compressing the magnetic field forward. The pulse is emitted at high frequencies that defeat protective devices like Faraday Cages.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Kashmir Watch :: In-depth coverage on Kashmir conflict

    India developing e-bomb



    Rajeev Sharma

    New Delhi, June 9: India is working on an electro-magnetic bomb, or e-bomb as the lethal weapon of the future is called.

    An e-bomb effectively knocks out power supplies, telecommunication networks and computers. Such a weapon is safe for humans and does not affect even the skin or the hair of humans. Its use can push the targeted area back by 200 years -- to such times when there was no electricity. E-bombs can unleash in a flash two billion watts of electrical power.

    The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, is working on the e-bomb project, a weapon of electrical mass destruction. It is not uncommon in India that the Indian armed forces or the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) outsource work on national importance projects to IITs or other such premier national institutions.

    India’s e-bomb project is believed to have made a lot of progress. It is understood that considerable R&D work is going on in further areas of e-bomb such as (i) antenna, (ii) simulators of electro-magnetic fields coupling to a system, and (iii) electro-magnetic impulse. The objective is to make this system compact and light weight so that it can be used as a deliverable bomb.

    The existence of a deliverable e-bomb is not known anywhere in the world, though countries like the US and Russia have been working on such weapons for three or four decades and even China has embarked on its own e-bomb project.

    E-bombs can have application across broad spectrum of strategic and tactical spheres and can be used in attacking fundamental information programmes and communication facilities of a target system. The weapon will produce paralysis in any target system, thus providing a decisive advantage in conduct of electronic combat and offensive counter and strategic air attacks.

    E-bomb is an affordable force-multiplier for the armies of the world. E-bombs can be delivered through Cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or as an aerial bomb.

    There is an important area of concern for the Indian security and strategic forces in the context of e-bombs -- flux compression generator (FCG) devices. The Indian strategic establishment is studying this aspect in detail because it fears that Pakistan could in future use e-bombs against Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. The "late-time EMP effect" is the most worrisome aspect of FCG devices. It occurs in 15 minutes after detonation.[ The Tribune, India ]
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Dawn of the E-Bomb: High-Power Microwave technology and Military implications for India

    Dawn of the E-Bomb


    Dawn of the E-Bomb: High-Power Microwave technology and Military implications for India

    Guest Column-by Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari

    Introduction:

    An article titled ‘Dawn of the E-Bomb’ by Michael Abrams in the Nov 2003 issue of the IEEE Spectrum magazine starts off thus: “In these media-fueled times, when war is a television spectacle and wiping out large number of civilians is generally frowned upon, the perfect weapon would literally stop an enemy in his tracks, yet harm neither hide nor hair. Such a weapon might shut down communication networks, disrupt power supplies, and fry an adversary’s countless computers and electronic gadgets, yet still leave buildings, bridges and highways intact.”

    Such a weapon is no longer in the realm of the fertile imagination of creative science fiction authors as they have not only been developed, but also tested against an adversary (some say twice) by the United States. High Power Microwaves, as they are called, (also termed radio frequency weapons) have been under investigation for several decades (since the 1940s according to some analysts) now for potential application as weapons for a variety of combat, sabotage and terrorist purposes. Rapid advances in the last 20 years in plasma physics, energy storage and fast switching devices have made HPMs effective and the technology is migrating outside classified government research and development laboratories.

    As A E Pevler points out, since the technology is relatively new and few (even in the US) had worked on it until the demise of the Soviet Union, the societal ramification of HPM have received little analysis. In this paper, a brief introduction of the HPM technology is given followed by an explanation of the interest shown in it by different parties (both state and non-state actors) and its implications for India’s national security.

    Description of HPM technology:

    HPM technology relies on the fact that while most types of matter are transparent to microwaves, metallic conductors (as present in Metal-Oxide semiconductors) absorb them and get heated up. HPM weapons generate a very short, intense energy pulse producing a transient surge of thousands of volts that melts the circuitry and destroys the semiconductor devices. Cascading several flux compression generators in series provides the gigawatts of power needed to feed the microwave source. HPMs also produce ‘standing waves’ in electrical grid and telephone wiring. (The effects of the HPM explosions can be obscured by continuous jamming, use of stealthy aircraft like the F-117 and destruction of the opponent’s electrical grid). They can enter through cables, antennas or even ventilation grills. Further the high frequency permits parasitic capacitances to couple energy via paths in the circuit that may not be protected against over voltage.

