Little Subs for Commandos

July 10, 2007: Iran is not happy with the mini-submarines they have built, with North Korean help, and have ordered four North Korean minisubs, which are supposed to be delivered this month. These small boats are used to deliver commandos, or stealthy attacks on enemy (U.S.) warships.

Last year, Iran put two more of their own mini-submarines into service. Four have been built so far. This sub has a two man crew, and can carry three divers, or several naval mines, or a torpedo. The Iranians say they will use the mini-subs to lay mines or launch underwater commando attacks. While the North Koreans provided some technical assistance, the Iranian sub is a local design, smaller than most North Korean mini-subs, which is a reflection of the more turbulent seas found off the Korean coast. In the shallow waters of thePersian Gulf, the Iranian minisubs (which look like an enlarged torpedo, with a glassed over cockpit in the front), can be very difficult to detect. Their range is probably a few hundred kilometers, more than sufficient to reach any targets in the area.

North Korea has a fleet of over 60 mini-subs, and apparently Iran wants at least a few dozen. North Koreagot the idea for minisubs from Russia, which has had them for decades. The most recent Russian minisub design is the Piranya. This is a 200 ton, 93 foot long boat with a max surface speed (on diesel) of 14 kilometers an hour. Using batteries, max underwater speed is 12 kilometers an hour. Max range is about 1,800 kilometers, cruising on the surface at about 7 kilometers an hour. Under water, max range is 460 kilometers at the same speed. The Piranya has a crew of three and can carry six divers. There are two cargo containers built on the deck, that can be used to carry two mines, two torpedoes or diver equipment.

An Italian firm makes similar mini-subs, which have been sold to Pakistan. Since China does a lot of business with Pakistan and North Korea, some of that Italian technology has probably made its way to North Korea. There, North Korea has developed several mini-sub designs, most of them available to anyone with the cash to pay. The largest is the 350 ton Sang-O, which is actually a coastal sub modified for special operations (it can carry about 30 armed passengers.) The most popular model is the M100D, a 76 ton, 58 foot long boat that has a crew of four and can carry eight diver and their equipment. The most novel design is a submersible speedboat. This 40 foot boat looks like a speedboat, displaces ten tons and can carry up to eight people. It only submerges to a depth of about ten feet. Using a schnorkel apparatus (a pipe type device to bring in air and expel diesel engine fumes), the boat can move underwater. Nine years ago, a South Korean destroyed sank one of these. If these are the mini-subs Iran bought, they could be flown in. Otherwise, the North Korean boats will have to be brought in by sea, which could lead to a confrontation with American or NATO warships off the Iranian coast.




Although the friction between the two Koreas has increased the past several months, most military analysts doubt that war will break out on the Korean Peninsula any time soon. Not only is the timing unlikely to help China’s own political agenda, but the North Korean government has more insidious plans in the works.

Actually launching an all-out attack on Seoul and invading South Korea with the million man North Korean army is not the ultimate vision of dictator Kim Jong-il-a vision secretly shared by the mullahs in Tehran. Both regimes are working in concert and at a furious pace to implement a "doomsday scenario" for their mutual enemy: the United States of America.

David and Goliath
US strength is being tested daily. From its weakened economy, the perilous situation in Europe, two ongoing wars and fending off asymmetrical warfare against terrorist networks like al-Qaeda, to preparing for a future cyber war, America has it proverbial hands full and its resources scattered all over the globe.
The NKoreans and America’s other enemies are watching closely. They are gauging America’s responses—or lack of response. They are testing and calculating and planning.
According to Western intelligence sources, several years ago Kim Jong-il’s military analyst discovered one of America’s greatest Achilles’ Heels: the superpowers reliance on computer technology.
The computers that the US uses to keep 21st Century America moving are simultaneously one of its greatest assets and one of its greatest potential weaknesses. A potential cyber attack from Russia, China or some other state weighs heavily on the minds of the military personnel involved with war game scenarios.
But there is a greater danger than cyber warfare. It is a danger that countries like NKorea and Iran are working towards exploiting. And that danger is an electromagnetic pulse, or "EMP."
The nuclear EMP weapon
"An EMP that results from a nuclear weapon … destroys any ‘unhardened’ electronic equipment and electric power system—which means virtually any civilian infrastructure in the United States. The pulse occurs when a nuclear weapon explodes … at an altitude between 40 and 400 kilometers.
"The detonation of the nuclear warhead releases … energetic particles [that] scatter in every direction away from the blast. Many of the particles descend and interact with the magnetic field lines of the Earth, where they become trapped. The trapped electrons then create an oscillating electric current within the field, which rapidly produces a large electromagnetic field in the form of a pulse.
"Once the pulse reaches electronic equipment, it negatively interacts with them and either disables, damages, or destroys them. An EMP generated by a nuclear weapon could affect all critical infrastructures that depend on electricity and electronics within the vicinity of the nuclear warhead blast radius. A nuclear weapon with a burst height of approximately 100 kilometers could expose objects located within an area 725 miles in diameter to the effects of EMP." [1]

