New inquiry: Developing Threats to Electronic Infrastructre

15 September 2011

The Defence Committee today announces the first of a new series of inquiries looking at developing threats facing UK defence

The inquiry will focus on threats to electronic infrastructure, particularly those posed by electromagnetic pulse activity, either naturally occurring or through military uses. The Committee specifically aims to assess the following:

  • The extent of any threat posed to UK electronic infrastructure by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) events caused by space weather events, nuclear weapons detonated at high altitude or other EMP weapons;
  • The likelihood that a viable EMP weapon can or will be used by either state or non-state actors;
  • The extent to which space weather is forecasted and the effectiveness of early warning systems that may be in place;
  • The potential impact of such events for both civilian and military infrastructure;
  • Ways of mitigating electromagnetic pulse events, either targeted or naturally occurring;
  • The resources available in respect of research and development in this field;
  • Contingencies in place to react to a large-scale loss of UK electronic infrastructure, and the role of the military in such an event;
  • The broader security of UK electronic and space infrastructure, particularly satellites and satellite navigation systems and the risk posed by space debris.

How to respond

The Committee would welcome written evidence to this inquiry. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to  and should have ‘Developing Threats to Electronic Infrastructure' in the subject line. Submissions should be sent to the Clerk of the Defence Committee by Friday 14 October 2011.

If you have any queries on the submission of evidence contact Georgina Holmes-Skelton, Second Clerk, tel: 020 7219 4453, email:

Image: iStock 

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