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China and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Implications for the United States

Excerpts from a CIA article as related to directed energy weapons, 5 November 1999,
used with permission.

Electromagnetic Pulse Warhead (EMP). PLA writings indicate that fielding of an antiradiation EMP warhead is a high priority. An antiradiation warhead, specifically a high-powered microwave (HPM) device, is viewed as a "natural enemy" (tiandi) of more technologically advanced militaries and an "electronic trump card" (dianzi shashou).535 Due to challenges related to weaponizing a device with enough power, HPM warheads would initially be effective only against radiating targets within the immediate area of impact--radar and communications centers would be the prime candidates. As the technology progresses, HPM warheads could achieve wider effects.536 The developers of the DF-1--known as the 066 Base--have demonstrated the most interest in HPM warheads.537


535 Gong Jinheng, "High-Powered Microwave Weapons: A New Concept in Electronic Warfare," Dianzi Duikang Jishu, Feb 95, pp. 1-9. Gong is from the Southwest Institute of Electronic Equipment (SWIEE), China's premier electronic warfare research entity.


536 For a comprehensive overview of the technologies associated with HPM weapons, see Carlo Kopp, "The E-Bomb--A Weapon of Electrical Mass Destruction," in Winn Schwartau, Information Warfare, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1994, pp. 296-297; also see J. Swegle and J. Benford, "State of the Art in High-Power Microwaves: An Overview," paper presented at the Lasers 1993 International Conference on Lasers and Applications, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 6-10 Dec 1993. Swegle and Benford point out that the US, Russia, France, and the UK have HPM programs in addition to China. Zhu Youwen and Feng Yi, Gaojishu Tiaojianxia de Xinxizhan, (Information Warfare Under High Technology Conditions), Academy of Military Science Press, 1994, pp. 308-310; "Beam Energy Weaponry: Powerful as Thunder and Lightening," Jiefangjun Bao, 25 Dec 95, in FBIS-CHI-96-039; Outlook for 21st Century Information Warfare," Guoji Hangkong, (International Aviation), 5 March 1995, in FBIS-CHI-95-114; "Microwave Pulse Generation," Qiang Jiguang yu Lizishu, May 1994, in JPRS-CST-94-014. CAEP's Institute of Applied Electronics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and the Northwest Institute of Nuclear Technology in Xian are three of the most important organizations engaged in the research, design, and testing of Chinese HPM devices. The PRC appears to have mastered at least two HPM power sources--the FCG and vircator. The greatest challenge is the weaponization process.


537 See Liu Shiquan, "A New Type of 'Soft Kill' Weapon: The Electromagnetic Pulse Warhead," Hubei Hangtian Jishu, May 1997, pp. 46-48. Liu is from the Sanjiang Space Industry.




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