Strategic Weapons: France Perfects Its EMP Warhead


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.


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