TIME GETS E-BOMBED

TIME GETS E-BOMBED Tomorrow's issue of Time drools over high-power microwave weapons -- bombs that use electromagnetic pulses to fry computers and other electronics.Long in the planning pipeline, the Pentagon has been dropping hints for months that the so-called "e-bomb" might see some action in Gulf War II. It could prove useful for messing with Saddam's air defenses. But don't expect the high-power microwave to be the "wonder weapon" Time proclaims it to be.THERE'S MORE: One Defense Tech reader (who's in a position to speculate intelligently about these things) believes that while an e-bomb might have some use in knocking out Iraqi communications, it probably wouldn't do much good against Saddam's air defenses. Why? The gear is old, old Soviet stuff, without integrated circuits, most likely -- and therefore, immune to electromagnetic pulses.AND MORE: Time claims that the e-bomb unleashes as much energy "as the Hoover Dam generates in 24 hours." This is nonsense, another Defense Tech reader says. The Dam produces 11 Million Kw-H per day -- about the same amount of energy released in the Hiroshima nuclear blast. The e-bomb doesn't have nearly that much juice. Maybe it has a fraction of a second's worth of Dam energy, but no way does it have the equivalent of a whole Dam day.

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