The US Air Force is working on developing a man-made bolt of lightning powerful enough to fry sophisticated computer and electronic components in weapons.

Researchers are looking at ways of putting so-called High-Powered Microwave (HPM) beams on aircraft and cruise missiles.

The short, intense burst of energy would be lethal to electronics but have no effect on people.

Aerospace experts have suggested an experimental version of the weapon could be used in a war against Iraq, carried on a cruise missile or unmanned aircraft. More here.