List of nuclear weapons

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This is a list of nuclear weapons listed according to country of origin, and then by type within the states.

United States[edit]

US nuclear weapons of all types – bombs, warheads, shells, and others – are numbered in the same sequence starting with the Mark 1 and (as of March 2006) ending with the W-91 (which was canceled prior to introduction into service). All designs which were formally intended to be weapons at some point received a number designation. Pure test units which were experiments (and not intended to be weapons) are not numbered in this sequence.

Early weapons were very large and could only be used as free fall bombs. These were known by "Mark" designators, like the Mark 4 which was a development of the Fat Man weapon. As weapons became more sophisticated they also became much smaller and lighter, allowing them to be used in many roles. At this time the weapons began to receive designations based on their role; bombs were given the prefix "B", while the same warhead used in other roles, like missiles, would normally be prefixed "W". For instance, the W-53 warhead was also used as the basis for the B53 nuclear bomb. Such examples share the same sequence number.

In other cases, when the modifications are more significant, variants are assigned their own number. An example is the B61 nuclear bomb, which was the parent design for the W80, W81, and W84. There are also examples of out-of-sequence numbering and other prefixes used in special occasions.

This list includes weapons which were developed to the point of being assigned a model number (and in many cases, prototypes were test fired), but which were then canceled prior to introduction into military service. Those models as listed as canceled, along with the year or date of cancellation of their program.

  • Bombs – designated with Mark ("Mk") numbers until 1968, and with "B" numbers after that. "Test Experimental" bombs designated with "TX".
    • Mark 1 – "Little Boy" gun-type weapon (used against Hiroshima). (13–18 kt, 1945–1950)
    • Mark 2 – "Thin Man" plutonium gun design—cancelled in 1944
      • Implosion Mark 2 – Another Manhattan Project plutonium implosion weapon, a hollow pit implosion design, was also sometimes referred to as Mark 2. Also cancelled 1944.
    • Mark 3 – "Fat Man" implosion weapon (used against Nagasaki). (21 kt, 1945–1950)
    • Mark 4 – Post-war "Fat Man" redesign. Bomb designed with weapon characteristics as the foremost criteria. (1949–1953)
    • Mark 5 – Significantly smaller high efficiency nuclear bomb. (1–120 kt, 1952–1963)
    • Mark 6 – Improved version of Mk-4. (8–160 kt, 1951–1962)
    • Mark 7 – Multi-purpose tactical bomb. (8–61 kt, 1952–1967)
    • Mark 8 – Gun-assembly, HEU weapon designed for penetrating hardened targets. (25–30 kt, 1951–1957)
    • Mark 10 – Improved version of Mk-8 (12–15 kt, cancelled May 1952).
    • Mark 11 – Re-designed Mk-8. Gun-type (8–30 kt).
    • Mark 12 – Light-weight bomb to be carried by fighter planes (12–14 kt).
    • Mark 13 – Improved version of Mk-6 (cancelled August 1954).
    • TX/Mark 14 – First deployable solid-fuel thermonuclear bomb (Castle Union device). Only five produced. (5 Mt)
    • Mark 15 – First "lightweight" thermonuclear weapon. (1.7–3.8 Mt, 1955–1965)
    • TX/Mark 16 – First weaponized thermonuclear weapon (Ivy Mike device). Only cryogenic weapon ever deployed. Only five produced. (6–8 Mt)
    • Mark 17 – High-yield thermonuclear. Heaviest U.S. weapon, second highest yield of any U.S. weapon. Very similar to Mk-24. (10–15 Mt)
    • Mark 18 – Very high yield fission weapon (Ivy King device).
    • Mark 20 – Improved Mark 13 (cancelled 1954)
    • Mark 21 – Re-designed variant of Castle Bravo test
    • Mark 22 – Failed thermonuclear design (Castle Koon device, cancelled April 1954).
    • Mark 24 – High-yield thermonuclear, very similar to Mk-17 but had a different secondary.
    • Mark 26 – Similar design to Mk 21 (cancelled 1956).
    • Mark 27 – Navy nuclear bomb (1958–1965)
    • B28 nuclear bomb (Mark 28) (1958–1991)
    • Mark 36 – Strategic nuclear bomb (1956–1961) 9–10 Mt
    • B39 nuclear bomb (Mark 39) (1957–1966)
    • B41 nuclear bomb (Mark 41) (1960–1976); highest yield US nuclear weapon (25 Mt).
    • B43 nuclear bomb (Mark 43) (1961–1991)
    • B46 nuclear bomb or (Mark 46); experimental, design evolved into B53 nuclear bomb and W-53 warhead (cancelled 1958)
    • Mk 101 Lulu
    • B53 nuclear bomb (1962–1997; dismantled 2010–2011)
    • B57 nuclear bomb (1963–1993)
    • B61 nuclear bomb (1966–present)
    • B77 nuclear bomb (cancelled 1977)
    • B83 nuclear bomb (1983–present)
    • B90 nuclear bomb (cancelled 1991)
  • Nuclear artillery shells
    • 16-inch (406 mm)
      • W23 (1956–1962) Gun-type
    • 280 mm:
      • W9 (1952–1957) Gun-type
      • W19 (1953–1956) Gun-type, W9 derivative
    • 8-inch (203 mm)
      • W33 (1956–1980s) Gun-type
      • W75 (cancelled 1973)
      • W79 (1981–1992)
    • 155mm

