Ten days ago an Air Force cruise missile EMP’d a big room of operating computers.
“When CHAMP passed overhead and activated its Raytheon-built microwave emitter, the computers went dark -- and, a moment later, so did the camera monitoring the test.”
"’This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,’ Keith Coleman, the CHAMP program manager at Boeing Phantom Works, told Jackson. ‘In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy's electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.’"
That’s mighty bold talk for a first test. As for the “new era,” the story sort of gives a little credit for an earlier mission:
“The microwave weapon's development began shortly after Israel's air strike on suspected Syrian nuclear facilities in late 2007. In that raid, Israel apparently used non-lethal electronic attacks to shut down Syrian air defenses -- a move that could be a model for future surgical strikes.”
There are all kinds of scenarios for suitcase EMP devices and private airplanes or hot air balloons. If you build it, somebody will use it.