Microwave weapons eyed in effort to stop N Korea electronics: report

07-Dec-2017 Intellasia | NY Daily | 6:00 AM Print This Post

They could probably cook a lot of popcorn.

The US has discussed using microwave weapons to stop a potential North Korean missile launch, with hopes that they could destroy electronic controls, according to a report.

Officials briefed White House staffers on the CHAMP system, where devices fitted on to American missiles can send out electromagnetic pulses at low altitude, in August, NBC reported

Though the system is not yet in operation, Air Force sources told the station that within days it could offer a chance to stop any launch from the Kim Jong Un regime before it gets started.

Controls around Pyongyang are viewed as being vulnerable to the eight-year-old Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project, which would use targeted microwaves to disrupt the metal in electrical circuits.

A 2012 test of CHAMP was successful and multiple military officials and experts told NBC that they believe it could be effective in the field.

The update on the weapons development comes as the US has been forced to look at options for countering North Korea, which is now viewed as capable of hitting the East Coast with an inter-continental ballistic missile.

Kim’s large strides in the programme, accompanying the development of nuclear weapons, has previously highlighted US missile defense systems.

Tests earlier this year of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptor system in California and Alaska, which shoots missiles such as North Korea’s out of the sky, were successful, though critics say that the system has only succeeded half of the time since the early 2000s.

Doubts were also raised about the US Patriot missile system, deployed in South Korea along with the THAAD system, after a Monday New York Times report said that Patriot missiles in Saudi Arabia had likely missed in an attempt to stop an incoming Scud missile from Houthi fighters in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia had previously said that the defense system was a success, though the Times reporting said that the warhead continued flying toward its target at the Riyadh airport.

US military officials are also considering putting the THAAD, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, system on the West Coast because of the North Korean threat, Reuters reported Monday.

THAAD has been more successful in tests that the GMD system, though is designed to counter missiles at only up to intermediate distances.



Category: Korea

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