We’ve all been hearing stories of weapons that could send out an impulse or signal that would destroy electronic equipment without destroying buildings or injuring people (unless they are connected to electrically operated lifesaving equipment or have a pacemaker). Once thought to be the subject of science fiction, they are in fact real and have been successfully tested.
The US Air Force Research Lab Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico along with Boeing, recently tested a weapon known as CHAMP (Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. They tested the missile over targets in the Utah Test and Training Range.
CHAMP emits bursts of high energy microwaves aimed at specific targets. The test flight successfully knocked out the data and electronic systems at the target site. Keith Coleman, Project Manager for Boeing Phantom Works commented about the test flight, saying:
“This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare. 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.”
While this new weapon can be very effective in knocking out an enemy’s electronics, rending most high tech weaponry inoperable, the technology also has some very questionable applications as well. What if the government decided to use this weapon on areas here in the US that have high concentrations of conservatives or Christians? They’ve already officially declared these groups to be potential terrorists, so why not knock out all of their electronics in their effort to combat us?
What if this technology got into the wrong hands? What if someone decided to fly over New York City or Washington DC with a CHAMP style weapon? It would cause economic panic and pandemonium. Imagine Wall Street losing all of their electronic data along with all of the financial companies located in New York City? Or what would happen if the Pentagon not only lost all of their power from such an attack but all of their electronic data as well? National security would be threatened. This technology could also shutdown airport control systems, leaving thousands of commercial flights without ground communications.
Like all weaponry, its intentions may be well and good, but the ramifications may be far more dangerous in the hands of the wrong people and our nation is full of the wrong people. The next you experience a power outage, I bet you’ll wonder what the real cause is and if all of your electronic equipment will ever run again.