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U.S Unveils New Weapon For Use In War With Iraq

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by nitewriter, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. nitewriter

    nitewriter To Perceive Is To Suffer

    New weapon developed by U.S to use in the war on terrorism, just hope the terrorist never get ahold of this one.


    January 27, 2003 -- WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says its latest deadly gadget - a precision-guided lightning bolt of microwave power - would be its most important weapon in a war with Iraq.

    The high-power microwave, a k a HPM, has been under development for years in the black-operations programs at the National Laboratories and the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.

    Also known as the "E-bomb," the HPM is designed to zap electronics, scramble computer programs and fry communications links.

    The program is so secret, the Pentagon has not released pictures involving it, nor explained precisely how it will work.

    But Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumpers was recently quoted in Aviation Week as saying the HPM has the capability to "tell a SA-10 [surface-to-air missile] that [a potential target] is a Maytag washer on rinse cycle rather than a missile about to shoot somebody down."

    Defense experts say the weapon can either be placed aboard a Tomahawk cruise missile or fired from a special radar gun mounted on a C-130 transport jet.

    The idea is to send a single powerful magnetic pulse - 2 billion watts or more moving at the speed of light - at an underground command bunker or at a suspected weapons-of-mass-destruction facility.

    John Pike, of the defense think tank GlobalSecurity.org, says the HPM weapon will be especially effective as a "D-Day, H-hour, first-strike weapon."
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Ummmmmmmmmm.... Article is suspect right off the get go. Since when is a C-130 a jet? :eek:
  3. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    This was reported on CNN last week. MASER technology itself is pretty old. The targeting technology seems sophisticated enough though...if it is in fact being deployed.
  4. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

  5. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I remember reading during DESERT SHIELD in a newspaper that the AH-64A Apache was powered by a single diesel engine. If they had said it was powered by TWO diesel engines, they would have been at least 50% right; the Apache does have two engines, but both are turboshafts.

    Journalists don't know jack about the military, and the biggest joke at the Pentagon is CNN's Jamie McIntyre, who still does not know that the pointy end of a boat is the bow.

    I could imagine myself try to land a gig as a military affairs correspondent:

    "Mr. Moore, do you have any journalism experience?"

    "Well, not per se, but I do know the pointy end of a boat is called the bow, and that the Hellfire can fly for over eight kilometers and still hit its target."

    "Well, that's very interesting, but we need to spin the truth as we see fit. Thank you for coming by, Mr. Moore. NEXT!"

  6. yazdzik

    yazdzik Veteran Member

    Dear Steve,

    You must remember that those of us who admire you prefer facts to fancy. Please do not try to confuse the press with such.
    I spent a few minutes pleasantly fantasing about the ability to control a C-130 with four GE's.

    I once put a two litre twin cam motor in a Fiat 850 spyder.

    It was stolen.

    The thief was severely injured.

    So, since I am in one of those moods where I would suspend the eighth amendment for those journalists who cannot get facts straight, I would like to put them in a C-130 with turbojets. There is torque, and there is thrust - metal does not necessarily like either........

    Or let any one of them try to fly even the most mundane helicopter. That would be sort of like the Mikado's punishment fitting the crime - death by inability to tell a rotor from a goose quill.

    Of course, in a country that fails to honour those who can actually do something, failing to educate those who are supposed to inform us seems somehow appropriate.

    (Now about those Airborne blokes who called my Harrier a sissy plane.......)

  7. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    Yaz, the Harrier is a sissy plane. The Marines proved it when they first got it. They were so impressed with all the noise about what a badass plane it was, they put their best and highest hour pilots on it first. These pilots handled the plane with few difficulties. Not bad, higher command thought, we can put the average pilots on this without much further ado. That's when things got intersting...

  8. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Is it just me, or does it seem a tad bit on the arrogant side of the US Gov't to unveil such a weapon for a war against Iraq, when the whole point to the war with Iraq is because we suspect Iraq to have weapons of mass destruction... WTF is this microwave if it's not a WMD?
  9. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    According to the news story: <i>Also known as the "E-bomb," the HPM is designed to zap electronics, scramble computer programs and fry communications links.</i> I guess it depends on what your definition of mass destruction is. I usually think people and real estate. ;)
  10. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    The article also said it could make a missile change course and attack something else. It's worse than a nuclear weapon, as it can make ANYTHING into a weapon. It can make planes drop from the skies, make ships stop working and be floating duckies, cause hospitals to stop functions - anything that runs based on computers an electronics is susceptible.
  11. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    I remember reading about the E-Bomb in an issue of Popular Mechanics (one of my favorite magazines). If an E-Bomb goes off anything that isn't shielded turns into an expensive paperweight. One could reduce NYC back to the stone age. However it's useless against anything that isn't electrical...AFAIK
  12. martissimo

