back to article Boeing to build prototype pulsed-microwave robomissile

Intriguing news from the worlds of electropulse circuitry-zapper bombs and microwave raygun blasters, as US megacorp Boeing announces that it will build a "high power microwave (HPM) airborne demonstrator". According to Boeing, the company's "Phantom Works" advanced projects facility will develop a special prototype aircraft to …

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And thus the 'electonics-based weaponry' industry

dissolves back into the mists of fantasy from whence it came.

Who's going to buy a gun that US.Gov can disable pretty-much at will.

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Go

Right on Commander!

That sounds very familiar, anyone else get the reference...

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10 KJ?

Something doesn't add up here. 70GW=7.0E+10 W. 1nsec=1.0E-9 sec. Multiply the two to get approximate energy of 10GW peak power pulse of 1ns duration, you get 70J, not 10KJ.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jeff

The UK?

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Pirate

dumb question...

Why not just fit a predator with the ecm unit out of a prowler? That should fry stuff long enough to get the ground pounders in there... Or is this all about who has the biggest emp device without actually going nuke, just because "we can"?

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Gold badge
Happy

Call up E2V

These guys have done work on cracking rock by flash boiling the water in the rock as the rock is falling down a chute. Reports are that freshly mined ore can be crumbled in a persons hand. MW sized units with microsecond pulses and trailer transportable. Its effect on anyone standing in the beam is thought to be *severe*. Modern high power microwave tubes are not quite the fragile glass cylinders people might imagine. Think lumps of black finned metal with water hoses attached. They probably have contacts with what was AWRE Aldermaston, more or less the UK Los Alamos National Laboratory.

However as others have mentioned its the PSU that's the big problem. Making it compact and non explosive/nuclear. Storing it and then the sudden release. Solid state switches in the 10s of ps have been built but the power level is something else.

But the real killer. English Electric Valve are not American.

At last. The prospect of a radar speed gun with real teeth.

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Anonymous Coward

non-nuke emps

I'm sure I read in newscientist, in this article <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4785-experts-fear-terrorists-are-seeking-fuelair-bombs.html> that FAE/thermobaric bombs could produce an EMP. If that factlet was in there then it appears to be mysteriously gone now.

Anyone familiar with the wayback machine?

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Pirate

@ Simon

In a more innocent age, a "LensLok" was the only tech disabling kit you needed. Of course, that was the exact opposite of it's intended function...

The one with " Mamba me no Mamba, my Cobra's got an Iron Ass" on the back thanks...

Steve.

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Anonymous Coward

Conflicting use/War on terror

Funny, I thought that the US was homing in on the mobile phones used by Taliban leaders in order to smear them onto paste with laser-guided bombs.

How would killing the few electronics they do have help?

Also, how many electronic parts do a mortar, rpg or AK47 actually have?

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Silver badge
Go

Fearless predictions

1. Resourceful USAF technicians will soon find a way to make popcorn and reheat leftover pizza with these things.

2. During testing, microwave burst will take out some Senator or defense industry exec who happens to have a pacemaker.

3. All of this electronics-frying weaponry means that in about 50 years (when the gear has spread throughout the 3rd world) warfare is much going to be back to musketry and cavalry charges.

Thank goodness we still have the Maxim gun, and they have none....

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But what use is it

against an AK47 in the hands of the Taliban?

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The use will be against you & me!

The AK47'ended Taliban is the marketing for "them" to get a grab in our wallets to develop weapons and techniques (urban combat; interrogation e.t.c.) that will later be deployed against Us - when we begin to dissent about mass unemployment, falling living standards, crap health care and pension, the pillage and corruption perpetrated by our governments.

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Coat

@steven kraft

"1. Resourceful USAF technicians will soon find a way to make popcorn and reheat leftover pizza with these things." A virtual certainty. Also handy should you have a stray goat or sheep wander into the base. You'll love the smell of fresh flash fried mutton in the morning.

"2. During testing, microwave burst will take out some Senator or defence industry exec who happens to have a pacemaker." We can hope. The Sargent York demo firing came close but this should be more difficult to dodge.

"3. All of this electronics-frying weaponry means that in about 50 years (when the gear has spread throughout the 3rd world) warfare is much going to be back to musketry and cavalry charges." With comms, sensors and propellants all potentially fried perhaps its time to dust off Gordon Dickson's Dorsai trilogy. Spring powered dart guns, semaphore and whistles.

You can guess what's in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Multiple Uses....

Good for frying soldiers 'eggs' in the morning......

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Silver badge
Happy

RE: Conflicting use/War on terror But what use is it

Against the Taleban and AQ, not much use at all. Against other potential threats (yes, beyond your limited fixation with WoT-bashing, there are otehr threats), such as Iran, Syria or North Korea, there are plenty of uses as all three mentioned have very capable air defence and communication systems courtesy of Russia and China.

If you stop to think about it, you bashers should be supporting this kind of kit hand over fist! After all, which headline would you rather prefer to read in a few years? Obambi finally grows a pair and fires off two or three EMP missiles to fry Iran's nuke weapon stash without killing anyone, or Israel goes it alone and mounts a bombing raid likely to kill dozens of Iranians. Ah, I see your quandry - want to bash WoT, want to bash Israel, but really stuck with that not wanting anyone to die thing. Enjoy!

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