    Col Eileen Walling mentions four points of difference between HPMs and other conventional electronic warfare methods. Firstly, HPMs do not rely on the exact knowledge of the enemy system. Secondly, the HPMs have lasting and persisting effects on the adversary. Thirdly, the HPMs affect the enemy systems even when they are turned off. And finally, the opponent is now forced to harden the whole system and not just individual circuits and chips.

    Analysts suggest two means of prevention against these E-bombs namely the preemptive destruction of the platform or the delivery vehicle (where the E-bomb resides) and use of modern Faraday caging techniques.

    Technological challenges:

    The United States defense establishment has concentrated research on the following areas.

    1. Compact, high power Ultra-Wideband sources notwithstanding voltage standoff of the switches and fabrication issues.
    2. Compact, high power Narrowband sources notwithstanding cathode breakdown, and plasma production inside the device.
    3. Compact, high power, high gain UWB antennas
    4. Compact, highly efficient, high power pulse power drivers
    5. Explosively driven pulsed power sources taking care of coupling and timing requirements of multiple staged generators.
    6. HPM effects and lethality: including RF testing of military assets, and incorporation of HPM into present engagement models.
    7. Low –impact hardening against hostile and self induced EM Interference

    Why the Military wants it?

    There are several compelling reasons for militarizing the HPM technology that has induced several countries around the world to invest in it. Firstly it enables a speed-of-light, all weather attack of enemy electronic systems. (Remember that microwaves are unaffected by fog, cloud or even torrential rain). Secondly, it allows the military commander to effect a surgical strike at selected levels of combat. (Remember that HPMs are D5 class weapons incorporating Defend, Deny, Disrupt, Damage and Destroy.) Thirdly, in a politically sensitive environment it is preferable to use weapons causing collateral damage. (Remember that HPMs do not damage human beings nor do they affect bridges or buildings in any manner.) Fourthly HPMs have deep magazines, low operating costs and allow simplified pointing and tracking.

    Why a terrorist would love it?

    HPMs can be employed both in lethal and non-lethal manners by terrorists. One example of non-lethal employment would be to jam the electronics of cars in high-speed chases. As of now, the effects of a successful HPM attack remain unpredictable. The primary purpose served by the HPM is the disruption of the victim system and this would certainly allure the information age terrorist. Since no evidence remains to incriminate the perpetuator, it provides an opportunity to the terrorist groups to wreak tremendous havoc without the fear of identification or recrimination-in other words, it would enable them to commit the ‘perfect crime’. The fact that no human being is killed or injured would be exploited to the hilt in blurring the distinction between an insurgent and a terrorist. A E Pevler mentions that a Virtual Cathode Oscillator can easily be packaged into a guided missile or a free fall bomb. Such explosively driven HPM devices (the explosion would be apparent, but the EM emissions would be still be difficult to detect) would have lateral bandwidth of several hundred meters. Also the cost of assembling such a system is estimated to less than $2000.

    In 1995, Islamic subversives in Chechnya used HPM to defeat a Russian security system and gain access to a controlled area.

    Implications for India:

    The biggest danger from these HPMs continues to be for the United States itself; a fact that is well recognized by its military analysts. In the Asian scenario, Japan by virtue of its small size and China by virtue of its over reliance on its Pacific rim are more susceptible to damage than India. However as a preventive measure against jihadi terrorists incubated in Pakistani madrassas, it is necessary to harden all critical systems against microwave attacks. (Similar hardening is currently done against nuclear attacks). Future systems should be hardened in the design phase itself, as it is relatively inexpensive to do so rather than at a later stage.

    With the advent of technology, the future is getting more and more insecure with ensuing encouragement to combatant groups engaged in asymmetric warfare. One ineluctable conclusion is the decisive victory of the side with better EE and CS research accomplishments in any future war. From the tone of the US analysts, the author surmises that either HPM research in India is either in its infancy or non-existent. The DRDO top brass must look into this as a matter of utmost urgency.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Home-made e-bomb could bring down planes - TECH.BLORGE.com

    Home-made e-bomb could bring down planes


    Just because we don’t already have enough to worry about on the road, there is now a brand new weapon that terrorists could use to down an airplane: the home-built e-bomb.

