B83: This 1.5 Megaton U.S. Nuclear Bomb Could Kill Millions

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The B83 is one of two so-called "stupid" or unguided atomic bombs that the United States maintains as part of its post-Cold War inventory. Together with ICBMs and other smaller nuclear weapons bombs, the B83 stocks are kept in an emergency. It replaced a number of older American free-falling weapons and is large.
At nearly one and a half tons, the B83 is the largest atomic bomb the United States currently holds. The atomic tile is 1.2 megatons - significantly stronger than any of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. It is big, powerful and has a colorful history.
Bombs gone
Although often viewed as a domain best left to Hollywood, asteroid impacts could pose a real threat to the United States. As the blockbuster film Armageddon showed, a sufficiently large interstellar object could end life on Earth as we know it. The danger of an impact is big enough that NASA designed a spaceship with one purpose - to deflect objects on a collision course with Earth.
The launchers would be launched in a staggered sequence so that NASA could fire multiple "shots" at each earthbound projectile if the first interceptors did not detonate, went off course, or had other operational problems.
The so-called nuclear interceptor would carry a total of six packages, each of which would carry the nuclear components of a B83. At close range there was hope that a sufficiently large atomic explosion would knock the threatening interstellar body away from the earth - although this would not guarantee survival.
Bunker Buster
The B83 was also provisionally rated as a nuclear bunker busting ammunition. Changes have been made to the nose of the projectile so that it can survive impact with earth and reinforced concrete, although the use of nuclear weapons is subject to political considerations. The design may never have been completed. In any case, the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (aptly named for its weight of 30,000 pounds or over 13,500 kilograms) is the primary bunker bomb in the United States' arsenal.
In any case, the end of the line for the B83 can approach. The B61 is a smaller and less powerful little sibling and was recently upgraded. The upgrades are costly, but will keep the B61 running for at least another twenty years. And the B83? It could only be reserved for the Space Force in the future.
Caleb Larson is a defense writer for national interests. He has a Master of Public Policy and deals with US and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.
Image: Wikipedia.
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