Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Navy Electronic Interference System Could Target Nuke Facilities

Navy Electronic Interference System Could Target Nuke Facilities

The U.S. Navy is developing an new air-based electronic interference system to render inoperable a potential rival's communications and airspace monitoring mechanisms and send destructive commands to its computers, Wired magazine reported today (see GSN, Aug. 8, 2010).
The Next Generation Jammer would consist of a "highly modular, totally programmable" antenna and processor configuration suited for placement on EA-18G Growler aircraft and potential unmanned aerial vehicles, said ITT Vice President Ed Palacio. Palacio's firm and Boeing were a making a partnered bid to build the system, which might ultimately carry a multibillion dollar price tag.
The "electronic attack system and concept of electronic attack [have] really evolved over years," Palacio said. "Initially, it primarily was a system to deal with enemy air defenses. But as you start going forward and realize the electromagnetic spectrum does many things ... (so) if you build a system that can generate power and modulation over a very broad [radio frequency] spectrum, it can be used not only in traditional roles, but in many different roles."
The Next Generation Jammer might one day be used to strike an enemy nuclear site, according to Wired. Israel was believed to have neutralized Syrian military systems using malicious code during a 2007 airstrike on a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor facility (see GSN, Dec. 6, 2010). U.S. Air Force RQ-170 unmanned aerial vehicles have begun operating close to Iran, a development possibly linked to military interest in air-based electronic warfare, according to the magazine (David Axe Wired, Jan. 21).
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