Operation Redwing

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For the 2005 US counterterrorism mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan, see Operation Red Wings.
Operation Redwing
Redwing Apache.jpg
Redwing Apache
Information
Country United States
Test site Aomon (Sally), Enewetak Atoll; Bokon (Irene), Enewetak Atoll; Ebiriru (Ruby), Enewetak Atoll; Elugelab (Flora), Enewetak Atoll; Eninmen (Tare), Bikini Atoll; Namu (Charlie), Bikini Atoll; NE Lagoon, Bikini Atoll; Rujoru (Pearl), Enewetak Atoll; Runit (Yvonne), Enewetak Atoll; Yurochi aka Irioj (Dog), Bikini Atoll
Period 1956
Number of tests 17
Test type barge, dry surface, free air drop, tower
Max. yield 5 megatonnes of TNT (21 PJ)
Navigation
Previous test series Project 56 (nuclear test)
Next test series Project 57

Operation Redwing was a United States series of 17 nuclear test detonations from May to July 1956. They were conducted at Bikini and Enewetak atolls. The entire operation followed Project 56 and preceded Project 57. The primary intention was to test new, second-generation thermonuclear devices. Also tested were fission devices intended to be used as primaries for thermonuclear weapons, and small tactical weapons for air defense. Redwing demonstrated the first US airdrop of a deliverable hydrogen bomb - test Cherokee. Because the yields for many tests at Operation Castle in 1954 were dramatically higher than predictions, Redwing was conducted using an "energy budget" - there were limits to the total amount of energy released, and the amount of fission yield was also strictly controlled. Fission, primarily "fast" fission of the natural uranium tamper surrounding the fusion capsule, greatly increases the yield of thermonuclear devices, and contributes the vast majority of the fallout - fusion being a relatively clean reaction.

All shots were named after various US Native American tribes.

