An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or magnetic bombard was a powerful burst of electromagnetic radiation. It was often used in weaponry designed to suppress technological systems.
They were primarily used to disable droids and electronics; however, a sufficiently powerful EMP could also kill organic life through electrocution.
Electromagnetic pulse weaponryEdit
Electromagnetic pulse weaponry delivered a powerful EMP which overloaded most electronic systems not specifically hardened against such an attack. The effect was somewhat similar to an ion cannon blast.
Military magnapulse weapons were available in several different forms, which were first deployed by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars, and were refined by the Galactic Empire some time before the Battle of Yavin.
Though they were able to reduce an entire planet to a pre-technological state, even destroying enemy shields with one blast, these weapons were used only in relatively small numbers during the Galactic Civil War.
Clone Wars usageEdit
EMP weaponry was favored by the Grand Army of the Republic because of the inherently technological nature of their enemy. The Droid Army was particularly vulnerable to weaponry which suppressed electronics.
Air-deployed magnetic pulse bombs known as "magpulse busters" were also used during the Clone Wars. They were only able to deactivate the enemy droids for brief periods, so they were usually used in concert with starfighters to destroy large groups of droids.
Merr-Sonn produced a weapon known as the DEMP gun for the Empire. These weapons were effective against droids, small vehicles, and powered armor. Sufficient exposure to DEMP pulses could harm living beings. This weapon was later refined into the DEMP 2, which was seen in use around 13 ABY.
In the form of a magnepulse weapon mounted on a starship of medium cruiser class or above, a magnetic pulse could delivered from orbit. This type of magnetic pulse device carried the risk of being reflected against the attacker, and this risk led to the development of magnapulse bombs.
The magnepulse cluster bomb was approximately the size of a starfighter and could be dropped from orbit by any ship capable of launching TIE Series fighters. The early versions of the magnepulse cluster bomb were vulnerable to enemy fire, so they were redesigned to integrate shields and evasive flight computers. These devices continued to be used as late as 11 ABY, as part of the equipment included with the Modular taskforce cruiser's Inquisition Module.
Planetary magnapulse cannons were surface-to-space weapons, used much like planetary ion cannons.
After the Battle of Hoth, magnetic pulse ordnance became available in the form of a projectile weapon similar to a proton torpedo. The mag pulse warhead was able to suppress the weapon systems of a capital ship for a short period.
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