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[casi] "E-bomb" may see first combat use in Iraq

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      Hello all,

      here's another interesting article. Have a look at the new weaponry the US is planning to use 
IF they decide to attack Iraq.
      The peace movement has a lot of work to do in the coming months.
      The message to the politicians must be very clear: the world community wants NO WAR, NO 
      I wish you all a very fruitful campaign. It is our common duty to stop Bush's insane third 
world war. For the sake of our children and the children all over the world, for the sake of the 
coming generations, for the sake of mankind.
      Dirk Adriaensens.

      "E-bomb" may see first combat use in Iraq

      17:45 08 August 02 news service

      Weapons designed to attack electronic systems and not people could see their first combat use 
in any military attack on Iraq.

      It is widely believed that the US is planning for an attack that could overthrow Iraq's 
leader, Saddam Hussein, who it believes is developing weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi 
president responded publicly for the first time on Thursday, exhorting Iraqis to be prepared "with 
all the force you can to face your enemies".

      US intelligence reports indicate that key elements of the Iraqi war machine are located in 
heavily-fortified underground facilities or beneath civilian buildings such as hospitals. This 
means the role of non-lethal and precision weapons would be a critical factor in any conflict.

      High Power Microwave (HPM) devices are designed to destroy electronic equipment in command, 
control, communications and computer targets and are available to the US military. They produce an 
electromagnetic field of such intensity that their effect can be far more devastating than a 
lighting strike.

      Pumped flux

      The effect exploited by HPM weapons was accidentally demonstrated in the 1950s when street 
lights in Hawaii were knocked out by the electromagnetic pulse produced by high altitude nuclear 

      One unclassified approach to producing the required pulse is a device called an Explosive 
Pumped Flux Generator. In this a charged bank of capacitors energises a coil wrapped around a 
copper tube, which itself contains high explosives.

      On detonation, the explosives expand the tube from the back and moves rapidly forward, 
forcing the tube to make progressive contact with the coil and causing a short circuit. This has 
the effect of crushing the magnetic field at the same time as reducing the coil's inductance.

      The resultant spike lasts tens to hundreds of microseconds and can produce peak currents of 
tens of millions of Amps and peak energies of tens of millions of Joules. By comparison, a typical 
lighting strike produces around 30,000 Amps.

      Single use

      HPM weapons would be single-use and could be delivered on almost any a cruise missile or 
unmanned aircraft. Future devices are likely to be re-usable.

      Military planners will be particularly interested in claimed ability of HPM weapon's to 
penetrate bunkers buried deep underground by using service pipes, cables or ducts to transmit the 
spike. Insulating equipment from such spikes, for example by using Faraday cages, is believed to be 
very difficult and expensive.

      Another weapon that targets electronic equipment has already seen use in the Balkan conflicts 
of the 1990s. Blackout bombs, such as the formerly classified BLU-114/B, releases a spider's web of 
fine carbon filaments into the air above electrical distribution infrastructures. This causes short 
circuits when the filaments touch the ground.

      Tomahawk cruise missiles fitted with warheads operating on similar lines attacked the Iraqi 
power grid during the 1990 Gulf war.

      David Windle

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