Tags: North Korea | Trump Administration | electromagnetic pulse | emp | nuclear weapons | icbm

NKorean Electromagnetic Pulse Blast Could Cripple US Defenses

NKorean Electromagnetic Pulse Blast Could Cripple US Defenses
(Nickolay Lamm/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2017 09:52 PM

North Korea on Tuesday launched what the Pentagon said was an intercontinental ballistic missile, possibly its longest-range test yet, but electromagnetic pulses generated by tactical nuclear weapons could cause more damage to the U.S. military, since only some U.S. and allied hardware is protected from the effects of an EMP blast, National Interest reports.

"It would be an additional challenge to overcome . . . EMP hardening is very expensive, and in the world of the last 25 years of putting reducing costs as a priority over full spectrum operational capability, it has not been a high priority," retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula told the National Interest.

Deptula, a former service intelligence chief, is the dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, an independent, nonpartisan policy research institute that "provides policy options that better empower the nation's leaders."

Added Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments:

"Most of our systems are not hardened against EMP. Some older analog or Cold War-era systems are," Clark said.

"It is unclear whether a high atmospheric nuclear explosion would cause a significant EMP effect at lower altitudes and whether North Korea could execute such an attack without also affecting their own capabilities."

An EMP, a short burst of electromagnetic radiation, is a side effect of an atmospheric nuclear detonation. It could wreak havoc across the entire U.S., by potentially damaging or destroying all electrical devices and the electric grid within the line of sight of the blast.

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Electromagnetic pulses generated by tactical nuclear weapons could cause more damage to the U.S. military, since only some U.S. and allied hardware is protected from the effects of an EMP blast, National Interest reports.
electromagnetic pulse, emp, nuclear weapons, icbm
252
2017-52-28
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 09:52 PM
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