Strategic Weapons: France Perfects Its EMP Warhead

Archives

February 14, 2006: France is upgrading the warheads on its ballistic missiles to make them more accurate, and more capable to making a deliberate EMP attack. This is a new tactic, for EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) has long been seen as just another nuclear weapons effect. EMP destroys electronics. That's because a nuclear explosion generates such a powerful surge of electromagnetic energy that the tiny circuits in modern electronics are damaged or destroyed. Thus France could, if it was threatened by, say, Iran, launch one or more nukes. Each one would detonate high over Iran, high enough so that the explosion would not harm anyone on the ground (aside from putting some radiation into the upper atmosphere), but turn most of the electronics in Iran into junk. If the explosion was placed in the right spot, damage to electronics in neighboring countries would be minor. This tactic has been talked about before, but France is the first country to come right out and say that it was not part of their standard playbook.

 


Article Archive

Strategic Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close