• Monday, September 23, 2019

New US "Super-Fuze" Triples the Destructive Power of Submarine Launched Nuclear Weapons

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare' started by F-22Raptor, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. F-22Raptor

    F-22Raptor SENIOR MEMBER

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    A recent report from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists details how the US massively upgraded the lethality of its submarine-based nuclear missiles — and US adversaries like Russia may be spooked to the point of considering countermeasures.

    Essentially, the US's latest update to its Trident missiles aboard US Navy submarines ensures that each and every single missile will explode at precisely the right moment to devastate any target.

    Because of this new "super fuze," or timing element, the US's submarine-launched ballistic missile fleet has tripled in destructive potential, according to the report.

    This is important because US military planners previously only relied on submarine-launched missiles to strike soft targets like military bases. Now these missiles could be used to wipe out Russia's nukes buried deep underground.

    "Because of improvements in the killing power of US submarine-launched ballistic missiles, those submarines now patrol with more than three times the number of warheads needed to destroy the entire fleet of Russian land-based missiles in their silos," wrote Hans M. Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, and Theodore A. Postol, the authors of the report.

    But the US has even bigger nukes which sit in missile silos underground as ICBMs. Historically, these missiles would have been used for destroying Russia's ICBMs, but since submarines can handle that now, the US can focus its big nukes on obliterating underground hardened nuclear shelters — the kind Kremlin officials would hide out in during an attack.

    From a US perspective, submarine-launched nuclear missile capability has surged, but don't expect Russia to share the enthusiasm.

    Unlike the US, which can spot missile launches from space, Russia would have virtually no warning of an incoming missile besides its ground-based radars, which have limited range.

    "Russian military and political leaders would have no 'situational awareness' to help them assess whether an early-warning radar indication of a surprise attack is real or the result of a technical error," the scientists write.

    Without eyes in space, Russia would have to answer a very difficult question very quickly if they detected an incoming missile.

    So Russian defense officials would have less than 15 minutes to decide if an incoming object was legitimate, where it was coming from, and how they should respond. This places a whole lot of responsibility on the shoulders of Russian military officials.

    "The combination of this lack of Russian situational awareness, dangerously short warning times, high-readiness alert postures, and the increasing US strike capacity has created a deeply destabilizing and dangerous strategic nuclear situation," argues the piece.

    http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1762272-super-fuze-triples-power-sub-nuclear-attack
     
  2. Akasa

    Akasa SENIOR MEMBER

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    It's entirely possible that the United States was keen to ratify the new START treaty in light of the development of "smart fuses" capability.
     
  3. The Accountant

    The Accountant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Kindly explain in detail
     
  4. Akasa

    Akasa SENIOR MEMBER

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    The New START treaty limits both Russian and the US to a total of 1500 warheads, or a combined total of 800 ICBMs, SLBMs, or bombers, each. Russia has been reluctant to ratify both the START II (predecessor to the NEW START) as well as the related SORT treaties, both of which involve drastic reductions in stockpiled warheads. Russia's reluctance could very well be related to the US super fuses, which would allow the US to maintain a credible second (or even first) strike capability despite possessing a smaller arsenal. It is unknown if Russia has developed a comparable fusing system to compensate for the reduction in the size of their stockpile.
     
  5. Oldman1

    Oldman1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    LOL! It has nothing to do with that.
     
  6. Akasa

    Akasa SENIOR MEMBER

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    Super-fuzing allows the United States to maintain its current level of deterrence whilst drastically cutting the # of deployed or stored warheads. The START treaties would therefore have a greater diminishing effect on Russian nuclear forces than it will on the US one.
     
  7. LeGenD

    LeGenD ELITE MEMBER

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  8. The SC

    The SC ELITE MEMBER

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    What about this one?
    The Biggest Bomb In the History of the World
    Big Ivan, better known as Tsar Bomba, was 57 Megatons of Soviet might. That's 1,400 times Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined and ten times the entire combined fire power expended in WWII. In one bomb. One explosion. And, incredibly, that's only half of what it could have done.

