Defined: India dismissed a report on China’s use of “microwave weapons” as “counterfeit”. What are you? – The Indian Specific


Written by Abhishek De, edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: November 19, 2020, 7:41:17 am

Twenty Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese were killed in a violent clash between the two armies in the Galwan Valley on June 15.

The Indian Army has rejected as “unfounded and wrong” A report in the British newspaper “The Times” quoted a Chinese professor who claimed that the Chinese army had used “microwave weapons” to evict Indian soldiers from their positions in eastern Ladakh.

“Media articles on the use of microwave weapons in East Ladakh are unfounded. The news is FAKE, ”the Indian Army said in a tweet.

India and China were Trapped in a tense stalemate in the last six months on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Twenty Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese were killed in a violent clash between the two armies in the Galwan Valley on June 15. But what are “microwave weapons”?

What did the London Times report say about China’s alleged use of “microwave weapons”?

The Beijing-dated report in The Times, entitled “China is turning the Ladakh battlefield with India into a microwave oven,” posted on the newspaper’s website on Nov. 17, quoted Jin Canrong, professor of international relations at the newspaper, as quoted Renmin University in Beijing.

Jin alleged that China used a “microwave weapon” in late August to recapture land occupied by the Indian army on the south bank of Lake Pangong Tso in Ladakh. The same report appeared in the Australian daily newspaper “The Australian” under the headline “China’s microwave pulse weapon defeats Indian troops on the Himalayan border”. Both The Times and The Australian are owned by Rupert Murdochs News Corp.

The Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh. (AP photo / file)

On August 29, Indian soldiers had taken the dominant heights on the south bank of Pangong Tso and in the larger sub-sector of Chushul. These positions allow the Indian army to dominate the region as they overlook the Spanggur Gap and the Chinese garrison in Moldo.

The Chinese professor quoted in the report claimed that the Chinese armed forces had turned two strategic hills occupied by Indian soldiers “into a microwave oven”, forced them to retreat, and resumed positions without exchanging conventional fire.

“Within 15 minutes of the guns deployed, everyone occupying the hills began to vomit. They couldn’t get up and fled. This is how we reclaimed the ground, ”the professor reportedly told his students during a lecture. According to the report, Jin said, “We didn’t publish it because we did a wonderful job of solving the problem. you [India] also didn’t publish it because they lost so miserably. “📣 Express Explained is now in the telegram

What are “microwave weapons”?

“Microwave weapons” are said to be a type of direct energy weapon that directs highly focused energy in the form of sound, lasers or microwaves at a target.

The report quoted Jin as claiming that the “microwave weapons” allegedly used by China in Ladakh “used high-frequency electromagnetic radiation to heat the water in the skin of a human target, causing pain and discomfort”.

In a microwave oven, an electron tube called a magnetron generates electromagnetic waves (microwaves) that bounce off the inside of the device and are absorbed by the food. The microwaves move the water molecules in the food and their vibration creates heat that cooks the food. Food with high water content often cooks faster in the microwave than drier food.

Which countries have these “microwave weapons”?

A number of countries are believed to have developed these weapons to target both humans and electronic systems. According to a report in The Daily Mail, China first exhibited its “microwave weapon” called the Poly WB-1 at an air show in 2014.

The United States has also developed a prototype microwave-style weapon that they call the “Active Denial System”. In an FAQ posted online, the US Department of Defense said that “the Active Denial System is needed because it is the first non-lethal counter-personnel system with directed energy and an extended range greater than current non-lethal weapons.”

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Have “microwave weapons” been used in the past?

The US apparently used such a weapon in Afghanistan, but withdrew it without ever using it on human targets.

In the second half of 2017, reports surfaced that employees at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, may have been attacked with a concealed sonic weapon in the past year. In 2018, officials at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China complained about a possible similar attack in 2017.

In total, more than three dozen American diplomats and their family members in Cuba and China were suspected of having been attacked with “microwave weapons”. All of these people reported mysterious grid noises or sudden changes in pressure and vibrations in their hotel rooms or at home.

They also reported symptoms such as nausea, severe headache, fatigue, dizziness, trouble sleeping and hearing loss, which has since been known as “Havana Syndrome”.

However, a medical team that examined 21 of those affected in Cuba did not mention “microwave weapons” in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Neither the State Department nor the FBI have publicly advised that “microwave weapons” are the cause of the “syndrome”.

How dangerous are these weapons?

Concerns have been raised as to whether they can damage the eyes or be carcinogenic in the long term.

The Department of Defense Frequently Asked Questions specifically states that the Active Denial System does not cause cancer or infertility. It is also said that studies have shown that “the natural blink reflex, aversion, and head rotation all protect the eyes” in front of the weapon.

It is not yet clear how China will use such a weapon, and whether it can kill human targets or cause permanent damage.

Also explained in | The China Factor and India’s Strategic Thinking on RCEP

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