- China is working on their SQUID project.
- Russia created over 10 electromagnetic weapons in the past decade.
- The US was the first one to officially create electromagnetic weapon in 2001.
There is a race to create faster, more lethal and precise weapons around the world. As of late, China has been focusing on entering the race as well. China announced one of the largest military budgets in history this year. However, the leaders around the world continue to be US and Russia.
Electromagnetic weapons—also known as E-bombs—are designed to release a high-power flash of radio waves or microwaves. Depending on the energy of the electromagnetic pulse, effects can range from the disabling of electronic circuitry to physiological effects in those exposed to the electromagnetic pulse.
Electromagnetic weapons development continues to be on the forefront. Russia allocated $45 billion from the State Armament Program for 2011-2020. The program entails the development and production of attack and defense systems that use sources of electromagnetic radiation.
This funding has caused a real boom among developers and manufacturers of these weapons. In 2014, Russia created and successfully tested a complex for suppressing enemy electronics called “Alabuga,” which is a missile that uses a high-power high-frequency oscillation generator as its warhead. The generator is activated at an altitude of 200-300 meters above the enemy’s positions and effectively hits its electronics within a radius of 3.5 kilometers. Field tests have shown high efficiency: not only radio-electronic equipment fails, but also conventional electronic equipment, including electronic components of cars and radio equipment.
In September, it was reported that the completed field tests confirmed the effectiveness of the unit. However, the parameters and even approximate characteristics of the Alabuga complex are not disclosed. In recent years, Russia has developed more than ten electronic warfare systems, including Algurit, Mercury-BM, and the Krasukha family, as well as the Borisoglebsk-2 and Moscow-1 stations.
The US Navy announced in 2019 a prototype of the naval electromagnetic railgun that is progressing towards eventual sea testing.
The US was the first one to create samples of electromagnetic weapons of mass destruction in 2001. The American VMADS system (Vehicle Mounted Active Denial System) could heat a person’s skin to the pain threshold (about 45 degrees Celsius), thus effectively disorienting the enemy.
Even though both the Soviets and the US started working on such weapons in the 1950s, it is only in this century when these weapons materialized. In 2012, a rocket with an electromagnetic bomb was tested in the United States as part of the CHAMP Project and a year later, a ground-based system for electronic suppression of drones was tested.
China also announced its version, SQUID. It is plausible that technology was stolen from Russia.
There is a grave concern that certain electromagnetic weapons might contain capabilities of electromagnetic mind control technologies, which use electromagnetic waves to penetrate the human brain and nervous system and subvert an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making. An example of this could be observed in the futuristic movie Captain America.
In March 2019, US President Donald Trump signed an “Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses.” This could be a real threat to the United States.
The US and Russia both continue to develop such weapons.