Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sleeping next to a dud?

The Sub Report has a link to the news.Telegraph piece in the UK that states that some former nuclear weapons scientists are saying the W-76 warhead is flawed and my not work as intended. The W-76 is the primary warhead used in the Trident C4 missiles. The D5 missiles also can be loaded with the 100kt W-76 as well as the larger yield W-88 warhead. But the NYT "A fierce Debate on Atomic Bombs from Cold War" (subscription required) frames it as more of a debate on whether to upgrade the existing stockpile of W-76s or to extend their life.

Trident Fleet Ballistic Missle (US Navy Photo)

The debate on the W-76 flaw is not new, in fact the Albuquerque Journal had an article on this back in Oct 04 and the Free NewMexican in July of 04.

So did I make patrols with a bunch of duds? Not likely. The problem appears to be with the secondary detonation which makes things boom even louder. Not much comfort if you were on the receiving end of a still multi kiloton nuclear detonation.

No comments: