Tactical Nuclear Weapons Projects

moin1900

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Hi everybody

Tactical Nuclear Weapons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_nuclear_weapons
Here the well known Davy Crockett and WEE-GWEN
http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=783
Was there a similar soviet "Atomic Bazooka" ?
I only know these mortars.
http://riv.co.nz/rnza/hist/mortar/mort22.htm
http://riv.co.nz/rnza/hist/mortar/mort24.htm
Maybe someone can tell us more about these nuclear projectiles ?

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD284078
90mm nuclear shell , nuclear "Shillelagh" , nuclear "MAULER"
and a nuclear "unreadable" on Page 5
Maybe a nuclear "REDEYE" ?

Are there any other concepts or ideas for such crazy nuclear anti-Tank and anti-aircraft weapons ?
Did they develop a nuclear hand-grenade too ?

Many Greetings
 
moin1900 said:
Are there any other concepts or ideas for such crazy nuclear anti-Tank and anti-aircraft weapons ?
Did they develop a nuclear hand-grenade too ?

Many Greetings moin1900

ohh yes a British chicken heated nuclear Mines !

Blue Peacock aka the "chicken-powered nuclear bomb" ;D
used a Blue Danube Nuke, but the Project hat technical problem
if it to cold (like Winter) the Bomb electronics stop simply to work
they look for way to heat the electronics ... by Chicken !
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Peacock

the political aspects of the destruction and contamination of allied territory kill the program.

nice page about David Crockett
http://www.guntruck.com/DavyCrockett.html
main use for most Tactical Nukes in case of War in germany (during Cold War)
http://www.1-33rdar.org/fulagap.htm

anti-aircraft weapons were in NATO The MIM-14 Nike-Hercules
had W31 nuclear 2 kt (M-97) 20 kt (M-22) 40 kt (M-23)
Idea the Nike shoot up true the Soviet Bomber fleet and KARAAA BOOOM
Best Website on internet for the Nike-Hercules is
http://ed-thelen.org/

AGM-76 Falcon air-air missile with 250 kiloton thermonuclear warhead
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-76_Falcon
 
One link gives :
David Crockett could be set to a minimum range of of about 300m (1000 feet),

the other link :
At 300 meters from the explosion, the dosage of radiation would be 1350 REM,
100 REM means a lethality rae of 100%.

Something wrong with these sites, or with the design of this weapon ? :eek:
 
Jemiba said:
One link gives :
David Crockett could be set to a minimum range of of about 300m (1000 feet),

the other link :
At 300 meters from the explosion, the dosage of radiation would be 1350 REM,
100 REM means a lethality rae of 100%.

Something wrong with these sites, or with the design of this weapon ? :eek:
No, that's pretty much correct. And there was nothing wrong with the design either. Davey Crockett was meant to be one of the main weapons of a Pentomic Division. Such a division would be armed only with light weapons, and nuclear arms, nothing inbetween.
Before you say "But this is MADNESS!", think on this: Any assault on a Pentomic Division almost automatically meant that the division would have to defend itself with nuclear weapons, escalating ANY conflict right into a nuclear war. Pentomc Divisions were meant to block the Soviet Hordes. Ergo, any atack by the soviets would escalate into nuclear war. This was not a path the Soviets were willing to take. A Pentomic Division, with it's odd mix of light and nuclear weapons, was a deterrence force; one not actually meant to ever see combat. It was a useful deterrence in a time when ballistic missiles were in their infancy, and nuclear bomber forces were beginning to become obsolete.
Of course the jig was up when the chiefs of staff (and the president) realized that perhaps they did not want to have sergeants in direct control over the deployment and use of nuclear weapons...
 
Hi

(sorry for my English)

Michel Van said:
ohh yes a British chicken heated nuclear Mines !

Blue Peacock aka the "chicken-powered nuclear bomb" ;D
used a Blue Danube Nuke, but the Project hat technical problem
if it to cold (like Winter) the Bomb electronics stop simply to work
they look for way to heat the electronics ... by Chicken !
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Peacock

This story looks for my very strange and doubtful: isn't a joke?

1) why the nuclear bomb would need heating at all? The pure plutonium (as is in the bomb core) heat himself by his own radioactivity (by energy of radioactive decay). I read somewhere that small plutonium metal samples are hot when touched.
2) why the nuclear landmine would need heating at all? This kind of weapon is typically installed in special wells, tunnels or simply buried deeply (tens of meters) underground. The soil even in strong winter is frozen only tens of centimeters deep. 1-2 meters underground the temperature is constant by all year, about +8 to +10 C (centigrade) and slowly increased with deep.
3) why the electronic systems in bomb needs heating? A typical problem for electronics, especially old tube-based types isn’t heating but cooling. The tubes generated a lot of heat that must be taken away. A problem with cold is a moisture condensation on the electric circuits that could cause shorts or corrosion. For this reason some heating is sometimes need. But I’m not sure that heating by chicken is a smart solution: animals produced a lot of moisture (water vapor) when breathing.
4) why the chicken heating was considered as optimum? Chickens need not only food and water but also fresh air for breathing (and something for CO2 absorption). I don’t know how many chickens was need for heating one bomb and how many air need typical chicken for breathing in 1 week. But I think the some kind of vent system would be needed and designing this system for deeply buried bomb wouldn’t be easy.
5) why this bomb is so enormous big? For easier henhouse installation? :) 7 ton for 10 kt yield is evidently too much. A similar product from USA, developed in 1955 Atomic Demolition Munition (Mk.7 based – 90 t, 2-40 kt) weight about 450 kg. Other ADM, from 1957, Mk.9/T-4 (W-9 based, 15 kt, derived from 280 mm artillery shell’s warhead) - only 50-90 kg. Maybe British scientists wasn’t as advanced as US partners, but this difference is gigantic.
 
This story looks for my very strange and doubtful: isn't a joke?

no this very serious !
Tom O'Leary, head of education and interpretation at the National Archives, replied to the media that,
"It does seem like an April Fool but it most certainly is not. The Civil Service does not do jokes."


3) why the electronic systems in bomb needs heating?
At low temperature, the electronics has too cold to operate properly.
Especially 1950s vacuum tube (aka electron tube) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_tube
above +15 °C the electronic works properly.

why this bomb is so enormous big?
this is a Mines not a freefall bomb
had to work for 8 days and Blue Danube main power supply were unreliable lead-acid accumulators !
there also the electronics: Timer, Fail-save system (case Soviet try to defuse) and Chicken with Supplies
no wonder this thing weighed 7.2 tons.
 
When the last remaining one was moved to the AWE Historical Collection in the 90's (I think) it took them by surprise as they knew nothing about its existence - being Army developed. The tour guide told us about the chickens as well...it's about the size of a small chicken coop :D

Regards,
Barry
 
look Wat (very big) Cat drag in ;D

the men on second picture is David Hawkings
in front of the Blue Peacock exhibit in AWE historical Collection.
source: http://www.sonicbomb.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=59

that's the US version of a nuclear Mines "Medium Atomic Demolition Munition"
used a W45 Nuclear warhead, The yields of different W45 versions were 0.5, 1, 5, 8, 10, and 15 kilotons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_Atomic_Demolition_Munition

here again a Air to Air Nuclear missiles: AIR-2 Genie
a W25 Warheat with 1.5 KT
tested with success on July 19th 1957. :eek:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIR-2_Genie

Air to Surface missile AGM-12 Bullpup (also Tactical)
used on the A-4 Skyhawk, A-6 Intruder and F-4 Phantom (Navy)
next to conventional Warhead it used a W45 Nuclear Warhead
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-12_Bullpup

In case of War the US Fleet used the Nuclear AGM-12 for "delivery"
(in SIOP-62 Documents preferred designation for nuclear weapons use !)
 

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Hi everybody

Here the SADM W-54
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Atomic_Demolition_Munition

About the nuclear "Shillelagh", "MAULER" , "REDEYE" etc.
Are these real projects or pure imagination from the author ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MGM-51_Shillelagh
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/mauler.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIM-43_Redeye

Many greetings
 
moin1900 said:
About the nuclear "Shillelagh", "MAULER" , "REDEYE" etc.
Are these real projects or pure imagination from the author ?