See also Enduring Stockpile.

Common nuclear primaries[edit]

A number of American weapons designs shared common components between several designs. These include publicly identified models listed below.

Common nuclear fission primaries
Model Used in these weapons
RACER IV primary TX/Mark 14,TX/Mark 16, Mark 17
Python primary B28 W28 W40 W49
Boa primary W30 W52
Robin primary W38 W45 W47
Tsetse primary B43 W44 W50 B57 W59
Kinglet primary W55 W58
B61 Family B61 W69 W73 W80 W81 W84 W85 W86

Soviet Union/Russia[edit]

At the peak of its arsenal in 1988, Russia possessed around 45,000 nuclear weapons in its stockpile, roughly 13,000 more than the United States arsenal, the second largest in the world, which peaked in 1966.[1]

United Kingdom[edit]

Blue Steel Yellow Sun productionised air-delivered Thermonuclear bomb casing.

  • Warheads
    • Blue Danube Tallboy casing with Fission warhead.
    • Red Snow for Yellow Sun Mk.2.
    • Green Grass For Yellow Sun Mk.1.
    • Red Beard, tactical nuclear weapon.
    • WE.177 (also used as a nuclear depth charge).
    • Blue Cat - nuclear warhead a.k.a. Tony - UK version of US W44, a.k.a. Tsetse.
    • Blue Fox - kiloton range nuclear weapon, later renamed Indigo Hammer - not to be confused with the later Blue Fox radar.
    • Blue Peacock ten-kiloton nuclear land mine, a.k.a. the "chicken-powered nuclear bomb", originally 'Blue Bunny' It used the Blue Danube physics package.
    • Blue Rosette - short-case nuclear weapon bomb casing for reconnaissance bomber to spec R156T, including the Avro 730, Handley Page HP.100, English Electric P10, Vickers SP4 and various others.
    • Blue Slug - nuclear ship-to-ship missile using Sea Slug launcher.
    • Blue Water - nuclear tipped surface to surface missile.
    • Green Bamboo - nuclear weapon.
    • Green Cheese - nuclear anti-ship missile.
    • Green Flash - Green Cheese's replacement.
    • Green Granite - nuclear weapons - Green Granite (small) & Green Granite (large).
    • Green Grass - nuclear weapon
    • Indigo Hammer - nuclear weapon
    • Violet Club - nuclear weapon

France[edit]

France is said to have an arsenal of 350 nuclear weapons stockpiled as of 2002.

China[edit]

China is believed to possess around 400 nuclear weapons, but has released very little information about the contents of its arsenal.

India[edit]

India is believed to possess between 90-110 nuclear weapons (March 2010 estimate). The specifications of its weapon production are not disclosed to the public.

Israel[edit]

Israel is widely believed to possess a substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles, estimated at 75-130 and 100-200[5] warheads, but refuses officially to confirm or deny whether it has a nuclear weapon program, leaving the details of any such weapons unclear. Mordechai Vanunu, a former nuclear technician for Israel, confirmed the existence of a nuclear weapons program in 1986.

