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  #1  
Old 05-25-2015, 12:26 PM
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Schwarzwald Schwarzwald is offline
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Default Boeing Unveils Amazing, Slightly Terrifying New Electromagnetic Pulse Weapon

With pinpoint accuracy, this electronic warfare drone can black out opposing forces at will.


BOEING'S "CHAMP" (COUNTER-ELECTRONICS HIGH-POWERED MICROWAVE ADVANCED MISSILE PROJECT) IS A ONE-MISSILE, FLYING BLACKOUT. IMAGE SOURCE: BOEING.

Born into Generation X, I grew up with the threat of nuclear war -- and all its corollaries, from visions of mushroom clouds to "duck and cover" drills in high school to Terminator movies, and of course, the ever-present worry that one day a sneaky Soviet satellite would detonate way up in the sky and fry all of our electronics with an "electromagnetic pulse."

So imagine my surprise when the U.S. Air Force confirmed last week that it's developed an electromagnetic pulse weapon of its own, and that Boeing (NYSE:BA) is helping to build it.


OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY MAPS THE AREAS LIKELY TO BE BLACKED OUT IN THE EVENT OF A HIGH-ALTITUDE NUCLEAR EMP ATTACK ON THE UNITED STATES. BOEING'S AREA OF EFFECT WILL BE CONSIDERABLY SMALLER. IMAGE SOURCE: OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY.

A CHAMP-ion idea
The weapon in question: Boeing's "CHAMP," short for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. It's essentially the old nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon that we used to worry so much about -- but without the nuclear part. CHAMP carries a small generator that emits microwaves to fry electronics with pinpoint accuracy. It targets not nations or cities but individual buildings, blacking out their electronics rather than blowing up physical targets (or people).

What makes CHAMP even more interesting is that, unlike a nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon, which fires once, blacking out entire nation-states, CHAMP can fire multiple times, pinpointing and blacking out only essential targets. This would permit, for example, taking down radar defenses in a hostile state, while saving the electrical grid that supports the civilian population. In a 2012 test flight in Utah, a single CHAMP was reported to have blacked out seven separate targets in succession, in one single mission.



WHEN CHAMP LIGHTS UP, BUILDINGS GO DARK -- ONE BY ONE. IMAGE SOURCE: BOEING.

Even back then, a Boeing representative was able to boast: "We hit every target we wanted to," predicting further that "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." Three years later, that future has arrived. Air Force Research Laboratory commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello says CHAMP is "an operational system already in our tactical air force."

Who makes it?
Boeing headlines the CHAMP product, but at least two other companies are known to be involved in the project. According to Military Embedded Systems, it's actually Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) that builds the electronic innards of the device -- the "shooting end" of a weapon that doesn't actually shoot anyone. (Raytheon's involvement shouldn't come as a surprise, given the company's expertise building complementary weapons, such as its MALD-J radar-spoofing, electronics-jamming drone.)

Additionally, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) builds the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile -- Extended Range (JASSM-ER), which the Air Force intends to use as CHAMP's delivery mechanism. A cruise missile with an estimated range in excess of 600 miles, JASSM-ER will itself be deployable from combat aircraft such as F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, B-1 and B-52 bombers, and the F-35 stealth fighter -- extending CHAMP's reach even further.

To date, Military Embedded Systems notes that the Air Force Research Laboratory has contracted Boeing to build only five CHAMP devices. But the trend in Pentagon acquisitions projects suggests the Air Force could soon be building these weapons en masse. From MALD-J radar-jamming drones to Switchblade kamikaze guided rockets and now CHAMP mini-electromagnetic-pulse weapons, the Air Force seems intent on fighting its next war more or less entirely by remote control.

To the extent CHAMP makes that easier for them, I expect it to be a very popular product indeed.[/QUOTE]

http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...gyholnk0000001

US weaponry just gets scarier as time progresses. If Boeing's EMP technology does live up to its claims, this would be a very crippling and efficient weapon. At the very least it does seem to factor in civilian collateral as well.

Let's just hope that this EMP tech, like so much other military equipment doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2015, 01:26 PM
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Well, not quite so scary.

