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Posted: 11/25/2003 1:16:36 PM EDT
New York Post
November 25, 2003 -- WASHINGTON -

President Bush signed a huge new defense bill that includes millions of dollars for a small nuclear bomb designed to destroy deep, hardened underground bunkers.
Among the many items tucked away in the $401 billion defense authorization act was a $15 million three-year research project by the Energy and Defense departments to create the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

The legislation repeals a decade-old ban on research into low-yield nuclear weapons.

The controversial new weapon would consist of a hard-nosed rocket able to penetrate 20 feet into the earth with a small-scale nuclear bomb, modified from an existing nuke, that would go off on a delay - so that it would explode at the deepest point.

Critics say that such a bomb would cause massive collateral damage if it were ever used, and that just introducing it might mean an end to the ban on underground nuclear testing.

They also say the whole idea of building small-scale nukes - the RNEP would be 5 kilotons - would blur the distinction between conventional and nuclear war.

But defense officials said they're seeing a trend toward deeper and harder bunkers being built by enemy forces, as well as caves. The underground shelters are used for command and control operations, and even stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Adm. James Ellis, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified that the deepest bunkers cannot be destroyed by the biggest conventional bombs, even the 4,000-pound "bunker-buster" that recently smashed a 60-foot-deep hideout in Baghdad.

"Our enemies seek to inflict mass casualties, without fielding mass armies. They hide in the shadows, and they're often hard to strike," Bush said at yesterday's bill-signing ceremony.

"The terrorists are cunning and ruthless and dangerous, as the world saw on September the 11th, 2001, and again in Istanbul last week.

"Yet these killers are now facing the United States of America, and a great coalition of responsible nations, and this threat to civilization will be defeated.

"Right now, America's armed forces are the best trained, best equipped and best prepared in the world. And this administration will keep it that way," Bush said.

"The bill I sign today authorizes $400 billion over the next fiscal year to prepare our military for all that lies ahead.

Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:30:31 PM EDT
Cool! [:D]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:33:46 PM EDT
OUTSTANDING! [beer] I can't wait to see the look on some of the dolts at DUh if we ever USE one of those! [:D]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:35:55 PM EDT
The only problem I have with it is, are they planning on doing BDA on the sites with American GIs at some point?
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:38:50 PM EDT
[Cartman]SHWEEEEET![/Cartman]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:39:25 PM EDT
I got your robust penetrator, baby!
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:41:21 PM EDT
whoo hoo ! new toys to play with!! WHOS NEXT? SYRIA??? KOREA??? CHINA???
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:50:18 PM EDT
I don't see why, we'd never use them anyway.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:55:56 PM EDT
I am curious, Why the hell do we need this shit. Are we not in enought debt. Lets help americans with the money.We already have billions in Iraq. WTF is wrong with this world.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:57:41 PM EDT
Test it on Mecca! [img]http://xzodus.com/funny_images/nuke_mecca.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 2:05:31 PM EDT
How about a toughened MOAB with the world's largest shaped charge and penetrator systems? I wonder how deep THAT could be effective...?!?! CJ
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 2:12:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By snipley: I am curious, Why the hell do we need this shit. Are we not in enought debt. Lets help americans with the money.We already have billions in Iraq. WTF is wrong with this world.
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We need this shit because the state-of-the art bunkers that Saddam had showed remarkable resistance to our current weapons. Some of them took direct hits with the best we have and it didn't take them out. Every other country that may be on our shit list will take note and start calling the contractors that built those bunkers, only the newer ones will be even better. The last thing that needs to happen is trying to take out a bad guys command bunkers (or WMD storage) and find out "oops, it didn't work". A low yield weapon, detonated underground in a reinforced structure will not take out much beyond the target and radiation will be substantially contained. Just because someone uses the word "nuclear" doesn't mean we're going to drop some 50KT device on the surface. This only puts enough firepower in the right sized package to get the job done. Something that we can’t do with conventional explosives.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 2:20:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2003 2:24:10 PM EDT by snipley]
You know what drop a shit load of dumb bombs tell it breaks thru. Help take care of americans. WTF are we fighting these wars for any how. Japan? Israel? South Korea? Kuwait? France?. When where we taken out of the picture? Really, if they have hidden WMD in the bunker we need to know first off because I doubt we want to destroy it.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 2:47:25 PM EDT
Actually we want nuclear weapons in order to destroy WMD storage sites safely. The intense heat and radiation from the confined nuclear explosion will act just like the incenerators we have in Utah and on Johnson Atoll we used to destroy our own Chemical/Biological weapons. They will be turned into a inert ash. As long as the explosion was deep enough to be confined underground, and ejecta is minimized, nuclear materials from stored nuclear weapons would just be turned into radioactive glass. Nuclear devices don't work like gunpoweder bombs. Setting one nuke off in a room full of nukes WILL NOT cause multiple nuclear explosions. The only thing it would do is turn the fissile material into the bombs into a lot of radio active dust and make for dirtier fallotu- if the explosion took place on the surface. Underground, those vaporised fissile materials would be trapped in the glass formed on the edge of the blast cavity- and depending on the local geology that would probably cave in on itself soon after. The trick is getting the right combination of bomb size/ guarentteed penetration depth to ensure there is little or no material ejected by the blast. That ejecta would be the main fallout hazard. While the stuff underground would keep you from farming or building over the sinkhole for a few hundred years, it is also NOT going to be wandering off the site by itself. Its not like this is a poorly understood subject. Us and the Russans togeather set off over a THOUSAND of these devices above and below ground during the 50's and 60's. Nuclear blast effects and fallout propagation is probably better known and understood than the effects of the Chemical and Biological weapons use, it may even be better known than chemical explosives are.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 2:47:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By snipley: You know what drop a shit load of dumb bombs tell it breaks thru. Help take care of americans. WTF are we fighting these wars for any how. Japan? Israel? South Korea? Kuwait? France?. When where we taken out of the picture? Really, if they have hidden WMD in the bunker we need to know first off because I doubt we want to destroy it.
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Dropping lots of conventional ordnance ON a bunker won’t do the job. All that will accomplish is destroying any part of the above ground structure and laying waste to the surrounding areas. Given the fact that many bunkers were in populated areas it would have the same impact as carpet bombing and wiping out civilians rather than a military target. You destroy a bunker or other hardened facility from within, hence the need to penetrate the structure and use enough force to do so. One technique is to use one or more penetration munitions to breach the structure and then target precision guided weapons into the breech. For WMD’s the extremely high temperatures involved with a nuclear detonation could be used to neutralize any biological or chemical agents. As for fighting “these wars”… you sound a lot like people did back in the 30’s asking what was so wrong about what Hitler and his kind were doing. You may want to brush up on your history a bit. “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” A lot of nations sat on their asses and watched Germany, Japan and Italy march inexorably toward domination and had MANY chances to stop it while incurring few casualties on either side. I don’t want to see the world repeat those same hideous mistakes again. We waited too fucking long in Iraq as it was. Hell, we fucked up by not finishing the job in 1991 and are paying for that mistake now.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:13:53 PM EDT
The RNEP is old technology. I've deployed a Robust Deep Penetrator since I was 13 yrs old, some 40 years ago. [;D]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:24:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Originally Posted By snipley: You know what drop a shit load of dumb bombs tell it breaks thru. Help take care of americans. WTF are we fighting these wars for any how. Japan? Israel? South Korea? Kuwait? France?. When where we taken out of the picture? Really, if they have hidden WMD in the bunker we need to know first off because I doubt we want to destroy it.