Can't say for sure, but the author's grasp of the programs seems sketchy at best. He describes mauler as having a "jet" engine, which is quite wrong--it was a pure rocket (though perhaps this is a question of translation). And to say that Mauler was in any way related to Redeye is rather odd -- it worked on entirely different principles.

A nuclear Redeye seems to me to be a technical impossibility -- the whole weapon weighs only 8.3 kg and the warhead about 1.8 kg, far less than the 23 kg needed for the W54 in the Davey Crockett, which is about the smallest nuclear weapon that can be made using plausible fissionable materials. Even Californium probably would not produce a small enough weapon (critical mass estimates range from 2 to 5 kg, but it hardly matters, since Cf-251 is only manufactured in microgram quantities).
 
A few remarks:
1) The Chicken Option was considered, but never really studied in detail as the whole weapon design was already outdated and had never been

practical anyway; consider it a modern legend, it has a basis of truth but is grossly exaggerated.
2) The term "bazooka" is somewhat misleading when talking about the Davy Crockett, it was a RCL. "Bazooka" gives the impression of a

shoulder-fired weapon, which the Davy Crockett was not. The flight path was ballistic. The radiation, although technically lethal to the

firing crew, was mostly direct radiation and the dampining effect of cover is usually ignored. The crews were well instructed to take cover

before firing the thing. A dugout or a sturdy wall would have absorbed most radiation. The rest would come in the form of fallout but the

crew but be well on their way by then.
3) Atomic Mines were originally intended to effectively destroy key objectives to prevent them from falling into enemy hands (dams, bridges,

ports (esp. locks), etc.). Later the option was considered to drop them along with Special Forces behind enemy lines to disrupt

communication and supply lines as well as other key targets (airfields, field command posts, etc.) without having to use strategic or pre-

strategic nuclear weapons.
4) It should be reminded that the alternative to Battlefield Nuclear Weapons was a airstrike (nuclear one of course). These free-fall bombs

had a greater yield and were less accurate. In a scenario where WP Tank Forces would be halted by massive airstrikes and Allied ports in

enemy hands by treated the same way, the Atomic Artillery and the Atomic Mine seemed like a pretty good idea.
5) Another thing to remember is that sealift capacity was the most crucial factor of Allied Strategic and Long-Term Planning. The Allies

nearly lost both World Wars due to a lack of shipping capacity. There would be no time to bring large armoured contingents from across the

Atlantic, so the Pentomic Division was a logical conclusion. Besides, shipping losses were estimated at at least 50% (1950s). It all makes

a lot of sense.
6) As for Nuclear-Capable Mortars, I only know of the 240mm Soviet one. It was the 2S4 Tyulpan (Aka.: M-1975 & SM-240). I found no evidence of the 180mm mortar be Nuclear-Capable, although I do not thought it might have been studied.
7) Same with the Nuclear Shillelagh, Mauler and Redeye ... Studies. The reference to the redeye is, in my opinion, a reference to the proposed SP Redeye SAM Launcher. These "Redeyes" would either be shot in salvos with conventional warheads, or in limited numbers with a nuclear warhead. This "Redeye" would in practice have looked like nothing a shoulder-fired Redeye does. The other two date from the period when people were always saying "why not put a nuke on top? Much cheaper." Neither projects materialized in a nuclear variant.
8) No nuclear hand-grenade, even with today's physics it'd be too heavy.

And now a question.
I heard from a very unreliable and drunk source that the Soviets used to have Nuclear Railway Artillery. The guy was a Colonel in the Pol ish Air Force and most of the other stuff he told me checked out. I don't find any additional information though.

I have Excel sheets with data on nuclear weapons. They are not finished yet and contain many mistakes I know of but haven't had time to correct yet. Though I can give you some drafts with correct information.

Kind Regards.
 
MihoshiK said:
It was a useful deterrence in a time when ballistic missiles were in their infancy, and nuclear bomber forces were beginning to become obsolete.
Of course the jig was up when the chiefs of staff (and the president) realized that perhaps they did not want to have sergeants in direct control over the deployment and use of nuclear weapons...

