US Air Force tests defences against EMP attacks amid fears that ONE weapon could wipe out entire power grid
THE US military is shielding itself from a new type of weapon capable of knocking out entire power grids for extended periods.
An Air Force base in Texas will soon test its systems against a simulated electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, according to reports.
EMPs use a powerful electromagnetic wave to knock out all electronic devices in its wake, including mobile phones, radar technology are more.
According to US news site NextGov, at Joint Base San Antonio in Lackland, Texas will be among the first Air Forces bases to test EMP defences.
The site needs to do preliminary surveys to design future tests.
The work is in adherence to a Trump-era executive order requiring the military to put more resources into defending against EMP attacks.
A request for quote for an EMP-tailored survey of the a complex at Joint Base San Antonio was issued last month, NextGov reports.
That complex includes an underground pipeline that connects two areas of the base, which house multiple buildings.
It's not clear when the base plans to launch its EMP defence tests, or precisely what those tests will entail.
According to the Air Force request, the tests won't include the use of actual electromagnetic waves.
Instead, officials will conduct a review of "engineering plans, relevant schematics and other applicable documentation to locate, identify and quantify infrastructure potentially vulnerable to EMP waveforms."
Any information gathered will be used to inform the next stage of EMP testing, which could involve the controlled use of electromagnetic waves.
An EMP can occur naturally or generated deliberately using nuclear bombs or smaller, portable devices.
Russia, China and North Korea are said to be working on EMP weapons, which can knock out entire power grids for hours or even days at a time.
Research has previously indicated that a major attack could cripple the US economy and its military.
Trump moved to protect the US from the emerging threat of EMP attacks with an executive order issued in 2019.
The federal government must provide warning; protect against, respond to and recover from the effects of electromagnetic pulses through planning, investment and stakeholder engagement, Trump's directive stated.
"It is the policy of the United States to prepare for the effects of EMPs through targeted approaches that coordinate whole-of-government activities and encourage private sector engagement," the order said.
Terrifying space weapons of the future
Here are three of the scariest…
Rods from God
- A strange but utterly terrifying weapon has been dubbed "rods from the God" and is based on the concept of creating man-made meteorites that can be guided towards the enemy.
- Instead of using rocks rods the size of telephone poles are deployed.
- These would be made out of tungsten — a rare metal that can stand the intense heat generated by entering Earth's atmosphere.
- One satellite fires the rods towards the Earth's atmosphere while the other steers them to a target on the ground.
- Reaching speeds of 7000mph they hit the ground with the force of a small nuclear weapon — but crucially creating no radiation fall out.
- As bizarre as it sounds, a US Congressional report recently revealed the military has been pushing ahead with the kinetic space weapons.
Molten metal cannons
- This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAHEM.
- This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
- The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.
Space force ships
- Already the United States is powering head with its spacecraft, although China is busy developing one of their own.
- The top secret American XS-1 under development by DARPA.
- It can travel ten times the speed of sound and launch missiles.
- Meanwhile an unmanned craft is currently being developed in the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province, which is also known as Base 29.
In other news, the US military is reportedly developing a laser weapon that can generate the sound of a voice out of thin air.
The US Army is also testing a 50-kilowatt laser weapon that incinerates drones, helicopters, planes and missiles.
And, here are the weirdest things lost by Uber passengers – including a jetpack and a bulletproof vest.
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