Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shock and Awe without El Kabong

Remember the opening phase of the Iraq War?


Missiles and explodin’ things took out communications and power infrastructure around Baghdad in order to blind and render deaf/mute Saddam’s command and control. Saddam himself was Band on the Run skedadlin' faster than Brave Sir Robin, true enough, but the results of this initial wave were obvious as the Iraqi forces did not last very long.

Well, research is underway that will allow the same effects without the splody things, and considerably less risk to non-combatant civilians. Here’s vid and a story from Boeing about a successful recent test:

From the story:

During last week's test, a CHAMP missile successfully disabled its target by firing high power microwaves at a two story building filled with computers and other electronics. Every PC inside went dark within seconds, as did the building's entire electrical system. The test was so successful, in fact, that it even disabled all cameras recording the event. Over the course of one hour, the CHAMP missile knocked out electrical systems at seven target buildings, with little or no collateral damage.

CHAMP program manager Keith Coleman says last week's test marks an important step forward. "This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare," Coleman said. "In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive."

One wonders if remotely piloted aircraft (drones) or manned craft could be armed with these gizmos. This would greatly increase the utility of the technology, due to the slower airspeed of such aircraft.

 The burst of gamma radiation can be aimed, focused on individual buildings of interest. This allows highly discriminate use of the technology. (Princeton analogy time: CHAMP is to High altitude nuclear burst EMP as targeted or guided small yield bombs/missiles are to high altitude carpet bombing.)

Some applications?

This sort of technology might be useful in dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, provided they have not moved things underground.
It might be very useful in dealing with cyber foes and cyberespionage. Track down geographic location, if possible, buzz by with CHAMP; lights out.
It might be very useful in dealing with Brave Sir Julian’s Wikileaks organization, provided we can pinpoint servers.
It might be very useful in taking down the Palestinian hate broadcasters.
It might be useful in dealing with the Chinless Wonder Assad’s regime in Syria.

Further suggestions?