Why the US computer network is at risk
Since so many consumer products today rely on computer chips—such as automobiles—they would immediately become inoperative. The entire banking system would collapse, as well as the entire infrastructure of thefinancial services markets. Manufacturers would be affected, all forms of transportation, many government facilities—especially at the state and local levels—and hospitals, agribusinesses, water processing plants, electrical generating plants…for all practical purposes everything would grind to a halt.
All this could occur with one well-placed nuclear detonation above the West Coast or western Midwest. The failures would cascade like dominoes and knock out the entire electrical grid of the US and maybe most of Canada and Mexico too.
US preparedness and comprehensive planning for an EMP attack remains woefully underdeveloped despite persistent warnings, such as the one in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review that the "expanded reliance on sophisticated electronic technologies by the United States, its allies and partners increases their vulnerability to the destructive effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP)." [2]
The race for nuclear tipped missiles—an EMP weapon
Iran, partnered with NKorea, is working on upgrading its own missiles. They seek a new class with more accuracy and greater effective range. Their goal is to wed nuclear warheads to long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (LRICBMs). Although the U.N. and most Western powers know this, they are only making halfhearted attempts to prevent it.
Yet NKorea is almost there. Tweaking the Western powers—and the United States in particular—the generals in Pyongyang have dubbed their newest class missile the"Los Angeles" rocket. Of course they are implying that they intend (if given half the chance) to mate their growing nuclear arsenal with perfected missiles and threaten the West Coast of the United States with nuclear annihilation.
Yet NKorea actually has no intention of doing this. Their actual plan is much more diabolical.  
Kim Jong-il’s "Los Angeles" missile
Over the years, NKorea has built and tested many variations of missiles, always seeking to improve their range.
The last such test occurred during the summer of 2009. According to the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper in Seoul, the NKorean missile was launched from the Dongchang-ni launch site located on North Korea’s west coast. The missile was an improved version of the Taepodong-2 fired in April of that same year.

The missile was designed to have an effective reach of 4,000 miles and could threaten Hawaii, Alaska and the US West Coast.
Although their LRICBM failed, the NKoreans haven’t given up.
The Taep’o-dong-2 is the missile that intelligence data indicates NKorea is currently developing. Both NKorea and Iran (Iran’s version is the Shahab-5) are building rockets with a range in excess of 4,000 miles. Experts theorize that the rocket performance may be similar to the older Soviet SS-5 missiles.
The consequences
Defending the US from a nuclear EMP weapon launched by a rogue state like NKorea (or even Iran) is no easy task. Why is this? From a technological perspective, America has painted itself into a corner and is now extremely vulnerable to such an attack.
Although the US is a superpower, its economy and infrastructure is very fragile. The attack on 911 proved that America can be defeated if just a few things go terribly wrong: the stand down of commercial aviation for about one week was sufficient to throw the entire American economy into a tailspin.
An EMP attack would be magnitudes worse than 911. The economy would be thrown into a severe depression within 24 hours. Food riots would break out and martial law declared across the country. Potable water would become scarce and urban areas potential deathtraps.
All radio, television and most means of communication would be out for weeks or months. In one great blow America would be reduced to a Third World nation in a matter of hours.
This nightmare is the dream that NKorea is working hard to achieve.  
[1] "Independent Working Group on Missile Defense, the Space Relationship, and the Twenty-First Century, 2007 Report," The Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, 2007.
[2] U.S. Department of Defense, "Quadrennial Defense Review Report," February 6, 2006.

NKoreas missiles illustration

NKoreas missiles specifications



Range (km)
Body Dia. (m)


Derivative of Scud-B

Derivative of Scud-C

Also flown by Iran (Shahab-3) and Pakistan (Ghauri II)

Taep’o-dong-1 Paeutudan-1
Indigenously developed system with performance similar to the Soviet SS-4

liquid + solid
Satellite launch variant of the Taep’o-dong-1. Basis for the design of Iran’sShahab-4

This is a hypothetical advance on the Taep’o-dong-1. North Korea is not believed to currently possess a functional version of this missile, but both North Korea and Iran (Shahab-5) are believed to be working towards a missile with these capabilities.

liquid + solid
This is a satellite launch variant of the hypothetical Taep’o-dong-2 model that may be under development. Basis for the design of Iran’s Shahab-6. It would probably have a similar performance to the Soviet SS-5

No-dong / Shahab-3
Range-Payload to Throwweight Trade-offs





Official figures

Taep’o-dong-1 / Shahab-4
Range to weight Defenition








Estimates based on limited data

Taep’o-dong-2 / Shahab-5
Range-Payload to Throwweight Trade-offs



Two or Three
Stage variant







Estimates based on limited data

Improved Taep’o-dong-2B / Shahab-5B/6
Range to weight Defenition










Preliminary Estimates based on limited data (March 2002)

Taep’o-dong-3 / Shahab-5B / 6
Range to weight Defenition










Preliminary Estimates based on limited data (March 2002)


