Saturday, June 25, 2022

Saudi Arabia to develop ‘microwave weapon’ using Ukrainian supplied technology

Ukrainian media claims that Saudi Arabia is developing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, also sometimes called a ‘microwave weapon’, using Ukraine’s supplied technology and know-how.

Ukraine has transferred some technologies that will help in the development of Saudi Arabia’s electromagnetic weapons, according to a report by the ‘National Industrial Portal‘ news agency on 21 January.

Citing unnamed defense officials, the report states that the Yuzhnoye State Design Office transferred EMP technology to the King Abdulaziz City For Science And Technology. Noted that Ukrainian company has delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia technical documentation for an electromagnetic pulse generator, or EMP.


The new weapon system could use invisible microwaves and electromagnetic energy to overload electricity grids, and electric and electronic circuits and burn them out.

A single EMP attack against even a country the size of the Israel or Iran would have a devastating effect. The explosion itself might not pose much danger to those below, but the EMP would damage or destroy phones, power grids, communications networks, computers, laptops, smart cards, vehicle electronics, fuel pumps, medical equipment, industrial robots, and just about anything else that has a microchip or even a slightly advanced electrical circuit.

Most likely in Saudi Arabia are interested in Ukrainian development, applicable to bomb designs as a KAB-500 or MK.84.

Microwave bombs have a broader range of coupling modes and given the small wavelength in comparison with bomb dimensions, can be readily focussed against targets with a compact antenna assembly.

According to early U.S. government report about a potential electromagnetic pulse weapon attack, an EMP would cause instantaneous and simultaneous loss of many technologies reliant on electrical power and computer circuit boards, such as cell phones and GPS devices in civil or mlitary segment.

Military and commercial jets would be degraded, bases would be cut off, and power and GPS would go dark making defense and counter-attacks virtually impossible.

The massed application of these weapons will produce substantial paralysis in any target system, thus providing a decisive advantage in the conduct of Electronic Combat, Offensive Counter Air and Strategic Air Attack.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.