    The so-called e-bomb is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon that produces a large microwave pulse which destroys electronics, including the kind of electronics used to build flight-control system like those used in modern airliners. It would be possible to use such a device from inside an aircraft, or even from the ground, to bring down an airplane.

    EMP was discovered with the first nuclear weapons, which often produce very large pulses as a side-effect of the explosions themselves. Since that discovery, all of the major military powers have experimented with EMP devices that broadcast radio-frequency shock-waves in the 100,000 volts per meter range and higher. Now, thanks to Moore’s law and the Internet, any terrorist or other malcontent can build an e-bomb with inexpensive components purchased online.

    The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel, rediscovered the e-bomb while analyzing electromagnetic weapons that were currently under development. They found that there was enough information and cheap equipment currently available on the Web for terrorists to build a weapon of sufficient strength to fry nearby electrical systems, including the ones keeping your 737 aloft. Popular Mechanics estimated the cost of building just such a weapon at $400, according to a CNET article.

    Yael Shahar, the IICT’s director warned, during an interview with New Scientist, “These will become more of a threat as the electromagnetic weapons technology matures. Once it is known that aircraft are vulnerable to particular types of disruption, it isn’t too much of a leap to build a device that can produce that sort of disruption. And much of this could be built from off-the-shelf components or dual-use technologies.”

    New technology being used in airplane construction is making the exposure worse. The increased use of carbon-fiber reinforced composite in aircraft fuselages, according to aviation officials, weakens the airplane’s defenses against EMP. Composites, compared with metal, provide little defense against electromagnetic radiation, so that it would take a lesser pulse to damage airliner electronics. Shahar says, “What’s needed is extensive shielding of electronic components and the vast amount of cables running down the length of the aircraft.”

    So the game of cat and mouse continues in counter-terrorism, much as it does in the more mundane world of the computer virus. The good guys develop better systems for mankind, which are then made vulnerable by the bad guys, so that the good guys have to change or even undo the improvements that they have made. It is a battle as old as the sword and the shield, and it shows no sign of abating any time soon.
     
  7. keshtopatel

    keshtopatel Regular Member

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  8. keshtopatel

    keshtopatel Regular Member

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    BTW lethal, lets speculate something here, what if Banglore got EMPed (black out) by Pakistan or its Indian proxies as always...........what would happen the next? Looking at Indian politicians as always, those who refuse to take Naxals-Maoists head on, would attack Pakistan?

    Dalal st attack 300 businessmen killed, so much so that, at that time dalal st name got changed into halal st on internet chat rooms. Yet India was silent. Then Parilament attack, Aksherdham, Lal qiula attack, Mumbai a la 26-11.......India is more terrorism prone than Israel.

    Attack or no attack on Pakistan?
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This is a good question what would it take for the govt to act when a civilian area is hit?? The impact would have far reaching economic consequences. Does Pakistan have EMP capability?? And what would retaliaton if any be??
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Military Source Warns of North Korea's EMP Bomb

    Military Source Warns of North Korea's EMP Bomb

    North Korea is developing a bomb that emits an electromagnetic field upon explosion and damages nearby electronic devices, a South Korean military source has revealed to the JoongAng Ilbo.

    The source said North Korea has been working on the electromagnetic pulse bomb, or EMP bomb, since the mid-1990s, with help from Russian scientists, adding that the weapon may be near completion.

    The EMP bomb produces a short but strong electromagnetic pulse that, if exploded 40 kilometers (25 miles) above ground, would affect equipment within a 700-kilometer radius, including exposed electrical conductors, such as wires.

    According to Australia-based defense analyst Carlo Kopp and his paper at the GlobalSecurity. org Web site, the EMP effect can cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices, such as computers, radio and radar. He noted that EMP devices can render many modern military platforms useless because they are packed with electronic equipment. He argued that the damaged inflicted by such a bomb is akin to the harm caused by powerful bolts of lightning. The EMP bomb is not known to cause casualties. The U. S. forces used them at the onset of the war on Iraq in 2003.

    The South Korean source said he expects the North to develop EMP bombs as warheads for aircraft bombs and for Scud-B missiles, warning that the North could use the weapons early and often if war broke out on the peninsula. South Korean and U. S. forces are vulnerable to EMP attacks since they rely on a great number of computer systems and their weapons are heavily equipped with electronic devices, the source explained.