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Dropping lots of conventional ordnance ON a bunker won’t do the job. All that will accomplish is destroying any part of the above ground structure and laying waste to the surrounding areas. Given the fact that many bunkers were in populated areas it would have the same impact as carpet bombing and wiping out civilians rather than a military target. You destroy a bunker or other hardened facility from within, hence the need to penetrate the structure and use enough force to do so. One technique is to use one or more penetration munitions to breach the structure and then target precision guided weapons into the breech. For WMD’s the extremely high temperatures involved with a nuclear detonation could be used to neutralize any biological or chemical agents. [red]As for fighting “these wars”… you sound a lot like people did back in the 30’s asking what was so wrong about what Hitler and his kind were doing. You may want to brush up on your history a bit. “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” A lot of nations sat on their asses and watched Germany, Japan and Italy march inexorably toward domination and had MANY chances to stop it while incurring few casualties on either side. I don’t want to see the world repeat those same hideous mistakes again. We waited too fucking long in Iraq as it was. Hell, we fucked up by not finishing the job in 1991 and are paying for that mistake now.[/red]
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Hear, Hear!!! [banana] CW
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:28:38 PM EDT
20 feet? Is that as deep as it penetrates? And a 5kt warhead? That's pretty big to be going off 20 feet under the ground. It would kick a lot of fallout into the air but probably wouldn't send the blast downwards towards a bunker. I always imagined these new weapons penetrating 100' or so, then detonating a Davy Crockett sized warhead with a tiny yield like .1kt that the Earth could possibly contain.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:29:41 PM EDT
I keep this bookmarked just for threads like this: [url]http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Storax.html[/url] Storax Sedan and the Sedan crater. 100kt at 200m generated this crater. The Robust Nuclear Penetrator will only go 1/3rd as deep- but the warhead yeald could be as small as 10[i]tons[/i]- not kilotons, tons. We at one time had a bomb that small in our inventory, the W-51 "Davy Crocket". The existing B-61 Mod 11 penetrating nuclear bomb will penetrate to 100ft. One sixth the depth of Sedan. It is however a "dial a yeald" bomb and its low power setting is only .3 MT- 300tons. That is 1/120th the power of the Sedan device. At one hundred feet down, the only ejecta would still be just what came out the bombs penetration channel, or any bunker intrance tunnel or ventalator shaft that might go down there.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:32:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2003 3:36:46 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By raven: 20 feet? Is that as deep as it penetrates? And a 5kt warhead? That's pretty big to be going off 20 feet under the ground. It would kick a lot of fallout into the air but probably wouldn't send the blast downwards towards a bunker. I always imagined these new weapons penetrating 100' or so, then detonating a Davy Crockett sized warhead with a tiny yield like .1kt that the Earth could possibly contain.
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They left off a zero raven. Also, all these new bombs would be manufactured using fissile material recycled from existing bombs, not new material. Thus saving us the problem of figuring out what to do with the waste material from deactivating all the nuclear weapons we are required to get rid of in our deal with the Russians. For every one of these bombs we make, two other existing nuclear weapons must be eliminated to comply with our treaties with Russia.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 4:10:24 PM EDT
I have no problem with developing such weapons. However, I think the intention of such a weapon should be changed. These would be perfect for disabling missile silos that pose a WMD threat, thus responding with appropriate force, and not too much. Some of that money should definately be used for improving targeting system for nuclear missiles. For eliminating conventional bunkers in a conventional war, I think the DoD needs to focus on developing and using conventional weapons. Using a nuke in a conventional battle is just asking for an esclation of conflict. Besides, it's nice to get rid of your enemies, but it's even nicer if you can use their land when you're finished.[;D]
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 4:15:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos: I have no problem with developing such weapons. However, I think the intention of such a weapon should be changed. These would be perfect for disabling missile silos that pose a WMD threat, thus responding with appropriate force, and not too much. Some of that money should definately be used for improving targeting system for nuclear missiles. For eliminating conventional bunkers in a conventional war, I think the DoD needs to focus on developing and using conventional weapons. Using a nuke in a conventional battle is just asking for an esclation of conflict. Besides, it's nice to get rid of your enemies, but it's even nicer if you can use their land when you're finished.[;D]
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You would be able to use their land. Just go to Alamagordo and visit the Sedan Crater- its a tourist attraction now. Has been since the 1980's. Also the conflict cannot escilate if the other side has no means to retaliate.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 4:31:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos: I have no problem with developing such weapons. However, I think the intention of such a weapon should be changed. These would be perfect for disabling missile silos that pose a WMD threat, thus responding with appropriate force, and not too much. Some of that money should definately be used for improving targeting system for nuclear missiles. For eliminating conventional bunkers in a conventional war, I think the DoD needs to focus on developing and using conventional weapons. Using a nuke in a conventional battle is just asking for an esclation of conflict. Besides, it's nice to get rid of your enemies, but it's even nicer if you can use their land when you're finished.[;D]
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[red]You would be able to use their land.[/red] Just go to Alamagordo and visit the Sedan Crater- its a tourist attraction now. Has been since the 1980's. [red]Also the conflict cannot escilate if the other side has no means to retaliate.[/red]