Taep’o-dong-4 / Shahab-7 Concepts
Range to weight Defenition







Preliminary Estimates based on a conceptual model for the system


SRBM – Short Range Ballistic Missile < 1,000 km
MRBM – Medium Range Ballistic Missile 1,000-2,500 km
IRBM – Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile 2,500-3,500 km
LRICBM – Limited Range Intercontinental Ballistic Missile 3,500-8,000 km

Many of the ranges suggested for the yet-to-fly missile systems are based on mathematical models relying on what little data has been made public. The large ranges suggested by some of these studies do not necessarily imply likely ranges for an armed missile in the near future, rather they often attempt to extrapolate a maximum possible range for a given design, so as to come up with a worst-case scenario.


Independent Working Group Issues Major Report on Ballistic Missile Defense

Five years after withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, the United States
has so far failed to take advantage of the withdrawal and revive
development of specific technologies necessary to make the nation and its allies safe from missile attack. On July 10, The Independent Working Group (IWG) issued a major report outlining the need for more ambitious efforts in ballistic missile defense policy. The report, entitled Missile Defense, the Space Relationship, and the Twenty-First Century, advocates the development and deployment of robust missile defense capabilities well beyond the limited ground-based system currently being deployed in Alaska and California. The Claremont Institute is one of eight public policy organizations from around the country co-sponsoring the report.

        The report recommends that the Pentagon build on the legacy of technologies developed under the Strategic Defense Initiative of the Reagan and first Bush administrations. Sea- and space-based assets should constitute the backbone of a robust, layered U.S. missile defense shield, which ground-based systems should support. Such a shield would be capable of protecting the U.S., its allies, and troops abroad against the threat of a hostile missile attacks from any quarter. The missile threat has only increased in recent years as rogue nations and transnational terrorist organizations attempt to acquire ballistic missile technology and weapons of mass destruction. The report praises the Bush Administration for withdrawing from the 1972 ABM Treaty and beginning modest and limited deployments, but also criticizes the failure to use existing technologies to deploy a more robust system actually capable of defending the United States, our troops, and our allies.

        Changes to sea-based missile defense development programs could be made for approximately $350 million, in three specific areas. The U.S. could demonstrate a space-based missile defense system for some $3-5 billion, and field some 1000 space-based interceptors for an anticipated cost of $16.4 billion. Current expenditures for missile defense total approximately $8 billion per year.

        The Independent Working Group is co-chaired by Dr. Robert Pfaltzgraff, President of the Institute of Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA) at Tufts University, and by Dr. William R. Van Cleave, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University, and a member of the original U.S. delegation which drafted the 1972 ABM Treaty. Ambassador Henry F. Cooper, who in former roles oversaw both development of missile defense for the U.S. and was chief negotiator to the Geneva Defense and Space Talks, Dr. Robert Jastrow, founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Dr. Lowell Wood, a Physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Commissioner on the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) were among the numerous missile defense, space, and security experts from the scientific, technical, and national security policy communities around the country who are members of the Independent Working Group.

        Members of the Working Group also include Brian T. Kennedy, president of the Claremont Institute, and Thomas Karako, Director of Programs at the Claremont Institute and editor of Sponsors and authors of the IWG report include eight think-tanks headquartered in Washington D.C., California, Alaska, Missouri, Massachusetts, and around the country.

        Further, the experts called on the U.S. to recreate and sustain the scientific and technology base—including the workforce needed—to assure U.S. primacy in space and missile defense. That job would be accomplished by revamping organizational leadership of sea and space based missile defense in the U.S., and directing the National Science Foundation and other government agencies to further emphasize research in space technologies.

        The report was released July 10 in Washington D.C., and will be followed by a series of briefings to the public and governmental officials during 2006 and 2007.

        “We cannot be complacent about the missile defense program we have with the new threats the U.S. is facing,” said Dr. Robert Pfaltzgraff, co-chair of the Independent Working Group. “We promised ourselves an effective, layered defense with our withdrawal from the ABM treaty. It is now time to put politics aside and use the most effective technologies to make that happen.” (Article)

» Read the 2007 Report: The Independent Working Group on Missile Defense, the Space Relationship, and the Twenty-First Century (8 MB)
» More stories on: Resources and Space-Based Systems
» Missile system details for: Brilliant Pebbles, Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)

Since the signing of the cease fire on July 27, 1953 the United States of America and the Democratic Republic of North Korea have been in a technical state of war. Other than a few skirmishes and incursions across the demilitarized zone—a buffer between North and South Korea roughly aligned along the 38th Parallel, the war has not broken out again.
The last few years have seen that rocky ceasefire threatened.