    South Korean military's C4I, or command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, system, could be paralyzed and the nation's air force bases, K-9 self-propelled artillery and other support systems put out of action. For instance, if an air force base loses its control functions after an EMP explosion, fighter jets may not be able to land.

    The Agency for Defense Development, an institute under the Ministry of National Defense, announced in July that the South Korean military plans to invest 100 billion won ($80.6 million) in a system that defends against EMP attacks. The agency said it is targeting 2014 for the advent of an EMP bomb that can paralyze objects within a 1-kilometer radius. The agency currently has technology for an EMP weapon with a 100-meter radial range.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Researchers developing portable E-Bomb

    Researchers developing portable E-Bomb


    [​IMG]

    High-power microwave (HPM) bombs that use an enormous electromagnetic radio pulse to disable computers, electronics, vehicles, guided missiles and communications while leaving people and structures unharmed have been under investigation in research labs for a number of years. Until recently these weapons have been impractically large at over 3.5 meters long, but researchers at Texas Tech University have now built a self powered device with U.S. Army funding that measures 15 cm in diameter and only 1.5 meters long, making it small enough to be considered portable.

    The device being tested at an arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama should produce a peak power of 35 MW with a pulse length of 100 to 150 nanoseconds, emitting a microwave beam in the 2- to 6-GHz range.

    You may be wondering how so much energy can be generated with such a small portable device. Firstly it is due to the apparent power generated by compressing a lot of energy into a very short period of time. Where electrical power is normally measured in kilowatt hours on your utility bill, the peak pulse of this E-bomb lasts just 36 billionths of an hour. Secondly, an E-Bomb is a device that can convert the output of high explosives into radio waves. The 1.5 meter long Texas Tech HPM contains three main components: a power generator in the form of a flux compression generator (FCG), a microwave source called a vircator (for virtual cathode oscillator), and an antenna that radiates the resultant high-power microwave radiation.

    The source of all this power is the Flux Compression Generator (FCG). In an FCG, the energy is primarily stored as chemical energy in an explosive like plastic C4. It consists of a metal pipe with a helical stator coil wound inside it like a solenoid and a second smaller diameter armature tube which contains the C4 explosive, with an insulating layer between the two in a coaxial arrangement. The process is started with a 12-volt lead acid battery one end of the coil which provides a field current. Once detonated the explosive front propagates through the explosive in the armature pressing the inner pipe against the outer, rapidly compressing the magnetic field and generating a pulse of electromagnetic energy. An FCG is a one use device as it is destroyed by the explosive and although they are relatively cheap, they become less efficient as they get smaller.

    In the second part of the process, the FCG’s energy pulse is fed through an inductor producing a voltage of about 100 kilovolts. This voltage powers the vircator, which converts the energy into microwaves. The same vircator can also be driven by power sources other than a FCG such as explosive or propellant driven Magneto-Hydrodynamic (MHD) generators or by a nonexplosive power generator that don't self-destruct such as a Marx generator, although these tend to be much larger than a simple FCG.

    Texas Tech is working on a Marx generator in the hopes of making a portable directed energy weapon called a microwave cannon. The first application may be to stop vehicles by using a HPM to destroy the electronics and shut the engine down.

    The amount of damage an E-bomb can do depends on its ability to couple the energy into the target. There are several ways for the microwave power to enter a system. Front door coupling happens when the pulse weapon couples with an antenna associated with radar or communications equipment. Back door coupling occurs through fixed electrical wiring and cables that connect equipment like mains power or telephone wires. Lower frequencies work better on standing wiring while higher frequencies can work better through antennas. In both cases a high voltage standing wave enters the equipment and these spikes cause damage to electric power supplies and electronic components. For example a typical semiconductor such as a microprocessor is designed to operate at 3.3 – 5 volts. A large voltage spike can do extensive damage often requiring the replacement of most semiconductors in the equipment.

    Lab testing on the portable HPM has begun, but the technology is not expected to reach the field any time soon.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    E-bombs have reportedly been used against Iraq

    A Superconducting E-bomb

    A Superconducting E-bomb

    "The U.S. Air Force has hit Iraqi TV with an experimental electronmagetic pulse device called the 'E-Bomb' in an attempt to knock it off the air and shut down Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine. Iraqi satellite TV, which broadcasts 24 hours a day outside Iraq, went off the air around 4:30 a.m. local time."

