Tu-22RDM, nuclear weapons detection system


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In the article about the Tupolev Blinder in the AIR INTERNATIONAL 1/07, it is
mentioned, that some sources claim, that the TU-22RDM was fitted with a system
to detect nuclear weapons on ships. Is there any confirmation for this system and
maybe an explanation of its principles ?
A for-real "radiological alarm", eh? (BSG, anyone?)

Radiation detecting equipment has been installed in US ports for some time, but for dirty bomb material, it would seem, as the detectors were set off by the potassium-40 in bananas (beta particles)

Current moves are to universally equip with neutron / gamma ray detectors to allow the detection of nuclear bombs.

A commercial site for neutron detectors is here:

IIRC, they can be operated over a longer range than this.

Wikipedia page on neutron detection:

These sensors are used in nuclear reactors to measure the neutron flux.

I recently read about the RDM variant in Sergey Burdin's book on the Tu-22 and had the same questions. Was it a neutron detector or some type of sensitive Geiger counter?
Working from old memories (I was in a monitoring team in the 1980s) plutonium emits beta particles and soft x-rays. Beta particles are stopped by aluminium foil -or a layer of water which would have made finding plutonium difficult in the rain!
The kit we used (NRM-3?) was sufficiently sensitive for me to identify blocks of granite amongst the limestone.
A warhead would not (I hope) be emitting neutrons, as this could cause it to (partially) detonate -emitting neutrons is what the initiator does.
I don't know the detectable range of the x-rays but I suspect it is not enough for a passing aircraft to pick them up.

Thanks for the reply. Please forgive me as I'm a complete neophyte to nuclear science. According to a report I'll attach, during the "Black Sea Experiment" A Helix helicopter used a "neutron detector" which picked up the tubes on the Slava class ship where the nuclear missiles were stowed. I noted they mention "neutron flux" and there are a number of what look like gamma spectrographs. They also mention "counts" as compared to background. Is there a signature in Gamma that can be detected at long range? The Black Sea experiment only seemed to work as a non-proliferation instrument in that it had to be within a 150 feet or less of the ship (and seemingly hovering). Multiple sources still state that the TU-22rdm could roughly detect the presence of non-presence at a standoff range far greater than the equipment used by the Helix on the Slava. It feels like this is either a misunderstanding of what the classified "Kontainer -2" could actually do or they used the extra space on such a large aircraft to put some really sensitive scintillating type gamma detectors (ala our AMS aircraft here in the US) such that even a TU-22 recon run gave them some kind of useful information. It could all be propaganda too but it seems there were piloting protocols (similar to a MAD search) specific to these surveys.

Black Sea Experiment
AMS fixed wing detection aircraft:
AMS info page (DOE)
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