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An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that can be caused by a number of devices. The most common source of EMP is a nuclear explosion. However, it can also be caused by a large rapidly discharging capacitor bank or an explosively pumped flux compression generator. The resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. It is these effects that make EMP an effective weapon used by Resistance against Skynet force. The Resistance has used a variety of such weapons against the machines, including EMP grenades and a modified nuclear missile.

However, some machines are EMP-resilient or even able to use EMP as weapon. In Death Valley timeline, Terminators were capable to generate and direct an electromagnetic pulse from optic (eye), causing at least small electronic devices to explode.[1] In Rise of the Machines timeline, the T-950 Terminatrix can hold an EMP device to attack a T-950 Terminator in close quarter combat. Additionally, the T-X, the succeeding model to T-950, is equipped EMP Generator as its onboard weaponry.[2]


The Terminator: Hunters and KillersEdit

General Norman Effron mentioned that an EMP through the simultaneous detonation of dozens of nuclear warheads in the upper atmosphere would short-circuit enough of MIR to fatally cripple it. Hunters and Killers issue 2

The Terminator: Death ValleyEdit

When Dr. Edward Newbert remote controlled KZ-1 to attack D800.L and D810.X, D800.L fired EMP toward Dr. Newbert's controller, which then exploded. Death Valley issue 4

T2 Trilogy timelineEdit

Although I-950 Infiltrator was equipped with nominal EMP shielding, but in actual practice, it is not as well protected as initially supposed. Once exposed to an actual Resistance modified nuclear strike, it suffered significant momentary disruption, but was able to quickly recover.

The New John Connor Chronicles timelineEdit

The arrival of Cecilia and the Terminators near the estancia via space-time disruption caused the vehicles of the Rising Army to temporarily be rendered inoperative, suggesting an EMP occurred. Times of Trouble

Fragmented timelineEdit

The T-950 Terminatrix used an alleged EMP grenade to attack T-950 Terminator in close quarter combat, temporally disabling it. Fragmented part 1 During the battle in subway, she placed several EMP grenades as a trap, but the T-950 Terminator managed to escape and attack her. Fragmented part 2

Salvation timelineEdit

As the Terminators invaded the Resistance base in Detroit, William told Elena Maric he set an EMP bomb to wipe out the remaining computers. Sand in the Gears issue 2

Dark Fate timelineEdit

Grace Harper mentioned that when the Legion went rogue, human attempt to contain it by tactical EMP strike with nuclear missiles, which failed and led to Judgment Day.

In order to destroy Rev-9, Sarah Connor planned to use kill box tactics while Carl later suggested using EMP to destroying the machine. Later, the group rendezvous with Major Dean and acquired two EMP devices. However, both were destroyed in an ensuing pursuit and battle against the Rev-9. Terminator: Dark Fate


See alsoEdit


  1. Death Valley issue 4
  2. Per Termovision of T-X as seen in the filmTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
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