NKorea reaffirms it’s at war with the United States
During 2009, dictator Kim Jong-il announced that his country no longer would abide by the Armistice that was suggested by India and agreed to by the United Nations, U.S., Russia, China and NKorea in 1953. SKorea never signed the agreement.
The NKorean leader then announced that his country considered itself fully at war with the U.S. Immediately afterward the NKoreans ramped up their weapons sales—including nuclear weapons technology and long range missile parts—to Iran and Syria. They have since expanded that to include Venezuela, Cuba and possibly Nicaragua.
Border incidents increased and gigantic tunnels running under the DMZ from NKorea into SKorean territory were discovered. And then the belligerent communist nation detonated its first atomic bomb. Although experts argued as to whether the detonation could be that of a nuclear weapon, none dismissed the second nuclear blast. The consensus was that Kim Jog-il’s regime had developed ‘the Bomb.’
Although NKorea’s population is near starvation—only the leaders, bureaucrats and one million man army is well-fed and clothed—China provides some meager subsistence in the form of food and oil. But the Chinese have been playing the West against its puppet state and has been utilizing the Korean Peninsula and especially their NKorean allies as both political and military destabilizing factors.
November of 2009 saw several naval warships from both Koreas fire at each other causing damage to each other’s vessels.
SKorean warship explodes and sinks
With tensions increasing in the region throughout 2009 and into early 2010, the news suddenly reached the world that a SKorean naval patrol ship, the Cheonan, sank off Baengnyeong island in the Yellow Sea, near the border with NKorea on Friday, the 27th of March. A close range explosion had rocked the ship. More than forty sailors were missing and later presumed dead.
Earlier that same morning, the North’s military leaders threatened SKorea and the United States with "unpredictable strikes."
At first,South Korea played down any involvement with its totalitarian neighbor to the north, but gradually incontrovertible evidence emerged that the North had deployed an armed, sophisticated mini-sub into the Yellow Sea. It launched a torpedo at the Cheonan and sunk it in an unprovoked attack.
Deepwater Horizon explodes and sinks
Twenty-four days later, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig owned by the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor Transocean, and operated by British Petroleum, suddenly exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico. More than a dozen were injured and 11 assumed dead.

Still uncapped as of this writing, the bore hole is gushing oil at a rate some say is more than 210,000 gallons a day. Experts estimate the magnitude of the disaster may be much bigger and more damaging to the environment than the crude oil supertanker Exxon Valdez accident off of Alaska March 24, 1989 .
Hundreds of billions of dollars are expected to be lost, the Gulf fishing industry destroyed and oil production for the United States significantly disrupted.
The U.S. economy, still reeling in a state of severe recession, is now being assaulted on multiple fronts: the impact on the fishing industry, depleted oil production, less gasoline and diesel production, disrupted natural gas production and the mammoth cost of the long term clean-up—a task that cannot begin until the oil flow has been stopped.
Some speculate cutting off the oil flow may take up to three months creating the greatest ecological catastrophe in history, if the time line holds true.
Now as SKorea vows retaliation for NKorea’s act of war, evidence has surfaced that NKorea may have deployed the same type of armed military submersible against Deepwater Horizon.
Facts have also emerged that Hyandai Heavy Industries of Seoul, South Korea built the rig at a cost of $1 billion and despite insurance may have to write off significant losses. The oil rig explosion also has repercussions for the SKorean economy.
So with one attack, NKorea  could have dealt a serious blow to two of its greatest enemies.
According to some reports, suspicion has fallen on a NKorean merchant vessel, the Dai Hong Dan, that left a port in Cuba the night of April 18th. The merchant vessel is the class of ship that intelligence agencies have long known can be fitted for—and has carried in the past—NKorea’s two-man mini-submarines.
NKorea’s advanced mini-subs
The mini-sub, an  SSC Sang-o Class submersible, can carry two torpedoes. They have been known to be transported by several classes of their warships, disguised as merchant vessels or by their older submarines.
The older NKorean subs have been determined By the SKorean navy to be based on a former Yugoslavian design that the NKorean military adopted. Those 1990 versions were retrofitted to carry the two-man submersible and capable of sea launch.

