Microwave bombs and vacuum bombs, new waepons to be used...

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Microwave bombs and vacuum bombs, new waepons to be used...

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has accelerated development of a new generation of advanced precision weaponry that could be ready for use in a high-tech battle for Baghdad, according to US military sources.

Weapons ready for battlefield deployment include a microwave
bomb that emits powerful pulses of energy to destroy enemy electronics, disable communications and even block vehicle ignitions, without hurting bystanders.

Defence researchers have also successfully tested a radical
thermobaric warhead—previously described as a "vacuum bomb" to be aimed at suspected chemical and biological stockpiles. The warheads are designed to produce a heat so intense that any contaminants released into the atmosphere are neutralised instantly.

After the success in Afghanistan of military innovations such as
precision-guided bunker-busting bombs and remote-controlled Predator drones, Pentagon officials have been racing to develop previously experimental weapons that might prove invaluable should US troops be ordered into action in Iraq.

Military scientists have long been intrigued by the potential
harnessing of microwave technology to paralyse enemy capabilities. The US air force used a related technique to disable Yugoslavian power grids during the Kosovo campaign.

Since then, research has advanced so rapidly that US officials
believe a single microwave device carried by an unmanned aircraft could hit 100 targets with 1,000 pulses of high-intensity energy on a single sortie.

Military analysts believe that microwave bombs could be
particularly useful against the Republican Guard and other defences around Baghdad.

Known as directed-energy weapons, they destroy electronic
systems but -- in theory at least -- do not harm people or damage buildings.

Perhaps the most useful new toy in the Pentagon’s Christmas
sack is a three-dimensional computer simulation of the streets of Baghdad, complete with all known Iraqi military locations and satellite positioning co-ordinates. The 3D imagery is being studied by military commanders as they plan possible scenarios for a ground assault on the city.

The combination of overwhelming fire-power and technological
expertise helps explain why so many Pentagon officials are convinced that the battle for Baghdad will prove a walkover.
By netchicken: posted on 20-11-2002

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