Unconfirmed rumors have hinted at tactical nuclear artillery shells, light fission bombs and missile warheads, and perhaps thermonuclear missile warheads.[6]

The BBC News Online website published an article[7] on 28 May 2008, which quotes former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as stating that Israel has at least 150 nuclear weapons. The article continues to state that this is the second confirmation of Israel's nuclear capability by a U.S. spokesman following comments from U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at a Senate hearing and had apparently been confirmed a short time later by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.[8]

Pakistan[edit]

As of March 2010, Pakistan is believed to have around 80-120 HEU based nuclear weapons but no thermonuclear weapons as they never conducted a thermonuclear test. While plutonium based research is also available, the estimated stockpile is not enough to be comparable to uranium ones, and the specifications of these are not available publicly. The main series for nuclear transportation is Hatf.

The first two in the above-mentioned series are not confirmed to be capable for nuclear standoff

North Korea[edit]

North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons, however, the specifications of its systems are not public. It is estimated to have 6-18 low yield nuclear weapons (August 2012 estimate).[9] On 9 October 2006, North Korea carried out an alleged nuclear test. (See 2006 North Korean nuclear test) Nuclear weapons produced by North Korea are known to have failed.

On 25 May 2009, North Korea conducted a second test of nuclear weapons at the same location as the original test. The test weapon was of the same magnitude as the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in the 2nd World War. At the same time of the test, North Korea tested two short range ballistic missiles. North Korea is continuously carrying on nuclear tests, such as on 2 February 2013, when they tested a 7 kt nuclear weapon.

South Africa[edit]

South Africa built six or seven gun-type weapons. All constructed weapons were verified by International Atomic Energy Agency and other international observers to have been dismantled, along with the complete weapons program, and their highly enriched uranium was reprocessed back into low enriched form unsuitable for weapons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Global nuclear stockpiles, 1945-2006," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62, no. 4 (July/August 2006), 64-66.
  2. ^ "de beste bron van informatie over Nuclear weapons. Deze website is te koop!". atomicforum.org. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  3. ^ a b "R-7 - SS-6 SAPWOOD Russian / Soviet Nuclear Forces". Fas.org. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  4. ^ a b "R-16 / SS-7 SADDLER - Russian / Soviet Nuclear Forces". Fas.org. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  5. ^ Normark, Magnus, Anders Lindblad, Anders Norqvist, Björn Sandström and Louise Waldenström. "Israel and WMD: Incentives and Capabilities." Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI-R--1734--SE December 2005 <http://www.foi.se/FOI/templates/Page____4657.aspx>
  6. ^ The Samson option: Israel's nuclear arsenal and American foreign policy, Hersh, Seymour M., New York, Random House, 1991, ISBN 0-394-57006-5
  7. ^ "Middle East | Israel 'has 150 nuclear weapons'". BBC News. 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  8. ^ "Israel 'has 150 nuclear weapons'", BBC News Online May 28, 2008
  9. ^ "North Korea could have fuel for 48 nuclear weapons by 2015". The Daily Telegraph. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Holloway, David, Stalin and the Bomb, New Haven & London, Yale University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-300-06056-4.
  • Zaloga, Steven J., The Kremlin's Nuclear Sword Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002, ISBN 1-58834-007-4.
  • Hansen, Chuck. U.S. Nuclear Weapons. Arlington, Texas, Areofax, Inc., 1988. ISBN 0-517-56740-7.
  • Gibson, James N. Nuclear Weapons of the United States, Altglen, PA, Schiffer Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0-7643-0063-0.
  • Cochran, Thomas, Arkin, William, Hoenig, Milton "Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume I, U.S. Nuclear Forces and Capabilities," Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ballinger Pub. Co., 1984, ISBN 0-88410-173-8.
  • Hansen, Chuck, Swords of Armageddon, Sunnyvale, CA, Chucklea Publications, 1995.

External links[edit]

  • CNS Resources on South Africa's Nuclear Weapons Program indicates that "most international experts conclude that South Africa has completed its nuclear disarmament. South Africa is the first and to date only country to build nuclear weapons and then entirely dismantle its nuclear weapons program."