For years there has been warnings about the apocalyptic scenarios an EMP pulse could cause upon our nation. EMPs are rapid, invisible bursts of electromagnetic energy that often occur in nature from lightening strikes or solar flares.
However it is also possible to cause an EMP blast from a nuclear device and if a detonation is large enough and high enough -- can cover an entire continent and cripple tiny circuits inside modern electronics on a massive scale.
Imagine the loss of the power grid, municipal water treatment systems (clean water), phones, lights, computers, credit card and banking systems (no ability to conduct commerce or access savings), stock exchanges, internet lines, cars & trucks (transportation of goods) not to mention fuel pumps and everything else with electronic circuits across our country.
Our heavy reliance on technology and it's interconnectedness is unprecedented causing even just one major failure to have a cascading effect on the rest of our infrastructure. It is estimated millions would die and we would be back in the dark ages almost instantly.
Russia, China, North Korean & Iran are all developing some form of EMP weapons. The threat is so serious that on March 26, President Trump issued "Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses" in an effort to assess the risks of such an attack to critical U.S. infrastructure.
Previous governmental reports have warned that the US is unprepared for an EMP event including The EMP Commission in its 2017 report found that there has been an absence of leadership and organization within the federal government in past efforts to address the threat.
With such devastating effects from a large-scale EMP pulse, military researchers have been finding ways to create more localized EMP pulses that could go after specific targets and not create so much collateral damage.
A solution has been found known as the Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), where these microwave weapons are fitted into an air-launched cruise missile and delivered from B-52 bombers.
With a range of 700 miles, they can fly into enemy airspace at low altitude and emit sharp pulses of high power microwave (HPM) energy at specific targets that fry computer chips, disabling any electronic devices targeted by the missiles with causing any collateral damage.
The Air Force successfully tested one of these missiles in 2012 resulting in an entire two-story building losing its spectrum of electronic systems, from phones to computers to even the video cameras set up to film the test but caused no structural damage. 'We hit every target we wanted to,' Boeing's CHAMP Program Manager Keith Colman said in a company press release. 'Today we made science fiction into science fact.'
However due to budget cuts under the Obama administration these missiles never became operational. That has now changed under President Trump and it is estimated 20 of these missiles are now operational and ready to take out any target, including those buried in a mountain or underground bunker. The pulse is still able to penetrate such deep targets through it's through its connections to power cables, communication lines, and antennas.
When targeted at command and control centers, the missile could render any country's military inoperable by disabling their communications network or even directly taking out multiple targets including, planes, tanks, ships and missile systems. And it can wipe out facilities for developing and testing nuclear weapons.
Some have suggested CHAMP is the perfect weapon for taking out North Korea & Iran's nuclear programs without causing any human casualties, unlike EMP which causes a nuclear blast.