Tags: microwave | north korea | missiles

Microwaved North Korea Missiles Couldn't Launch, US Hopes

(NBCNews.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:53 AM

A microwave weapon could cook North Korea missile components to the point where they could not launch, U.S. officials with knowledge of the weapon told NBC News in an exclusive story reported on Monday.

The microwave weapon, which was discussed at a meeting in the White House in August, could be fitted on a cruise missile and delivered by a B-52 bomber, officials told the network. The missile, flying at low altitude in enemy airspace at a range of 700 miles, could emit sharp microwave energy pulses that could disable electronic systems.

Experts told NBC News that the weapon could be prevent North Korea from launching missiles by targeting its ground controls and the circuitry in the missiles themselves.

The weapons, though, are not currently operational, NBC News reported.

There has been a heightened concern over North Korea's ballistic missile capability since the reclusive regime test-fired a new intercontinental missile last month, the Hwasong-15, that reportedly could reach the United States, according to CNN.

The missile set a record for a North Korean rocket, spending 53 minutes in the air while flying 2,800 miles before splashing into water off Japan, CNN noted.

The new microwave weapon, known as CHAMPs, though, could stop such missiles before they could leave the ground.

"These high-powered microwave signals are very effective at disrupting and possibly disabling electronic circuits," Mary Lou Robinson, the division chief of High Power Electromagnetics at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, told NBC News.

In a statement released by the Air Force in 2016 about such microwave weapons, Robinson said that the nonlethal option limits collateral damage while delivering the military and other option against the enemy.

"Command and control centers are filled with electronic infrastructure which is highly vulnerable to high powered microwaves," Lt. Gen. David Deptula, who ran the air wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and retired as the head of Air Force intelligence, told NBC News.

The Air Force Research Laboratory started work on CHAMP, or Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project, in April 2009, with the goal of fitting an emitter into a non-nuclear version of a Boeing-built air-launched cruise missile, NBC News said.

The network reported that, according to a December 2016 laboratory document, the low-flying missile is now "capable of flying into a contested area and disabling an adversary's electronic systems."

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A microwave weapon could cook North Korea missile components to the point where they could not launch, U.S. officials with knowledge of the weapon told NBC News in an exclusive story reported on Monday.
microwave, north korea, missiles
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2017-53-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:53 AM
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