Of course, if they weren't stationed well behind the front (ie. for a last ditch effort), it would mean that there would be no chance for gradual escallation fo the conflict (with hope of a 11:59 retreat from the brink) as it would make sense to fully deploy all nuclear weapons as part of the first stage of defense.

It also seems a silly risk on the whole (in light of the general policy of escallation on the part of NATO throughout the cold war - I'm thinking of the "bomber gap", the "missile gap" and the fielding SSBNs - all of which NATO had a superiority in and lead the arms build up)
 
Hi everybody

Maybe interesting ?
east-german MfS document about "MINI-NUKES" 1987
http://www.petermann-heiko.de
http://www.petermann-heiko.de/aktuelles/dok_bdst.php

Many greetings
 
Morgoth Bauglir said:
A few remarks:
8) No nuclear hand-grenade, even with today's physics it'd be too heavy.

The "nuclear hand grenade" was used by Carl Collins to show the theoretical capability of isomer triggering, which can produce a nuclear blast using much less critical mass than a fission reaction, even in theory producing a golf-ball-sized device with a yield of a few tons of TNT...if the physics works, which is still being argued.


http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/08/the-red-isomer.html
 
Hi everybody

Soviet Davy Crockett equivalent !
http://www.popmech.ru/article/4077-sovershenno-sekretnyiy-kondensator/
420mm recoilless gun for heavy tanks , 230mm recoilless rifle for BTR-60PA
and «Таран» and «Шиповник».
Someone knows more ?
Many greetings
 
TomS said:
And to say that Mauler was in any way related to Redeye is rather odd -- it worked on entirely different principles.

Late arriving point of order: "Mauleye" was the Mauler missile with the Redeye seeker. The two missile types would have been mixed on the launchers, and the fire control system would have automatically selected the appropriate one based on target aspect. At least, that's what the monograph from Redstone Arsenal implied.
 
Apologies for bumping the thread after so long, but I am wondering is there any information on the weight/dimensions of the SADM. An article linked to the wikipedia article implies they were man portable, but does not give any specifics.
 
Basically it was a backpack nuke, but often deployed more like a rucksack nuke, i.e. manhandled by at least two people in the field.
 
Some years back I spent a week at Gunsite with a former Green Light team member, then working as a security contractor overseas. After chatting a bit we discovered our mutual connection (aside from being at Gunsite), in that I had some past involvement with NNSA and he had been an ADM guy when he was SF.

I do not have exact specs, but the device was man-portable by one guy, but just barely. He said jumping with one was a real "E-Ticket ride" because he ended up quite a bit overweight for the specs of the parachute, and thus headed Earthward at a rather sporting pace. He told me his favorite part of a surety exercise was turning in a ticket for a new ruck (because the old one had been blown up), and watching the clerk at the CIF get peeved when the form's reason field for getting new equipment said "classified."

This is a pretty good article on the munitions:

There are also some interesting videos available:
 
SADM not good for lawn maintanence. Could use to dig a pool, just couldn't swim in it.

WTC not an atomic event.
 
Apologies for bumping the thread after so long, but I am wondering is there any information on the weight/dimensions of the SADM. An article linked to the wikipedia article implies they were man portable, but does not give any specifics.

Nuclear Weapon Archive lists a fully-assembled SADM as 150lbs (though I wonder if that's a bit high), attached pictures ought to give you a good idea of the size and shape. And thanks to that one on the left, we can make some estimates on just what that weight is from. The bare W54 warhead weighs somewhere between 50-60lbs (wild guess, the variant used for the SADM is on the heavy side of that as it could be set for up to 1Kt yield), and the backpack container is 30lbs. Which means either there's another ~60lbs of stuff attached - timers, fuzes, a PAL and whatever - or the 150lbs estimate is stretched a bit. Personally, I'd guess that the loaded weight was probably somewhere closer to a hundred pounds, 150lbs might be the total two-man load of the carrier and his assistant.

