Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ultimate Tool for Mushroom Cloud Hunters or the Hunted?

How closely do you live to Philadelphia (or other, declared terrorist nuclear bomb targets)? What immediate effects might a nuclear blast there have on your family, friends, command, employer?

The Federation of American Scientists provides a very nifty Nuclear Weapon Effects Calculator to help you answer such questions scientifically, of course. There are aerial maps, links to related weaponry and a sample calculator for Washington, D.C. on the first page.

The Federation's interactive tool is intended to give an idea of the devastating blast effects of ground-level, shallow subsurface, and low-altitude nuclear weapon detonations. It is relevant to traditional nuclear weapons, potential terrorist attacks, and next generation nuclear weapons such as "Bunker Busters" or “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrators” (RNEPs).

High definition aerial maps of selected U.S. cities have been provided. The size of the bomb can be chosen by selecting the weapon’s yield, as measured in kilotons (KT) or megatons (MT) of TNT equivalent. There is also the option of having the bomb delivered using an automobile at ground level or using an aircraft flying at an altitude that produces the widest area of destruction. To impute the impact of submarine-delivered torpedoes (use shallow sub surface) and for nuclear tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles select low altitude or ground level detonations.

What would it take to make a token Tomahawk statement, say, in Mogadishu, a growth center for radical muslim extremism (Molten Eagle does not advocate dropping a nuke on Somalia as a matter of U.S. policy)?

Excerpts below are from Published Tomahawk (TLAM/N) info:
In late 2003 the Pentagon decided to retain the Tomahawk because of its ability to secretly deploy anywhere on the globe, according to Inside the Navy. The TLAM/N is earmarked for deployment on selected Los Angeles-class, Improved Los Angeles-class, and Virginia-class attack submarines. The missiles and their W80-0 warheads are expected to undergo refurbishment to extend their service life to around 2040. The estimated 320 TLAM/Ns are currently stored at the Strategic Weapons Facilities at Bangor, Washington, and King's Bay, Georgia, alongside strategic weapons for the SSBNs.

Interesting Update For Cold War submariners:
While most U.S. attack submarines (SSNs) were credited with some nuclear capability during the Cold War, today most SSNs do not have nuclear missions.

Now, bear in mind that submarines are always silent and stranger than what we think we know. Oh, and sorry about you Philly types, the calculator actually provides no map there. -Vigilis

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