Microwave on the battlefield
Material posted: -Publication date: 02-02-2011

In August 2002, the experts of the Jewish Institute for national security Affairs (JINSA), one of the most influential analytical centers of the US administration, announced the imminent completion of laboratory testing of several weapons systems belonging to the class of so-called directed energy weapons. Among the most successful developments is called laser guns and microwave emitters.

As for laser weapons, as experts believe, that it can be installed on manned aircraft. So the air forces of the USA already tests chemical laser megawatt class airborne. According to the developers of the company "Lockheed Martin", the laser has unique properties masking effects – almost impossible to establish the true cause of the dysfunction or destruction of an object after exposure to a laser beam. This property of laser weapons prompted the company to Boeing in conjunction with the special operations Command to start the creation of the advanced tactical laser average power, which is planned to be installed aboard CV-22 "Osprey" AC-130 "Spectre" or MH-47 "Chinook". It is assumed that the laser will be used as a lethal and non-lethal weapons at ranges up to 15 km, is Also expected to use a similar modification of the combat laser and the promising fighter F-35A, which should come into force.

According to experts JINSA, one of the most serious problems for the effective use of laser weapons today is the lack of energy-intensive and acceptable weight and size characteristics of power sources for the chemical and solid state lasers. However, a future breakthrough in the field of fuel cells will solve the problem of providing power to the laser power of 100 kW.

However, according to some experts, the most serious threat is the microwave weapon. This weapon can be used both lethal and non-lethal means of destruction. The duration of the striking pulse microwave radiator several times in short pulse laser system, is necessary to defeat the same purpose, which significantly increases the efficiency of its combat use.

Experts estimate JINSA microwave weapon was extremely effective against the electronic components of the systems of control and management, as the powerful millisecond pulse can lead to damage electronic equipment at considerable distances from the generator. In this microwave have a good penetrating ability (using various conductive lines of metal pipes, ventilation shafts, communication lines, etc., the pulse can propagate for considerable distances), which allows the use of such generators for the scrapping of equipment in a secure command and control and communications.

However, the main purpose of such weapons – disabling of control systems of air defense of the enemy. Saturation of these systems with electronics and the availability of highly sensitive component in the radar equipment of air defense stations makes these systems most suitable targets for microwave weapons.

In addition to air defense systems, the Pentagon's experts also expect the use of such systems and to attack objects of increased danger to the environment (chemical plants, nuclear plants, etc.) that will allow disabling them with no leakage of dangerous components outside the controlled area.

To date, the effective radius of destruction for prototypes of microwave generators is about 300 meters, but experts are actively working to improve this indicator.

In plans of developers include the creation of microwave weapons and a few modifications. Among them there are system one time use for the armament of cruise missiles "Tomahawk" and JASSM, and side of the microwave generators for the equipment unmanned type BQM-145A.

A number of reports developer the warhead for cruise missiles of type "Tomahawk" and the JASSM is the company Raytheon.

Microwave weapons are likely to be equipped with a experimental unmanned aircraft X-45 and carrier-based modification of the X-47.

Also under preparation is a project to design a powerful microwave generator and transport aircraft C-130 "Hercules" to create on its basis the aircraft of air defense suppression in the model the AC-130 "Spectre" gunships. To date, however, developers cannot solve the issues of protection of on-Board radio equipment from microwave radiation. Experts note that the risk of damage to its own equipment will not make it possible to use microwave generators for manned aircraft.

In addition to these developments work is underway on the establishment of several modifications of microwave emitters for marine corps and naval forces of the United States. So the Marines are planning to install the microwave emitters on transport and assault vehicles for use in the conduct of hostilities in urban environments, as well as non-lethal weapons for crowd control. The naval forces of the USA plan to use the microwave generators as a key component of missile defense ships.

Experts note that the most active in the field of creating laser and microwave weapons today are the UK, Germany and Israel.

It is also noted. during the anti-Iraq campaign military-air forces of the United States has used in Iraq, the microwave weapon made in the form of a standard warhead cruise missiles "Tomahawk".

It is emphasized that the command of the coalition forces treated the use of these munitions with extreme caution, as cruise missiles effectively lose air defenses, and this could lead to the ingress of individual components and parts of a fundamentally new means of destruction to the enemy, and from it to third countries, which would lead to the loss of US priority in microwave weapons.

Characteristically, a few months before the beginning of the Iraq war, many experts were given the estimation that such ammunition could appear not earlier than 2005. This suggests that the results of the company against Yugoslavia, which was first used tools of the scrapping of the power supply systems of type a graphite bombs, the Pentagon the decision was made to intensify work on the creation of efficient microwave weapons.

It should also be noted that the number of losses of aviation equipment of the coalition forces is associated with the failure of their electronics as a result of application of the US microwave weapons. This may indicate that the technology of microwave munitions is not yet sufficiently developed. We can also talk about the fact that still no effective protection of its own electronic systems from the effects of microwave radiation.

Tags: USA