    - CBS News, 3-25-03

    [​IMG]

    E-bombs can unleash in a flash as much electrical power—2 billion watts or more—as the Hoover Dam generates in 24 hours. [And], although the Pentagon prefers not to use experimental weapons on the battlefield, "the world intervenes from time to time," - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    - Time Magazine, 1-19-03

    Courtesy: Popular Mechanics
    September, 2001
    by Jim Wilson, et al

    The next Pearl Harbor will not announce itself with a searing flash of nuclear light or with the plaintive wails of those dying of Ebola or its genetically engineered twin. You will hear a sharp crack in the distance. By the time you mistakenly identify this sound as an innocent clap of thunder, the civilized world will have become unhinged. For, the "E-bomb" has come of age.

    America has remained at the forefront of EMP weapons development. Although much of this work is classified, it's believed that current efforts are based on using high-temperature superconductors to create intense magnetic fields. [And it's] an astoundingly simple weapon. It consists of an explosives-packed tube placed inside a slightly larger copper coil. The instant before the chemical explosive is detonated, the coil is energized by a bank of capacitors, creating a magnetic field. The explosive charge detonates from the rear forward. As the tube flares outward it touches the edge of the coil, thereby creating a moving short circuit. "The propagating short has the effect of compressing the magnetic field while reducing the inductance of the stator [coil]," says Carlo Kopp, an Australian-based expert on high-tech warfare. "The result is that FCGs will produce a ramping current pulse, which breaks before the final disintegration of the device. Published results suggest ramp times of tens of hundreds of microseconds and peak currents of tens of millions of amps." The pulse that emerges makes a lightning bolt seem like a flashbulb by comparison.

    Ultimately, the Army hopes to use E-bomb technology to explode artillery shells in midflight. The Navy wants to use the E-bomb's high-power microwave pulses to neutralize antiship missiles. And, the Air Force plans to equip its bombers, strike fighters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles with E-bomb capabilities. When fielded, these will be among the most technologically sophisticated weapons the U.S. military establishment has ever built.

    There is, however, another part to the E-bomb story, one that military planners are reluctant to discuss. While American versions of these weapons are based on advanced technologies, terrorists could use a less expensive, low-tech approach to create the same destructive power. "Any nation with even a 1940s technology base could make them," says Kopp. "The threat of E-bomb proliferation is very real." POPULAR MECHANICS estimates a basic weapon could be built for just $400.
     
  13. keshtopatel

    keshtopatel Regular Member

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    Why wait for Pakistani OEM design, lets say they got one from China!
    Not a single soul dies, only electrical-electronics damage - why risk going to war with Nuclear Pakistan is what you would hear from our spineless politicians while Bangalore paralysed.
     
    Tshering22 likes this.
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Weapon that Disabled Iraq’s Power Grid « CYBER ARMS – Computer Security

    The Weapon that Disabled Iraq’s Power Grid

    In a prior post on EMP, I mentioned that an EMP weapon could have been used to take out Iraq’s power during the Gulf War. It appears that it may have been something much simpler. Meet the “Blackout Bomb”.

    According to a 1999 Boston Globe article, “Blackout Led to Weapon that Darkened Serbia”, chaff (strips of metal military planes use to defend against missile attacks) was dropped mistakenly on a power station in Southern California. The result – the power station was disabled and Orange County’s power supply was disrupted.

    This simple technique was turned into a cluster bomb and used first against Serbia on May 2nd 1999. F-117A Stealth Fighters dropped these weapons on Serbia power stations and the lights went out in over 70% of the country. The weapon was used again 5 days later to hinder Serbia’s attempt to restore power.

    In the opening days of Desert Storm, modified tomahawk cruise missiles were used against Iraq. The warheads were made up of bomblets that contained spools of carbon fiber wire. The fine wire shorted out power plants and disabled 85% of Iraq’s electrical production capability.

    How exactly does this attack work? According to the FAS Military Analysis Network:

    The BLU-114/B detonates over its target and disperses huge numbers of fine carbon filaments, each far smaller than the crude wire spools used in the gulf war. The filaments are only a few hundredths of an inch thick and can float in the air like a dense cloud. When the carbon fiber filaments dispensed from the BLU-114/B submunition contact transformers and other high voltage equipment, a short circuit occurs and an arc is often created when the current flows through the fiber, which is vaporized.