    In July 1961, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (and leader of the USSR) decided that he had had enough of the unspoken nuclear testing moratorium that his country, the US, and the UK had been abiding by since 1958. The 22nd Congress of the Communist Party would convene that October, providing the perfect venue to show off the USSR's military muscle. With the world's eyes on Moscow, what better way to show the West who was boss than with a "testing spectacular" setting off the largest man-made explosion of all time?



    Problem was, they didn't have a bomb nearly big enough for Khrushchev. Up to that point, the largest hydrogen bomb the Soviets had detonated was the puny 3 MT RDS-37 (albeit the first true hydrogen bomb they built) but Khrushchev demanded something much, much bigger—enough to make America's 15 MT Castle Bravo test in 1954 wilt. And he wanted it built in time for the Congress. And since telling Nikita Khrushchev "no" simply didn't happen, a four man development team—Victor Adamskii, Yuri Babaev, Yuri Smirnov, and Yuri Trutnev—designed and simultaneously built the 24-foot long, three-stage thermonuclear device in just 15 weeks.

    Officially designated as AN602 hydrogen bomb, the Tsar Bomba used the common three-stage Teller-Ulam design wherein the primary fission reaction is used to compress a secondary mixed fission/fusion fuel layer, which in turn compresses a large, tertiary thermonuclear payload—essentially stringing a pair of hydrogen fission reactions together in order to generate enough energy to instigate fusion in a uranium payload.

    Since the project was so rushed, only one such weapon was ever built and even then just barely. At 27 tons, it weighed nearly as much as the Tu-95 that carried it and was so big that crews had to cut off the plane's bomb-bay doors in order to fit it in. Even so, at 11:32 am on October 30, 1961, the Tsar Bomba exited Andrei Durnovtsev's plane at a height of 6.5 miles and slowly parachuted towards Mityushikha Bay test range in Novaya Zemlya (giving the drop plane just 188 seconds to escape). At 2.5 miles high, Big Ivan went boom.

    [​IMG]

    The resulting fireball had a radius of nearly 10,000 vertical feet and its 210,000 foot tall mushroom cloud reached into the stratosphere. The light generated by the reaction could be seen from over a 1,000 km and the force of its explosion registered a 5.0 on the Richter scale. The shock wave generated air pressures topping 300 PSI, circled the Earth thrice, and cracked windows 900 km away in Norway and Finland. Buildings in the abandoned town of Severny 55 km away were leveled—all of them—and upon later inspection, ground zero was reportedly the texture of a skating rink.


    As one observer recalled,

    The clouds beneath the aircraft and in the distance were lit up by the powerful flash. The sea of light spread under the hatch and even clouds began to glow and became transparent. At that moment, our aircraft emerged from between two cloud layers and down below in the gap a huge bright orange ball was emerging. The ball was powerful and arrogant like Jupiter. Slowly and silently it crept upwards.... Having broken through the thick layer of clouds it kept growing. It seemed to suck the whole earth into it. The spectacle was fantastic, unreal, supernatural.

    This utter destruction is only half of what the Tsar Bomba was capable of. It was designed and built to deliver a staggering 100 megaton payload. The Tsar was supposed to utilize fast-fissioning uranium tampers on the second and third stages of the bomb, which would have allowed for a bigger reaction and subsequent energy release. However, just before the test was to take place, Soviet leadership ordered the tampers swapped out with lead replacements in order to prevent nuclear fallout from reaching populated areas of the USSR.

    These lead tampers cut the bomb's yield by 50 percent but they also eliminated 97 percent of the resulting fallout. As such the Tsar Bomba, the largest, most destructively powerful device ever built by man also holds the notable distinction of being the relatively "cleanest" nuclear weapon ever tested. Luckily, that record was only important for two years until the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty which brought an end to above-ground nuclear weapons tests.

    http://gizmodo.com/5977824/the-biggest-bomb-in-the-history-of-the-world

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  9. Oldman1

    Oldman1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    No it had to do with BMD.