    martissimo Veteran Member

    I watched an interview with some military type, the reason for this weapon to be used in Iraq that they gave was fairly straightforward...During the first Gulf War one of our main startegies was to knock out Saddam's communications infrastructure, it effectively cut off all of his military units from contact with Baghdad, and left them all basically on their own. Well Saddam learned a big lesson from this, his communications have been massively upgraded and are no longer simple easy to destroy radio transmitters, he has laid a great deal of buried fiber-optics which will be much harder to disrupt. The main purpose they described for this weapon would be to allow us to take out his communications like we did last time.

    As to your other suggestions such as making "planes drop from the skies, make ships stop working", well i would counter that we can do those things just as easily and effectively with conventional weapons, and from a reliability standpoint would be almost certain to do so.
  13. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    You can actually build your own RF Weapon with plans from this site, albeit, you won't get anywhere near 2 gigawatts from these kits. Scroll down to the item 'military magnetron', and then further down to "Tunable Wavemaster Weapon'

    The magnetron is the heart of older radars and many microwave ovens. 40 KW won't do a lot of damage but you can certainly screw stuff up with it.

    The Tunable Wavemaster Weapon is a low power maser that can also certainly cook things. At 1200 Watts plus the directivity of the emitter horn, you could mess up your neighbor's PC or his stereo.
  14. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Don't tell the RIAA!!!
  15. nitewriter

    nitewriter To Perceive Is To Suffer

    Just For Fun

    Take your television apart.
    Take your microwave apart.
    Leave all the electronics in tact.
    Build a metal box.
    Put it around the thing that makes the microwaves. Note from John: this is called the "magnetron". It may look something like this:
    Attach the box to a natural ground.
    Put a 1 foot length of PVC pipe extending from the "nozzle" of the magnetron.
    Point it at something useless and preferably made of metal and plastic.
    Get away.
    Hide behind metal.
    Turn it on.
    Fear what you have created.

    Glubco takes no responsibility for people doing stupid things with appliances.
    Glubco - Deny Everything Copyright 1997.
  16. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Make your own terrorist E-Bomb for just $400!
  17. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I highly doubt that the US will be targeting hospitals or civilian planes in the sky, Misu! Sure, it could be used in a very nasty way, but it can also be used in an ethical manner. Unlike a nuke or a chemical agent, this type of weapon could be very effective with a very small amount of callateral damage.

    I'm only going by what I read so far in this thread. I think you may have misunderstood the intended use for this weapon.
  18. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Well, maybe not a sissy airplane, but certainly inadequate for the way the US fights. Since we have lots of really big carriers with really big decks, sacrificing speed, payload, and legs to accomodate VTOL capability seems a bit daft to me.

    Though in the heady days of the 1970s, when the Harrier first saw service with the USMC after having served in the UK, I can see why people would want it. A jump jet is just too cool, but the most it's ever contributed to the US were some neat and wholly unrealistic scenes in the movie True Lies.

  19. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I can't remember the time when the US has used a WMD in an unethical manner. We told the Japanese they had a chance to surrender, they did not, so we arranged for two demonstrations to determine if they really wished to proceed. They relented.

    In the First Gulf War, we told the Iraqis where to look on certain nights at a certain time. We then detonated daisy cutters, which even the Brits thought were nuclear weapons. As you might imagine, this caused a lot of activity with the regular Iraqi army; namely, their officers sliced the Achilles tendons of their troops then fled, leaving their poor soldiers to stay and fight. I saw this first hand.

    You feel it arrogant for the US to develop and deploy nonlethal weaponry? Tell me. Who has demonstrated not just remarkable facility in using such devices, but in ensuring they are used in as ethical a manner as possible?

    The Chinese have threatened to use these weapons against American cities...when they can develop them, of course. You feel it's wise to allow this to happen?

    I have to say, the US has almost always utilized such weaponry with a high regard for the potential loss of life on the receiving end. (Since WWII, if I might offer a qualifier.) To suggest otherwise, if this is what you are in fact doing, would seem to indicate you would countenance hobbling your army, and leaving it to fight while senior officers retreat to safety.


    editing to tone down the rhetoric, man
  20. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male


    "they put their best and highest hour pilots on it first. These pilots handled the plane with few difficulties. Not bad, higher command thought, we can put the average pilots on this without much further ado. That's when things got intersting..."

    Maybe the Marine Corps should have asked a few RAF and RN pilots how to fly the thing. They did not have too much trouble cleaning up the Argies in '83.



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