Soviet tactical nuclear bomb


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12 July 2006
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Does anybody know the type of the Soviet tactical nuclear bomb and its bomb rack prepared for the MiG-23B and MiG-27? Nothing found in the Aerofax Flogger issue ...

(Maybe I've used the wrong words to find an earlier thread here at the forum. ::) )
In the article "Atombomben in der DDR" in the German magazine "Fliegerrevue Extra (Vol.22 / September 2008)", there is a picture of a Mig-23M with a bomb rack "BD-3-66-23N" under the fuselage. This special bomb rack could hold the tactical nuclear bomb "RN-40" (8U-64 / 30 KT).

Deino posted the following review of the article in a German forum.
The author is Tom Cooper, member in the ACIG-Forum.
To come back to the article "Atombomben in der DDR" from Fliegerrevue XTR, Vol.22....

Written by Stefan Büttner, this one might not necessarily be the easiest to read (particularly not for people not really fluent in German), but it does reveal an immense wealth of details.

Equipment, means of storage, places of storage, periods of deployment, means of deployment, deployment tactics (particularly against MIM-23 HAWK sites in West Germany), are all described excellently - with photos, drawings, maps and plans. The feature is unbeatable in this regards.

The only point I found lacking is the issue of IAB-500: this was the training cradle, used to accustomise ground crews to mounting them on selected aircraft. There is a photo of it on p.52.

Now, the article reveals plenty of details about various actual nukes used by Soviet tactical aircraft in the 1960s-1980s, from 8U69 (product designation) i.e. RDS-04 (military designation) to 8U-64 (in its military versions RN-40 thru TN-1200). That makes it even more exceptional - really a unique work of great passion and enthusiasm, and utter attention to detail. "But", all the drawings of Soviet aircraft show them carrying IAB-500s. This is pitty. Although I know it's exceptionally problematic to get photos of operational Soviet nukes (particularly tactical nukes), due to an immensely thick veil of secrecy surrounding this topic, given the exceptional quality of the remaining article and illustrations, I'd expect quite some more attention to detail in regards of artworks too. It's not about artworks themselves, but about their details. I doubt, namely, that MiG-29s of the late 1980s would go into combat carrying a nuke looking almost exactly the same the nuke loaded under Su-7Bs back in the early 1970s.

Lets hope that this issue could be tackled sometimes in the future as well. I.e. that somebody is sometimes going to get few photos of various Soviet-made tactical nukes (not to talk about some of them hanging from operational aircraft!).

Having said that, I still can only describe this feature is a "must have" - not only for people speaking German, but for plenty of readers well outside the German language area too.
Thanks, fightingirish. I've ordered this FR Extra more than two weeks ago, but still waiting for the delivery (due to move of the publisher :( ).
I am re visiting this excellent thread for two reasons.
I was able to get a copy of the excellent German article from so long ago and was surprised that none of the usual US or UK sources had improved on it in the mean time.
Secondly. Given the continued presence of US bombs in Europe what does the Russian AirForce have?
Cruise missiles. Kh-22/32, 55, 101. Bombs are not really considered a thing anymore.

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