The newest generation of the NKorean mini-sub has stealth abilities, a longer range and can stay submerged much longer than its previous versions.
According to Russian intelligence which released a report in Moscow on May 30, 2010, the NKorean vessel carried a force from the 17th Sniper Corps and departed the Cuban port of  Empresa Terminales Mambisas de La Habana April the night of April 18, 2010. Although it’s destination was Caracas, Venezuela, it changed course and steamed to within 113 nautical miles of the Deepwater Horizon rig. The mini-sub is estimated to have an effective range of 175 nautical miles.
Then, according to the Russians, the NKoreans launched one of its SSC Sang-o mini-subs (the same kind it used in the attack on the SKorean warship in the Yellow Sea). When the stealth sub reached the offshore oil platform it fired two incendiary torpedoes at the rig’s superstructure.
Obama activates DHS and orders SWAT teams to all Gulf oil rigs
‘Mr. Obama said SWAT teams were being dispatched to the Gulf to investigate oil rigs and said his administration is now working to determine the cause of the disaster.’ — CBS News, April 29, 2010.
The President’s response to an ‘accident’ raised many eyebrows. Broadcast and print news people and talk radio hosts questioned why SWAT teams were being deployed to all the oil rigs in the Gulf. And why  bring Homeland Security into the loop if the catastrophe was an error by BP personnel or an unavoidable mishap?
Although the questions (and in some quarters, criticisms) were ignored, the news media curiously stopped asked them.
Were U.S. naval vessels deployed to search for debris from one or more NKorea mini-subs?
A news report surfaced—and was quickly quashed—that several U.S. Navy salvage vessels were being rerouted towards the region of the rig. There were no follow-up reports on that story. Instead the news focused on Navy efforts to bring in oil containment booms.
Another report surfaced on the afternoon of April 30, 2010 that ‘special response units’ had been activated out of Fort Bragg. This was reported briefly on CBS radio news and it also quickly vanished.
The speculation that emerged about USN involvement revolved around retrieval of some of the NKorean mini-sub’s debris. The consensus formed that if the NKoreans had launched such an attack it would have been a suicide mission and the submariners blew themselves up with the oil rig.
Unfortunately, too much information is second-hand and too much evidence circumstantial. An infamous hoaxer’s name has been associated with one of the ‘reports,’ and that has the tendency to discredit everything, but for the fact that the President did mobilize SWAT teams to the oil rigs and called up special forces and the Navy for operations other than containment of the oil gusher.

If the federal government does find proof it might sit on the information. Politically, confirming it could stir up a hornet’s nest with China and our ally, SKorea.
An act of this magnitude by a country we are technically still in a state of war with could easily ignite a shooting war. With America already involved in two wars and the possibility constantly hovering on the horizon of a military conflict with Iran, confirmation could lead to a re-engagement with the NKoreans and precipitate a continuation of the Korean War 57 years after the Armistice.
And such a resumption of war on the Korean Peninsula at this point in history could start the dreaded third world war.
Sinking of SKorea warship, Cheonan
SKorea cites torpedo attack in ship sinking.’
NKorean mini-sub torpedoed South’s navy vessel in revenge for November attack,‘ spy claims
SKorea Warns Over Retaliation For Sunken Ship And Deaths
Korea tensions over claims that warship was sunk by torpedo
Facts about NKorea mini-subs
Satellite photo: Sang-O Class mini sub and underwater submarine pen.

Little subs for commandos’
North Korean Mini-sub (SSC Sang-o Class) in Drydock
NKorea’s Mini-Sub Plated With Sonar-Absorbing Tiles to Evade Detection
U.S. Navy confirms rogue nation working on underwater stealth technology
Oil rig attack?

Obama sends SWAT teams to Gulf of Mexico oil rigs 

EIN North Korean Human Rights website
EUTimes report: ‘US Orders Blackout Over North Korean Torpedoing Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil Rig
Russians report NKorean mini-sub torpedoes Gulf oil rig
NKorean poster depicting their missiles destroying the White House



May 1, 2010 by imkane

A grim report circulating in the Kremlin today written by Russia’s Northern Fleet is reporting that the United States has ordered a complete media blackout over North Korea’s torpedoing of the giant Deepwater Horizon oil platform owned by the World’s largest offshore drilling contractor Transocean that was built and financed by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., that has caused great loss of life, untold billions in economic damage to the South Korean economy, and an environmental catastrophe to the United States.

On the night of April 20th the North Korean Mini Submarine manned by these “suicidal” 17th Sniper Corps soldiers attacked the Deepwater Horizon with what are believed to be 2 incendiary torpedoes causing a massive explosion and resulting in 11 workers on this giant oil rig being killed outright. Barely 48 hours later, on April 22nd , this North Korean Mini Submarine committed its final atrocity by exploding itself directly beneath the Deepwater Horizon causing this $1 Billion oil rig to sink beneath the seas and marking 2010’s celebration of Earth Day with one of the largest environmental catastrophes our World has ever seen.—The TexasFred Blog

Did North Korea sabotage Gulf oil rig, and did Obama cover it up?

By Anthony G. Martin

For the past few days bloggers have been speculating on whether or not North Korea engaged in sabotage to torpedo the Gulf oil rig, resulting in a massive explosion that sent the rig sinking into the Gulf and spilling thousands of barrels of oil that are now headed to the Gulf Coast.

This blog is an example of the story being reported, which is based upon a Kremlin report in the ‘EU Times’ which accuses North Korea of blowing up the rig in an attempt to sink a South Korean vessel in the Gulf.

At least one major mainstream media news outlet, television station WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, also reported the story that quotes heavily from the Russians.

The Kremlin also maintains that Barack Obama ordered an immediate news blackout, preventing reporters from gaining access to the area or discovering information that would confirm or disprove the charges.

If this story turns out to be true, then there is no doubt that Obama has engaged in a cover-up.

At this point it is impossible to verify the facts of the original report from the Kremlin in the EU Times.  With a news blackout in effect, information is scant.  Itis to be noted, however, that little information is coming from the mainstream media other than the expected, incessant drumbeat on the ‘enormous environmental disaster and the dangers of drilling for oil in the Gulf,’ etc., etc.

