In November 2011 the U.S. Air Force announced the successful test (on 17 May) of a new cruise missile, CHAMP (Counter-Electronics High Microwave Power). CHAMP may have been the first missile designed specifically to carry what is more usually called an HPM (high-power microwave) device, the non-nuclear (and short-range) equivalent of the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) created by a high-altitude nuclear burst. It is widely supposed that such pulses are particularly dangerous to modern industrial societies because they can wipe out microelectronic devices, not merely computers and cell phones but also the computers that control most critical infrastructure. In this sense the EMP threat is not altogether different from various cyber-threats, the latter most recently demonstrated in the November 2011 attacks on municipal water systems in Texas and Illinois.
World Naval Developments - A Different Kind of Blast
By Norman Friedman