1) It spares (or could) civilian infrastructure.

2) It would require air supremacy in order for the not so small drone carrying it to fly and attack with impunity.

3) More accurate weapons with less risk of "collateral damage" are generally a positive development, assuming they have to be used at all.

I do wonder what the power source for this gadget could be. Even with the "pinpoint accuracy" (assuming one can call a building a pinpoint), it must take a lot of kilowatts to fire and actually disable something. Batteries? Fuel cell? Flash bulbs? Capacitors?
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:43 PM
william the wierd william the wierd is offline
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Originally Posted by PBTime View Post
Well, not quite so scary.

1) It spares (or could) civilian infrastructure.

2) It would require air supremacy in order for the not so small drone carrying it to fly and attack with impunity.

3) More accurate weapons with less risk of "collateral damage" are generally a positive development, assuming they have to be used at all.

I do wonder what the power source for this gadget could be. Even with the "pinpoint accuracy" (assuming one can call a building a pinpoint), it must take a lot of kilowatts to fire and actually disable something. Batteries? Fuel cell? Flash bulbs? Capacitors?
Basically just miniaturized radar. At the ETA school in Great Lakes IL, a relatively low power radar for the 60s/70s, did huge damage during a momentary sweep. Based on that, the details are still classified so far as I know, a maser the size of a laser pointer should be more than adequate to do the damage claimed.

This being a military project I would add two zeroes to the cost of an off the shelf laser pointer for guesstimated price to the taxpayer. Target the AD radar going in and you don't need no blinking air superiority. Interceptor pilots dealing with instrument panel electrical fires experience highly degraded combat capability or so I'm told. So, no problem there.

Testing the weapons system without triggering HUGE damages lawsuits is probably the biggest hurdle.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:56 AM
Tom Servo Tom Servo is offline
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If they want to try it out in the wild, I would suggest a nondescript white building on the outskirts of Shanghai called P.L.A. Unit 61398.

It's where the entirety of China's army-based hackers reside and do their dirty work.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:27 PM
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Let's try it out on ISIS. Or FoxNews!
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PBTime View Post
Well, not quite so scary.

1) It spares (or could) civilian infrastructure.

2) It would require air supremacy in order for the not so small drone carrying it to fly and attack with impunity.

3) More accurate weapons with less risk of "collateral damage" are generally a positive development, assuming they have to be used at all.

I do wonder what the power source for this gadget could be. Even with the "pinpoint accuracy" (assuming one can call a building a pinpoint), it must take a lot of kilowatts to fire and actually disable something. Batteries? Fuel cell? Flash bulbs? Capacitors?

The last time the United States Military cared about Collateral damage was during the latter parts of the Civil War. Seriously, look up civilian casualties inflicted by US Armed forces over last 150 years... the delusion that they want to minimize collateral damage is a great slogan yet completely contrary to the notion of Total War.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:13 PM
william the wierd william the wierd is offline
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Originally Posted by Levski View Post
The last time the United States Military cared about Collateral damage was during the latter parts of the Civil War. Seriously, look up civilian casualties inflicted by US Armed forces over last 150 years... the delusion that they want to minimize collateral damage is a great slogan yet completely contrary to the notion of Total War.
Wrong:

the civil war created an order of magnitude greater number of psych casualties than all of our other wars combined because of the collateral damage particularly in the last part of the war.

The brass does not want to learn the lesson of Tinian: firecracker rounds in great numbers turn the defenders into PTSD cases and reduce offensive casualties enormously.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by william the wierd View Post
Wrong:

the civil war created an order of magnitude greater number of psych casualties than all of our other wars combined because of the collateral damage particularly in the last part of the war.

The brass does not want to learn the lesson of Tinian: firecracker rounds in great numbers turn the defenders into PTSD cases and reduce offensive casualties enormously.
The sheer number of people in the globe in 1850's is no match for the reference I was making. It is statistically impossible even if ALL US MEN died as part of collateral damage for this number to scratch the surface of over 1M Iraqi Civilians, 500,000+Japanese Civilians(just from the two A-Bombs), etc... you see my point it strictly mathematical in nature and political in rhetoric.
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