So far no information has been reported on why an oil rig, which is designed in such as way so as to prevent such an explosion and quick-sink into the sea, would suddenly and without explanation go up in a massive dark cloud of fire and smoke.

And there has been no report on survivors, no interviews with eyewitnesses, not even a report on the names of those who were working on the rig at the time.

In addition, Barack Obama’s actions yesterday, and his public statement concerning those actions, are, at the very least, curious.  The wording of the statement is similar to one a President would make in the event of an act of sabotage.  And the fact that Obama sent the federal SWAT team to the area fuels even more speculation that there is something more afoot here than just an oil rig spill.

It is to be remembered, however, that if the explosion is the result of an act of sabotage, the source of such an act may have absolutely nothing to do with North Korea. Environmentalist extremists have been known in the past to engage in acts of violence to get their message across and to prevent what they see as the ‘raping’ of the environment by the wicked, demented oil companies, nuclear energy companies, and others who do the demonic work of providing essential energy for the country–the energy that runs the computers from which Leftwing shills sit in their underwear in their momma’s basements, spouting extremist propaganda.

Anything the Kremlin says, particularly with regard to their Communist comrades in North Korea, can be considered suspect, although at this point it is too early to entirely discount it.

But it is more credible to posit a theory of environmentalist wackos blowing up the rig, given their history, and given this is close to ‘Earth Day,’ and that this is‘May Day,’ and that Obama and the Democrats who are now denouncing expanded oil exploration in the Gulf need a convenient excuse not only to back off from Obama’s plan for limited expansion of oil drilling but to stop it entirely,as Democrat Senator Bill Nelson from Florida is now proposing.

All the more reason for Obama to send in the SWAT team to secure the area, initiate a news blackout, and cover up what really happened at the rig site.


N. Korea’s Mini-Sub Plated With Sonar-Absorbing Tiles to Evade Detection
Chosun Ilbo ^ | 04/07/10 | Ryu Yong-won

Posted on Tue Apr 06 2010 18:38:40 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time) by TigerLikesRooster

North Korean Mini-sub (SSC Sang-o Class) in Drydock

N. Korea’s Mini-Sub Plated With Sonar-Absorbing Tiles to Evade Detection

Ryu Yong-won

N. Korea’s Shark class and Yugo class mini-submarines are plated with sonar-absorbing tiles to evade detection by our side, and some Yugo class mini-subs carry 533mm heavy torpedoes, it has been revealed.

Intelligence sources said on Apr. 6 that, according to investigation by relevant authorities regarding N. Korea’s (mini-)submarine, torpedoes and mines, N. Korea obtained Russian technology with which they developed sonar-absorbing tiles and plated their Yugo class mini-submarines with them. The tiles are made of chlorinated rubber with silicon mixed in. N. Korea is said to have had trouble developing adhesive which would glue tiles to mini-subs.

In addition to 85-ton model which was captured in ’98 off the coast of Sokcho, Yugo class mini-submarine also features other models such as 60-ton and 50-ton varieties. Yugo 1 model, the smallest of them, is basically a human torpedo with one or two crew(s,) designed to mount suicide attack on ships such as a U.S. carrier. Yugo class mini-submarines can stay underwater for 4~5 hours, and due to (insufficient) battery capacity, cannot move at high speed. Semi-submersible vessel can navigate at 40 knot(84km per hour) on the surface, but the problem is that its Swedish engine makes loud noise.

Underwater munitions such as torpedoes and mines are made at ‘Dae-an Electric Enterprise’ under Kang-sun Steel located near Nampo, the sources said. N. Korea was able to develop ‘bubble jet’ mines in 90’s, and have been working on development of indigenous ‘bubble jet’ torpedoes.


N. Korea imported acoustic torpedoes from Russia in 90’s, which homes in on the propeller sound of a ship, and have been making improvement on it.

/end my excerpts

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Complete List of All U.S. Nuclear Weapons

Last changed 14 October 2006

If a weapon name is an active link, click on it to see a picture of the weapon, or a page on it (if one exists).




15 – 16 Kt
Used in combat in 1945, never stockpiled; only 5 bomb assemblies completed, all retired by Nov 1950
Gun-assembly HEU bomb; "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima



Theoretical design, never produced
Low-efficiency plutonium implosion bomb


18, 20-23, 37, 49 Kt
Used in combat in 1945; mass production 4/47-4/49, 120 produced; all retired late 1950
Plutonium implosion bomb; "Fat Man", Model 1561; Mods 0, 1, 2



10,800 – 10,900
1, 3.5, 8, 14, 21, 22, 31 Kt
Entered service 3/49; produced 3/49-5/51; 550 produced (all mods);
Retired 7/52-5/53
Implosion fission bomb; redesigned weapon based on Mk-III Mod 1; first IFI weapon; first assembly-line produced nuclear weapon; used type C and D pits, composite Pu-HEU cores; 3 mods

T-1 / TX-1
Atomic Demolition Munition
About 8
About 150
Low kiloton
Time delay
Entered service, withdrawn, late 1940s
Developed at Picatinny Arsenal for the U.S. Army. The only U.S. nuclear weapon ever developed outside of the nuclear laboratory system. Gun-assembly HEU weapon.