    The graphite, which is a conductor of electric current, is probably coated with other materials to enhance these effects. At the spot where the electric field is strongest, a discharge is initiated, and electrons rapidly form an ionized channel that conducts electricity. At this stage current can flow and an arc forms. This causes instantaneous local melting of a certain amount of the material at the surface of the two conductors.

    If the current involved is strong enough, these arcs can cause injury or start a fire. Fires can also be started by overheated equipment or by conductors that carry too much current. Extremely high-energy arcs can cause an explosion that sends fragmented metal flying in all directions.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Weapon that Disabled Iraq’s Power Grid « CYBER ARMS – Computer Security

    The Weapon that Disabled Iraq’s Power Grid

    In a prior post on EMP, I mentioned that an EMP weapon could have been used to take out Iraq’s power during the Gulf War. It appears that it may have been something much simpler. Meet the “Blackout Bomb”.

    According to a 1999 Boston Globe article, “Blackout Led to Weapon that Darkened Serbia”, chaff (strips of metal military planes use to defend against missile attacks) was dropped mistakenly on a power station in Southern California. The result – the power station was disabled and Orange County’s power supply was disrupted.

    This simple technique was turned into a cluster bomb and used first against Serbia on May 2nd 1999. F-117A Stealth Fighters dropped these weapons on Serbia power stations and the lights went out in over 70% of the country. The weapon was used again 5 days later to hinder Serbia’s attempt to restore power.

    In the opening days of Desert Storm, modified tomahawk cruise missiles were used against Iraq. The warheads were made up of bomblets that contained spools of carbon fiber wire. The fine wire shorted out power plants and disabled 85% of Iraq’s electrical production capability.

    How exactly does this attack work? According to the FAS Military Analysis Network:

    The BLU-114/B detonates over its target and disperses huge numbers of fine carbon filaments, each far smaller than the crude wire spools used in the gulf war. The filaments are only a few hundredths of an inch thick and can float in the air like a dense cloud. When the carbon fiber filaments dispensed from the BLU-114/B submunition contact transformers and other high voltage equipment, a short circuit occurs and an arc is often created when the current flows through the fiber, which is vaporized.

    The graphite, which is a conductor of electric current, is probably coated with other materials to enhance these effects. At the spot where the electric field is strongest, a discharge is initiated, and electrons rapidly form an ionized channel that conducts electricity. At this stage current can flow and an arc forms. This causes instantaneous local melting of a certain amount of the material at the surface of the two conductors.

    If the current involved is strong enough, these arcs can cause injury or start a fire. Fires can also be started by overheated equipment or by conductors that carry too much current. Extremely high-energy arcs can cause an explosion that sends fragmented metal flying in all directions.
     
    indian_sukhoi likes this.
  17. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Electronics of the Tejas were first toasted in the Kali EM Pulse and then tested then hardened :D.

    EM Bomb is a myth. Forget that Without a fissile reaction there wont be any EM Pulse. For battle small EM Pulse in the range of 5-10Kms would be enough to take out the groups in land. A EMP in the IL or Tu with a range of 80-100Kms is enough for compromising the incoming enemy aircrafts
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Tongil Korea » South Korea Attempts Expansion of EMP Bomb Capability

    South Korea Attempts Expansion of EMP Bomb Capability

    Seoul — North Korea is developing a bomb that emits an electromagnetic field upon explosion and damages nearby electronic devices, a South Korean military source has revealed to the JoongAng Ilbo.

    The source said North Korea has been working on the electromagnetic pulse bomb, or EMP bomb, since the mid-1990s, with help from Russian scientists, adding that the weapon may be near completion.

    The EMP bomb produces a short but strong electromagnetic pulse that, if exploded 40 kilometers (25 miles) above ground, would affect equipment within a 700-kilometer radius, including exposed electrical conductors, such as wires.

    According to Australia-based defense analyst Carlo Kopp and his paper at the GlobalSecurity.org Web site, the EMP effect can cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices, such as computers, radio and radar. He noted that EMP devices can render many modern military platforms useless because they are packed with electronic equipment. He argued that the damaged inflicted by such a bomb is akin to the harm caused by powerful bolts of lightning. The EMP bomb is not known to cause casualties. The U.S. forces used them at the onset of the war on Iraq in 2003.