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Would you wanna live on a nuclear crater? Would you want to eat anything grown in the area? Is radiation contaminating ground water a possibility? Also, do you trust your enemies to come out and tell the U.N. they have nuclear weapons? I sure as hell don't. I know if I were an evil dictator I'd trade one of my testicals for a nuke. And what about the allies of your enemies that might have nuclear weapons? They could certainly retaliate against you if it's in their best interest.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 4:52:33 PM EDT
Well if they do have nuclear weapons then we can use nukes against them now can we? And so what if they have a nuke? How will they get it here. Just owning a missile isn't good enough. It will be shot down. Or at least after next September it will. Right now all possessing a small number of nukes does is put yourself on our shit list. Even China is scared because penetrating bombs +B-2's+ ABMs equals no nuclear deterrant for China. But mostly this project is being pursued because of North Korea. Not that we would stop it if Kim dies tomorrow.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 2:26:29 PM EDT
Armd, You're a couple of states off. Sedan is at the Nevada Test Site NW of Las Vagas, NV, not in NM. You are correct, though. The NTS is now a tourist site run by the DOE. The Sedan crater is one of the stops on the tour. You can stand in the subsidence crater left by the explosion of a nuclear warhead and I've done it. Go to the Faultless site in Central Nevada, its about 25 miles north of Warm Springs, NV. A 1 megaton nuke was set off there back in the late 60's. Its on BLM land and you can drive right up to the steel casing where they let the nuke down the hole. Regards, Merlin
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:20:41 PM EDT
Good start. Not big enough though. The Soviets tested the largest nuke ever detonated. It sort of got out of control. If memory serves, it was in the 50+ megaton range. Larger even than they expected. Some of those, and a demonstrated willingness to use them on anybody at the drop of a hat for an attack on us or our intrests, THAT'S what we need. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:22:35 PM EDT
coo, i love nukes [:d]
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:35:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:44:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cpt_Redleg: Good start. Not big enough though. The Soviets tested the largest nuke ever detonated. It sort of got out of control. If memory serves, it was in the 50+ megaton range. Larger even than they expected. Some of those, and a demonstrated willingness to use them on anybody at the drop of a hat for an attack on us or our intrests, THAT'S what we need. Cpt. Redleg
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Tsar Bomba I was 58MT, the largest bomb ever detonated. I think they were trying for 50, I don't think they were suprised very much. Now WE on the other hand got very surpised when with the Castle Bravo test on Entiwok. It was the largest US test and it DID go out of control and was way bigger than anticipated. The Russians were going to test the Tsar Bomba II at a target of 100Mt. We persuaded them not to. We had detected enough fallout from Tsar Bomba I that we could interpret that testing a bomb twice as big would produce a radiological threat to both Alaska and Canada. We told them that not keeping their radiation confined to their territory would be considered a act of war. We offered to not try and beat them for the title of biggest bomb as a added incentive. Eventually this discussion led to the above ground test ban.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 4:06:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cpt_Redleg: Good start. Not big enough though. The Soviets tested the largest nuke ever detonated. It sort of got out of control. If memory serves, it was in the 50+ megaton range. Larger even than they expected. Some of those, and a demonstrated willingness to use them on anybody at the drop of a hat for an attack on us or our intrests, THAT'S what we need. Cpt. Redleg
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The Soviet bomb was the 57 megaton (That is BIG!) "Tsar Bomba" (King of the Bombs). It was the biggest nuke ever detonated. It did not get out of control...in fact, the Sovs actually downsized the damn thing by removing some components. It had a theoretical yield of about 100MT. Here is a web site of the Tsar Bomba: [url]http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Russia/TsarBomba.html[/url] The nuclear device that did "get out of control" was actually one of our tests. On 28 Feb 1954, we detonated the Castle Bravo nuclear device at Bikini atoll, in a large building on a small island of the atoll. This was the first test of the Teller-Ulam, two-stage thermonuclear design, using Lithium-6 deuteride as a "dry" second stage fuel. The test revealed some errors in the physicists' calculations of estimated yield. Instead of the expected 6 megatons, the device exploded with an enormous yield of 15 megatons! This completely obliterated the island and left a huge crater in the ocean over a mile wide and 250 feet deep! The fallout from this bomb was carried on the winds for thousands of miles, affecting hundreds of people in the nearby islands and on a Japanese fishing boat. Soon after the test shot, the device was weaponized and put into the inventory as a strategic bomb. To the best of my knowledge, the Tsar Bomba never went into production...it was just too big. Only a specially modified Tu-95 Bear could carry it. The Bravo test photos are among the most beautiful and scary ever. Here is the site: [url]http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Castle.html[/url]
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 5:33:43 PM EDT
Since the US now owns the air and completely dominates the sea and land I can see how potential enemies would want to to underground (i.e. the vietcong) so of course there has to be a means to counter that threat. All in all it prescribes to the better mousetrap formula. They figure out how to hide better, we figure out how to get them out of their defenses.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 7:47:37 PM EDT
I just spent two hours digging in the links posted above... and I have to say... WOW... and... scary. Way more info than I needed... I've always kinda been fascinated by physics, but my math skills and concentration have never matched my interest. I may have to go back and read "The Sum of all Fears" again...
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 7:55:11 PM EDT
Cool. Thanks for the links. Seems I sort of got two different events merged together. Dad was the nuke expert. He was USAF, flew F-4s, got wounded, lost flight status, became a "conehead". He was the one that told me about the biggest nuke. I had thought that was the one that got out of hand. Most of what I know about nukes is confined to artillery and largely classified. Oh well. Live and learn. Maybe we could build a couple TsarIIs. Priority mail to Mecca following whatever the next attack on the US is. Thanks again for the info and links. Interesting stuff! Cpt. Redleg
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