Canceled 1951
Planned warhead for the Snark SSM cruise missile; Mk-4 bomb derivative


129 – 132
3,025 – 3,175
6, 16, 55, 60, 100, 120 Kt
Airburst or contact
Entered operational stockpile 5/52;
last retired 1/63;
140 bombs (all mods) produced
92 lens high efficiency implosion bomb; used type D pit, composite cores; first weapon with major size/weight reduction over Fat Man; used as primary (1st stage) in the first thermonuclear devices; 4 mods; first weapon to use auto IFI

39; 44
2,405 – 2,650; 2,600 (XW-5-X1)
same as Mk-5
Airburst or surface
Start of manufacture 4/54 (Regulus), 7/54 (Matador);
retired 7/61 – 1/63;
35 (Regulus), 65 (Matador) produced
Warhead for the Matador (MGM-1) and Regulus 1 (SSM-N-8) SSM cruise missiles; application to the Rascal air-to-surface canceled; first missile warhead; produced by modifying stockpile Mk-5 bombs

mk06-graphic (1)

7,600 – 8,500
8, 26, 80, 154, 160 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured from 7/51 to early 1955; 1100 bombs (all mods) produced; last retired 1962
Improved high-yield lightweight Mk-4; 7 mods; some Mk-4Ds were converted Mk-6 Mod 0; early mods had 32 lens implosion system, Mod 2 and later had 60 lens system


1,645 – 1,700
8, 19, 22, 30, 31, 61 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 7/52 – 2/63; in service July 1952-1967; 1700 – 1800 produced
Mk-7 "Thor"; multipurpose light weight tactical bomb; 92 lens implosion system; 6-7 yields; 10 mods, PAL A used on late mods


30 – 30.5
54.8 – 56
900 – 1,100;
970 (W-7-X1 / X2);
983 (Betty)
90 T; 2 – 40 Kt
Airburst, surface, hydrostatic
W-7 warhead manufacture begun 12/53;
BOAR: stockpiled 1956 – 1963, 225 produced;
Corporal: stockpiled 1955 – 1965, 300 produced;
Honest John: stockpiled 1954 – 1960, 300 produced;
ADM: stockpiled 1955-1963, 300 produced;
Betty: stockpiled 6/55 – 1960, 225 produced;
Nike Hercules: canceled 1956
Multipurpose warhead – BOAR air-surface rocket, the Corporal (M-2) and Honest John (M-3) ballistic missiles, ADM, Betty Mk 90 ASW depth bomb, Nike Hercules SAM missile warhead (W-7-X1/X2); 7 yields, 4 mods; Corporal yield 2-40 Kt (several options), ADM yield low (90 T?), Betty yield 32 Kt


116 – 132
3,230 – 3,280
25 – 30 Kt
Pyrotechnic delay
Manufactured 11/51 – 5/53; in service 1/52 – 6/57; 40 produced (all mods)
Earth penetrating weapon, gun-assembly HEU bomb, nicknamed "Elsie" (for LC – light case), 2 mods; replaced by the Mk-11

Canceled May 1955
Gun-assembly warhead, intended for use as a cratering warhead for the Regulus missile

Artillery Shell
11.02 (280 mm)
803; 850
15 Kt
Mechanical time delay airburst
Manufactured 4/52 – 11/53;
Retired 5/57; 80 produced
Used in T-124, the first U.S. nuclear artillery shell; gun-assembly HEU weapon, modified TX-8; replaced 1-for-1 by W-19; only 20 280mm cannons were ever made

Mk-9 / T-4
Atomic Demolition Munition
120 – 200
Time delay
Stockpiled 1957;
retired 1963
The T-4 was built from recycled W-9 warheads; gun-assembly HEU weapon; replaced by W-45

1,750; 1,500
12 – 15 Kt
Canceled May 1952
"Airburst Elsie", a reduced size/ weight derivative of the Mk-8; superseded by the Mk-12


3,210 – 3,500
Pyrotechnic delay
Manufactured 1/56 – 1957; in service 1/56 – 1960; 40 produced
Improved Mk-8 gun-assembly weapon, replaced Mk-8 on 1-for-1 basis; stockpiled as the "Mk-91 penetration bomb"


1,100 – 1,200
12, 14 Kt
Timer or contact
Manufactured 12/54 – 2/57;
Retired 7/58 – 7/62; 250 produced
High-speed fighter-bomber weapon; 92-point implosion weapon; nicknamed "Brok"; probably first weapon using beryllium tamper; 4 versions stockpiled – 2 prototypes, 2 mods