    The South Korean source said he expects the North to develop EMP bombs as warheads for aircraft bombs and for Scud-B missiles, warning that the North could use the weapons early and often if war broke out on the peninsula. South Korean and U.S. forces are vulnerable to EMP attacks since they rely on a great number of computer systems and their weapons are heavily equipped with electronic devices, the source explained.

    South Korean military’s C4I, or command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, system, could be paralyzed and the nation’s air force bases, K-9 self-propelled artillery and other support systems put out of action. For instance, if an air force base loses its control functions after an EMP explosion, fighter jets may not be able to land.

    The Agency for Defense Development, an institute under the Ministry of National Defense, announced in July that the South Korean military plans to invest 100 billion won ($80.6 million) in a system that defends against EMP attacks. The agency said it is targeting 2014 for the advent of an EMP bomb that can paralyze objects within a 1-kilometer radius. The agency currently has technology for an EMP weapon with a 100-meter radial range.
     
  19. prototype

    prototype Regular Member

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    India will definitely strike back as nuclear bomb is the only source for creating EMP now,if Bangalore is EMP'd that mean Bangalore is nuked
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    EMP Weapons Threat | DarkGovernment

    EMP Weapons Threat

    Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) bombs have been written about for quite some time, and are supposed to have been used in a number of conflicts in the past 15 years. These weapons are designed to shut down cities, as well as military communications and weapon systems, not physically destroy them.
    Well, just the electronic circuitry.

    The U.S. military already has EMP capabilities, but it looks like, based on this Air Force solicitation published recently, that they’re about to get more tactical.

    Want to cause total confusion before an invasion, or maybe get a huge white surrender flag waving at you before your first actual attack is carried out? Unleashing one of these over a modern city has the potential to shut down TV and radio broadcasting and receiving, car starters, home and office electronic circuitry, network routers, computers, embedded circuitry.

    A number of U.S. commanders believe Iran is working on a similar weapon to be used against the West.

    Combatant commanders (COCOMS) have expressed desires for additional military options against the variety of electronic systems that are used in military, industrial, civil, and asymmetrical applications. To provide viable military options to the COCOMS, the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate’s High Power Microwave Division (AFRL/RDH) is seeking to develop and demonstrate the capability and operational utility of a high power microwave (HPM) aerial demonstrator.

    The objective of this effort is to develop, test, and demonstrate a multishot and multitarget aerial HPM demonstrator that is capable of degrading, damaging, or destroying electronic systems. For this effort, the contractor shall develop a compact HPM payload for integration into an aerial platform. The contractor shall produce five aerial demonstrators.

    One aerial platform without the HPM source shall be developed for a flight test to demonstrate delivery, controlability, and fusing. The remaining four aerial platforms with the integrated HPM source shall be developed for flight testing, demonstration, and HPM effects tests.

    U.S. forces are also highly vulnerable to EMP attack, however. In recent years, the U.S. military has added sophisticated electronics
    to the full range of its arsenal. This electronic technology is largely built around consumer-grade semiconductor devices, which are highly sensitive to any power surge. More rudimentary vacuum tube technology would actually stand a better chance of surviving an e-bomb attack.

    A widespread EMP attack in any country would compromise a military’s ability to organize itself. Ground troops might have perfectly functioning non-electric weapons (like machine guns), but they wouldn’t have the equipment to plan an attack or locate the enemy. Effectively, an EMP attack could reduce any military unit into a guerilla-type army.

    While EMP weapons are generally considered non-lethal, they could easily kill people if they were directed towards particular targets. If an EMP knocked out a hospital’s electricity, for example, any patient on life support would die immediately. An EMP weapon could also neutralize vehicles, including aircraft, causing catastrophic accidents.

    In the end, the most far-reaching effect of an e-bomb could be psychological. A full-scale EMP attack in a developed country would instantly bring modern life to a screeching halt. There would be plenty of survivors, but they would find themselves in a very different world.

    Want to use your cell phone? Forget it. Need an ATM? No cash for you. Dependent on a life-support system? You have a problem.
    Sounds like the perfect weapon to use against any modern society. The more dependent that society is on electronics, the more effective the EMP weapon.


    Read more: EMP Weapons Threat | DarkGovernment
     
  21. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Evne Unkil got it in mid of 2000s and you are thinking that China is a super power that it as all these kinda of capabilities. Only unkil possess that kind of power and no other country has one on it. If EM Pulse is in B'lore that means bangalore is nuked and soon pakistan will be annihilated in same kind
     

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