Several nations including Russia and China are developing massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs that are designed to wipe out nearly all electronics, from computers to power grids, for hundreds of miles surrounding the blast, a new congressional report warns.
The report by the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from EMP Attack, which no longer exists, reveals for the first time details about how nuclear EMP weapons are being integrated into battle plans by China, Russia, North Korea, and even Iran, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Of the details provided by the report, the authors also disclose how those countries would employ EMP attacks in various battle theaters including Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and North America.
“Nuclear EMP attack is part of the military doctrines, plans, and exercises of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran for a revolutionary new way of warfare against military forces and civilian critical infrastructures by cyber, sabotage, and EMP,” the report says.
“This new way of warfare is called many things by many nations: In Russia, China, and Iran it is called Sixth Generation Warfare, Non-Contact Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Total Information Warfare, and Cyber Warfare,” the report continued.
This type of warfare is also dubbed “Blackout War” because of its devastating effects on a country’s power grid.
The concept behind an EMP attack is to detonate a nuclear warhead high above a target — so high that they don’t produce any blast or other effects harmful to humans. Rather, the objective is to use the electromagnetic pulse emitted by the blast to knock out even sophisticated electronics, knocking out all technology that powers modern societies.
Strikes are regarded by adversaries as not being acts of nuclear war.
“Potential adversaries understand that millions could die from the long-term collateral effects of EMP and cyber-attacks that cause protracted black-out of national electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures,” the report states.
But potential adversaries aren’t just building normal EMP bombs; they’re building ‘super bombs’ capable of generating enough gamma rays for a peak EMP field of 200,000 volts per meter, which is enough to fry even strategic (hardened) communications and intelligence-gathering systems.
China, Russia, and — most likely North Korea — are believed to already possess these kinds of super-bombs, the commission’s report says.
The U.S., meanwhile, does not have such a weapon in its arsenal, the authors noted.
Super-EMP bombs produce gamma rays that generate a peak EMP field of 200,000 volts per meter—enough to fry strategic communications and intelligence systems. China, Russia, and probably North Korea are said to have these arms, according to the commission. The United States has no super-EMP weapons in its nuclear arsenal.
Since EMP bombs can be ‘adjusted’ in terms of the amount of area they can destroy, they have a number of potential uses.
China could use an EMP bomb to knock out all electronics on the autonomous island of Taiwan ahead of an invasion. Also, Beijing could detonate one over Japan in times of war.
Russia could use an EMP super bomb to destroy much of Europe’s power grid and electronic infrastructure. And all three could use such weapons against the U.S.
In the opening moments of a world war, China or Russia could use an EMP weapon to knock out U.S. nuclear command-and-control infrastructure, the report said.
“A super-EMP warhead, in the possession of Russia or North Korea, could put at risk the best protected U.S. assets, even threatening the survival of the U.S. nuclear deterrent,” it added.