E61 anthrax bomblet

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The E61 anthrax bomblet was an American biological sub-munition for the E133 cluster bomb. This anti-personnel weapon was developed in the early 1950s and carried 35 milliliters of anthrax spores or another pathogen.

History[edit]

Around October 1953 the United States Air Force reoriented its biological warfare program. One result of this, in anti-personnel weaponry, was a move away from weapons such as the M33 cluster bomb to the lethal E61 anthrax bomb.[1] The E61 was first developed in January 1951 as both an anti-personnel and anti-animal weapon capable of being clustered and dropped from a medium height.[2] On March 5, 1954 a directive from the U.S. Department of Defense altered the course of the U.S. biological weapons program.[3] The program shifted focus to developing munitions that were not only improved but those that could be delivered by high speed aircraft and balloon.[3] The weapons referred to included the E61 bomblet.[3]

Specifications[edit]

The E61 bomblet was a 12-pound (230 g)[3] anti-personnel bomb designed to be carried in the E133 cluster bomb.[4][5] The cluster bomb was designed to hold about 540 of the E61 anthrax bomblets.[5][4] The E61 held about 35 millilitres (1.2 U.S. fl oz) of agent[6] and a variety of pathogens could be used,[5] generally anthrax spores.[4][3] The E61 was perceived as superior to its predecessors, the M33 cluster bomb and its payload of M114 bombs.[6][2] In fact, four of the smaller E61 bomblets produced twice the coverage area of the larger M114 bomb.[6] Upon impact the E61 would detonate releasing an aerosol of its anthrax spore laden slurry into the air of its target area.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitby, Simon M. Biological Warfare Against Crops, (Google Books), Macmillan, 2002, pp. 114-15, (ISBN 0333920856).
  2. ^ a b Endicott, Stephen Lyon and Hagerman, Edward. The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea, (Google Books), Indiana University Press, 1998, p. 72, (ISBN 0253334721).
  3. ^ a b c d e Guillemin, Jeanne. Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism, (Google Books), Columbia University Press, 2005, p. 101, (ISBN 0231129424).
  4. ^ a b c Cirincione, Joseph. Deadly Arsenals:, (Google Books), APH, New Delhi: 2004, p. 60, (ISBN 8176487325).
  5. ^ a b c d Chauhan, Sharad. Biological Weapons, (Google Books), APH, New Dehli: 2004, p. 197, (ISBN 8176487325).
  6. ^ a b c Smart, Jeffery K. Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Chapter 2 - History of Chemical and Biological Warfare: An American Perspective, (PDF: p. 51 - p.43 in PDF), Borden Institute, Textbooks of Military Medicine, PDF via Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, accessed December 28, 2008.