4QaT0Gu.jpg 7375415288_050d254302_o.jpg


Then there was the SADM's bigger brother, the Medium Atomic Demolition Munition, with a yield up to 15 kilotons and weighing about 400lbs. Which is sort of where things get a bit confusing because weapon sizes and yields in the "couple hundred pounds" range get...really seriously weird. As talked about further up, the Brits had BLUE PEACOCK, which would have been used in much the same way as the MADM, a nuclear landmine. Except BLUE PEACOCK weighed seven tons for a 10Kt yield. And just to get even more baffling, at the same time as both of those the US was deploying the W33 warhead in an 8" artillery shell, which inexplicably (consensus is the max-yield W33Y2 had to be boosted fission) crammed 40 kilotons into a 250lb package.

Medium_Atomic_Demolition_Munition_(internal).jpg
 
I think it all depends on how much shielding there was and how the physics package was configured. The British bombs were notoriously larger than comparable American ones. Artillery rounds tended to be "Little Boy" "gun style" nuclear devices. I suspect the SADM was a bit more sophisticated than that.
 
I think it all depends on how much shielding there was and how the physics package was configured. The British bombs were notoriously larger than comparable American ones. Artillery rounds tended to be "Little Boy" "gun style" nuclear devices. I suspect the SADM was a bit more sophisticated than that.

Yeah, the W54 is confirmed to be a very small plutonium implosion device. BLUE DANUBE was an implosion-type too, using a weird combination of plutonium and uranium. As for the W33, that's where things get a bit weird again, varyingly speculated to be a double-gun design or a particularly strange setup with an annular (ring) bore that my physics-deficient brain can't even model. But the question then becomes how in the hell do you make a boosted fission gun-type warhead? It has to be something boosted or otherwise exotic, 40 kilotons out of a 250lb oralloy fission warhead is completely crazy.
 
I think it all depends on how much shielding there was and how the physics package was configured. The British bombs were notoriously larger than comparable American ones. Artillery rounds tended to be "Little Boy" "gun style" nuclear devices. I suspect the SADM was a bit more sophisticated than that.
Both Davy Crockett and SADM were spherical implosion devices.
 
Here are a couple more films about the Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM) posted to YouTube. Some of this footage was used in the videos previously posted in this thread.

YouTube - Nuclear Vault: "SADM Delivery by Parachutist / Swimmer" (Sandia, circa 1960)
YouTube - NelC: "Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM)" (Sandia)
 
Basically it was a backpack nuke, but often deployed more like a rucksack nuke, i.e. manhandled by at least two people in the field.
Nukepacks the nightly news called them. I think you had to have two Soviet suitcase nukes to work-as Pop Sci had it...allegedly scattered about-perhaps inert, rusted out dirty bomb type relics waiting for HAZMAT teams...
 
I'm most favorite nuclear weapon effect fireball is Castle Romeo shot.
Yield of 11 megaton of TNT.
Very beautiful mushroom cloud.
 

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Basically it was a backpack nuke, but often deployed more like a rucksack nuke, i.e. manhandled by at least two people in the field.
Nukepacks the nightly news called them. I think you had to have two Soviet suitcase nukes to work-as Pop Sci had it...allegedly scattered about-perhaps inert, rusted out dirty bomb type relics waiting for HAZMAT teams...

The American SADM was a version of the W54, and it could be carried by one guy on a rucksack. There's an old guy on AR15.com who used to be part of the American Special Forces and has some posts about going through the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York at night to blow up warehouses with inert training warheads. SADMs were supposed to be used for destroying special objects that couldn't be obliterated by plastique, such as nuclear reactor cooling vents (to this end, the U.S. SEALs had a special midget "fighter" submarine which could deploy nuclear mines in shallow rivers) or hydrodams, because I guess thalassocracies have an inherent obsession with inter-continental naval commando raids.

It made sense when ICBMs didn't exist at least.

