Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has created a weapon straight out of a science fiction movie. The new system is a missile that can use special microwave technologies to render all the electronics in a building useless but without harming anyone inside according to the Daily Mail.
Boeing has already successfully tested the weapon on a one hour flight that was able to completely knock out the computers of a military compound in Utah.
Boeing believes the missile can penetrate ultra fortified bunkers such as those being used to house Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
During the test firing of the missile Boeing was able to permanently shut down all of the electronic systems of the test base including the camera that was being used to record the test.
The new system is being codenamed te Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP). CHAMP marks the first time an Electro Magnetic Pulse Weapon has been successfully tested.
A Boeing Spokesman said the following after releasing an artist’s rendition of the test:
“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. We hit every target we wanted and made science fiction into science fact. When the computers went out, it actually took out the cameras as well. It was fantastic.”
Lead test engineer Peter Finlay said:
“We’re not quite at the place where the Star Trek and Star Wars movies are but this is definitely an advancement in technology able to give us an opportunity to do things we could not do before.”
Yet not everyone is thrilled at the announcement of the new weapons systems. Some experts fear the new weapon could create a new arms race, triggering all the world’s powers to try to manufacture bigger and better EMP weapons.
Professor Trevor Taylor, Professorial Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said:
“This is a challenging area in political and military terms. Ideally there would have been an arms-control agreement to cover this field, because once technology is actually developed, control becomes harder. The historical record shows that important technologies developed in one country are developed elsewhere within a relatively short period – look what happened with regard to the USSR and nuclear weapons. Should the US be known to have developed such a technology to the production stage, it would drive others to try to act similarly. Western countries are more dependent on electronics-based IT than others and would be vulnerable to extensive disruption.”
Do you think the new weapons system is going to ignite a new arms race?