United States' Redwing series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UT) Local time zone [note 2][1] Location [note 3] Elevation + height [note 4] Delivery [note 5]
Purpose [note 6]
Device [note 7] Yield [note 8] Fallout [note 9] References Notes
Lacrosse 4 May 1956 18:25:29.9 MHT (11 hrs)
Runit (Yvonne), Enewetak Atoll 11°33′14″N 162°20′53″E / 11.55392°N 162.34808°E / 11.55392; 162.34808 (Lacrosse) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 5 m (16 ft) dry surface,
weapons development
TX-39 primary 40 kt [2][3][4][5][6] Mockup of the TX-39. Left a visible Crater off Runit Island, next to Cactus Dome, 600 ft (180 m) in diameter.
Cherokee 20 May 1956 17:50:38.7 MHT (11 hrs)
Namu (Charlie), Bikini Atoll 11°44′23″N 165°20′23″E / 11.73973°N 165.33985°E / 11.73973; 165.33985 (Cherokee) 0 + 1,320 m (4,330 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
TX-15-X1 3.8 Mt [2][4][5][6] First air deliverable thermonuke. Navigation error landed weapon 4 mi (6.4 km) off aim point (Namu), negated effects data gathering. Effects test, but also an international political statement about readiness to drop thermonukes.
Zuni 27 May 1956 17:56:00.3 MHT (11 hrs)
Eninmen (Tare), Bikini Atoll 11°30′12″N 165°22′14″E / 11.50325°N 165.37049°E / 11.50325; 165.37049 (Zuni) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 3 m (9.8 ft) dry surface,
weapons development
Mk-41 Bassoon 3.5 Mt [2][4][5][6] First test of 3 stage device. Clean version using lead tamper, 85% fusion; Tewa is dirty version of same bomb. Design evolved into Mk-41, largest deployed US bomb.
Yuma 27 May 1956 19:56:?? MHT (11 hrs)
Aomon (Sally), Enewetak Atoll 11°36′56″N 162°19′10″E / 11.61569°N 162.31935°E / 11.61569; 162.31935 (Yuma) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 60 m (200 ft) tower,
weapons development
Swift 190 t [2][3][4][5][6] Smallest (5 in (130 mm) diameter), lightest (96 lb (44 kg)) air defense warhead to date, a boosted, asymmetrical linear implosion device. Fizzled when boost didn't work.
Erie 30 May 1956 18:15:29.3 MHT (11 hrs)
Runit (Yvonne), Enewetak Atoll 11°32′24″N 162°21′29″E / 11.53999°N 162.35793°E / 11.53999; 162.35793 (Erie) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
TX-28C primary 14.9 kt [2][4][5][6] Test of boosted primary for TX-28C (for "clean") thermonuke.
Seminole 6 June 1956 00:55:30.0 MHT (11 hrs)
Bokon (Irene), Enewetak Atoll 11°40′20″N 162°12′37″E / 11.67226°N 162.210367°E / 11.67226; 162.210367 (Seminole) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 2 m (6 ft 7 in) dry surface,
weapons development
TX-28 primary 13.7 kt [2][4][5][6] Exploded in a water tank to simulate underground nuke test. Left crater 660 ft × 32 ft (201.2 m × 9.8 m).
Blackfoot 11 June 1956 18:26:00.3 MHT (11 hrs)
Runit (Yvonne), Enewetak Atoll 11°32′46″N 162°21′09″E / 11.54598°N 162.35252°E / 11.54598; 162.35252 (Blackfoot) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 60 m (200 ft) tower,
weapons development
8 kt [2][5][6] Small air defense prototype. A near-minimal diameter spherical implosion system, 11.5 in (290 mm) in diameter.
Flathead 11 June 1956 18:26:00.1 MHT (11 hrs)
NE Lagoon, Bikini Atoll 11°36′00″N 165°27′05″E / 11.6°N 165.4514°E / 11.6; 165.4514 (Flathead) 0 + 4.5 m (15 ft) barge,
weapons development
TX-28S 365 kt [2][4][5][6] TX-28S (for "salted") test, intentionally dirty high fallout, 73% fission.
Kickapoo 13 June 1956 23:26:?? MHT (11 hrs)
Aomon (Sally), Enewetak Atoll 11°36′56″N 162°19′10″E / 11.61569°N 162.31935°E / 11.61569; 162.31935 (Kickapoo) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
Swallow 1.5 kt [2][3][4][5][6] Linear implosion, air defense warhead test.
Osage 16 June 1956 01:13:53.1 MHT (11 hrs)
Runit (Yvonne), Enewetak Atoll 11°32′37″N 162°21′15″E / 11.54374°N 162.35408°E / 11.54374; 162.35408 (Osage) 0 + 210 m (690 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
XW-25 1.7 kt [2][4][5][6] Proof test of XW-25.
Inca 21 June 1956 21:26:?? MHT (11 hrs)
Rujoru (Pearl), Enewetak Atoll 11°37′42″N 162°17′18″E / 11.62831°N 162.28828°E / 11.62831; 162.28828 (Inca) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 60 m (200 ft) tower,
weapons development
XW-45 Swan 15.2 kt [2][3][4][5][6] Test of tactical warhead, evolved into XW-45.
Dakota 25 June 1956 18:06:00.2 MHT (11 hrs)
NE Lagoon, Bikini Atoll 11°36′10″N 165°27′05″E / 11.6028°N 165.4514°E / 11.6028; 165.4514 (Dakota) 0 + 2 m (6 ft 7 in) barge,
weapons development
TX-28C 1.1 Mt [2][4][5][6] Prototype of XW-28C. Became the most versatile, widely-used design in the US, from 1958 to 1990.
Mohawk 2 July 1956 18:06:?? MHT (11 hrs)
Ebiriru (Ruby), Enewetak Atoll 11°37′38″N 162°17′38″E / 11.62717°N 162.29393°E / 11.62717; 162.29393 (Mohawk) 2 m (6 ft 7 in) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
Swan/Flute 360 kt [2][3][4][5][6]
Apache 8 July 1956 18:06:00.2 MHT (11 hrs)
Elugelab (Flora), Enewetak Atoll 11°39′52″N 162°11′40″E / 11.66451°N 162.19446°E / 11.66451; 162.19446 (Apache) 0 + 2 m (6 ft 7 in) barge,
weapons development
XW-27 /Zither 1.9 Mt [2][4][5][6] Same primary as Lacrosse; Prototype of XW-27 warhead for Regulus missile.
Navajo 10 July 1956 17:56:00.3 MHT (11 hrs)
NE Lagoon, Bikini Atoll 11°41′15″N 165°22′57″E / 11.68743°N 165.38263°E / 11.68743; 165.38263 (Navajo) 0 + 6 m (20 ft) barge,
weapons development
TX-21C 4.5 Mt [2][4][5][6] 95% fusion, cleanest shot fired until 1958.
Tewa 20 July 1956 17:46:00.0 MHT (11 hrs)
Yurochi aka Irioj (Dog), Bikini Atoll 11°40′44″N 165°20′26″E / 11.67896°N 165.34042°E / 11.67896; 165.34042 (Tewa) 0 + 4.5 m (15 ft) barge,
weapons development
Mk-41 ? "Bassoon Prime" 5 Mt [2][4][5][6] 87% fission; first US 3 stage device, dirty version of Bassoon tested in Zuni, with tamper change. Developed into Mk-41.
Huron 21 July 1956 18:16:00.1 MHT (11 hrs)
Elugelab (Flora), Enewetak Atoll 11°40′19″N 162°22′09″E / 11.6719°N 162.3692°E / 11.6719; 162.3692 (Huron) 0 + 2 m (6 ft 7 in) barge,
weapons development
XW-50 ? Proto "Egg" 250 kt [2][4][5][6] 2 Stage thermonuke, XW-50 prototype.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Timezone Historical Database". iana.com. Retrieved 2014 March 08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Sublette, Carey, Nuclear Weapons Archive, retrieved 2014-01-06 
  3. ^ a b c d e Norris, Robert Standish; Cochran, Thomas B. (1 February 1994), "United States nuclear tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1992 (NWD 94-1)", Nuclear Weapons Databook Working Paper (Washington, DC: Natural Resources Defense Council), retrieved 2013-10-26 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Hansen, Chuck (1995), The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8, Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications, ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992 (DOE/NV-209 REV15), Las Vegas, NV: Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, 2000-12-01, retrieved 2013-12-18 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000), CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3), SMDC Monitoring Research 

External links[edit]