I'm pretty sure the USSR never employed ADMs to the extent the US Army did, mostly because it had neither the capacity nor the desire to go further than Copenhagen or Evenes in its air-amphibious operations. I know a guy who was in the Naval Infantry and trained/practiced to capture Vaerlose airfield in Copenhagen, and that's about as far as the Naval Infantry trained in terms of kilometers to hit the beaches. Evenes was another strategic object, because it threatened the Northern bastion with P-3 and dual-capability Starfighters carrying atomic warheads, and would have had a naval infantry landing (maybe, it's also just like right there on the border lol). I also know a guy from Harstad.

If the Union wanted to blow up a U.S. city, it would just fire an SS-18 at it. The practical differences between a nuclear warhead that blows up a city factory and a warhead that blows up a city port are rather minimal both on the ground and in the grand scheme of things.

"Backpack nuclear bombs" were a faddish myth in the 1990's among old, excitable Red Army types (A.I. Lebed has a TV bit where he talks about them, but he is mostly known for being a classical fatherly general, not his knowledge of special weapons inventory) who had just seen the disintegration of the Soviet Army occur faster than a Thanos snap from Afghanistan to Chechnya, but they're sort of like the colonel-general's version of Metro-2 or the Strategic Steam Reserve tbh. The reality as it exists is much more depressing than the fantasy, at least if you're the type of person to think in that manner.

One day someone is going to cut the Kremlin's telephone line while digging around for Metro-2's secret entrance, making them accidentally hang up on the US President in the middle of a tense negotiation, and cause a nuclear war or something. Probably.

Anyway whatever ADMs existed would have been used for engineering troops to demolish large bridges, switching yards, or hydrodams in defensive fallback operations, or produce impassable nuclear craters across narrow gaps. This would be comparable to MADM rather than SADM and require the use of a army level engineering troops to arm and emplace, probably with the help of an augur drill and crane to tamp the charge.

Naturally, like the tremendously cute and wholesome 3BV3 152mm artillery shell, they were destroyed decades ago.

Most tactical warheads possessed by Russia these days are intended to be mounted on cruise missiles or theater ballistic missiles. Much like the U.S. and U.K., there may be some tactical yield (<250 KT) warheads on submarine- and silo-launched ballistic missiles as well for fire support of ground troops or use against naval battlegroups or something.

Speaking of 3BV3 here is one preserved in museum:

1663872449483.png

Of course, because all articles of 3BV3 were destroyed after the year 2000, and last produced in 1990 for the Red Army, they probably just have a inert training shell or demilitarized conventional one, and have painted it the color of atomic weapon. Though perhaps it is the actual prototype/mockup of the shell which was finished in the late 1980's, though, as the museum plate claims. Who knows!

The American/NATO equivalent would be the W82 "Artillery Fired Atomic Projectile" enhanced radiation warhead.
 
Last edited:
Jemiba said:
One link gives :
David Crockett could be set to a minimum range of of about 300m (1000 feet),

the other link :
At 300 meters from the explosion, the dosage of radiation would be 1350 REM,
100 REM means a lethality rae of 100%.

Something wrong with these sites, or with the design of this weapon ? :eek:
No, that's pretty much correct. And there was nothing wrong with the design either. Davey Crockett was meant to be one of the main weapons of a Pentomic Division. Such a division would be armed only with light weapons, and nuclear arms, nothing inbetween.
Before you say "But this is MADNESS!", think on this: Any assault on a Pentomic Division almost automatically meant that the division would have to defend itself with nuclear weapons, escalating ANY conflict right into a nuclear war. Pentomc Divisions were meant to block the Soviet Hordes. Ergo, any atack by the soviets would escalate into nuclear war. This was not a path the Soviets were willing to take. A Pentomic Division, with it's odd mix of light and nuclear weapons, was a deterrence force; one not actually meant to ever see combat. It was a useful deterrence in a time when ballistic missiles were in their infancy, and nuclear bomber forces were beginning to become obsolete.
Of course the jig was up when the chiefs of staff (and the president) realized that perhaps they did not want to have sergeants in direct control over the deployment and use of nuclear weapons...
How about a 10kt nuke on a rocket not much bigger than those on HIMARS?

 
If the US wanted to they could adapt an existing nuclear artillery warhead design to fit on an M26 or M27 such as W-79 for example.
 

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