Low Kt
Canceled Nov 1955
Talos (Navy)/Talos-W (Army) surface-air missile warhead

32 Kt (Upshot – Knothole Harry shot)
Airburst or contact
Canceled Aug 1954
High-yield Mk-6 follow-on, 92-point implosion system; superseded by TN Mk-15/39

6,000 – 6,500
Airburst or contact
Canceled Sept 1954
Early warhead intended for Snark cruise missile, Redstone ICBM; superseded by TN Mk/W-15/39

TX / MK-14

222 – 223.5
28,954 – 29,851; 31,000
5-7 Mt; 6.9 Mt (Castle Union shot)
Stockpiled 2/54 – 10/54;
5 produced
First deployed solid-fuel thermonuclear weapon; recycled into Mk-17 weapons by 9/56; used 95% enriched Li-6; 64 ft parachute


34.4 – 34.7; 35
136 – 140
1.69 Mt (Castle Nectar), 3.8 Mt (Redwing Cherokee)
Airburst, contact (F/F or rtd), laydown
Manufactured 4/55 – 2/57;
Retired 8/61 – 4/65; 1200 produced (all mods)
First "lightweight" U.S. TN bomb; used HEU secondary casing; 3 mods; 1×3 ft and 1×12 ft ribbon parachutes

6,400 – 6,560
Canceled Feb 1957
Class "C" TN missile warhead derived from MK-15, canceled in favor of very closely related W-39


39,000 – 42,000
6 – 8 Mt
Stockpiled 1/54 – 4/54;
5 produced
First deployed thermonuclear weapon; weaponized version of Ivy Mike device; only cryogenic TN weapon ever deployed

11 Mt (Castle Romeo shot)
Stockpiled 4/54 – 10/54; 5 produced
"Emergency Capability" weapon (deployed prototype); used natural lithium; free fall bomb


41,400 – 42,000
10 – 15 Mt
Airburst or contact (Mod 2 only)
Manufactured 7/54 – 11/55;
Retired 11/56 – 8/57; 200 produced
Similar to MK-24, different secondary; heaviest U.S. nuclear weapon, 2nd highest yield of any U.S. weapon (along with similar Mk-24); 3 mods; Mod 2 contact fused; 1×64 ft. parachute; replaced by the Mk-36

500 Kt (Ivy King shot)
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 3/53 – 2/55;
Retired 1/56 – 3/56; 90 produced (all mods)
Very high-yield MK-6/Mk-13 follow-on; largest pure fission bomb ever deployed; nicknamed the SOB ("Super Oralloy Bomb"); 92-point implosion system, all HEU core; 2 mods;
Retired by conversion to lower yield Mk-6 Mod 6; superseded by TN Mk-15 and Mk-28

Artillery Shell
11.02 (280 mm)
15 – 20 Kt
Mechanical time delay airburst
Production began 7/55;
Retired 1963; 80 produced
Used in T-315 atomic projectile; improved W-9; gun-assembly HEU weapon

Canceled Aug 1954
Improved high-yield MK-13; superseded by TN MK-15

56.2; 58.5
149 – 150
15,000 – 17,700
4 – 5 Mt
Airburst, contact, laydown
Manufactured 12/55 – 7/56;
Retired 6/57 – 1//57; 275 produced (all mods)
Redesigned Shrimp TN device with 95% enriched Li-6 fuel; 3 mods, all "dirty"; "clean" version tested, never deployed; Mod 1 contact fused; Mod 2 also had w/boosted primary;
Retired by conversion to Mk-36-Y1 Mod 1

15,000 – 16,000
For B-58, SM-64A 56 Navaho

1 Mt
Canceled April 1954
UCRL design based on the Morgenstern/Ramrod devices; canceled following Morgenstern fizzle (Castle Koon)

Artillery Shell
1,500; 1,900
15 – 20 Kt
Mechanical time delay airburst
Production began 10/56;
Retired 10/62;
50 produced
US Navy "Katie" shell; W-19 (11 inch shell) internal components adapted to 16 inch shell body

EC 24
13.5 Mt (Castle Yankee shot)
Stockpiled 4/54 – 10/54;
10 produced
"Emergency Capability" weapon (deployed prototype); used enriched Li-6; free fall bomb

41,400 – 42,000
10 – 15 Mt
Manufactured 7/54 – 11/55;
Retired 9/56 – 10/56;
105 produced
Similar to MK-17, different secondary; heaviest U.S. nuclear weapon, 2nd highest yield of any U.S. weapon (along with similar Mk-17); 2 mods (Mod 2 with contact burst canceled); 1×64 ft parachute; replaced by the Mk-36

17.35 – 17.4
25.7 – 26.6
218 – 221
1.7 Kt
Time delay
Manufactured 5/57 – 5/60;
Mod 0 retired 8/61 – 1965, all retired by 12/84;
3150 produced (all mods)
MB-1 Genie AAM warhead; unboosted composite implosion warhead; first "sealed pit" weapon; 2 mods, Mod 1 had environmental sensing device safeties

15,000 – 17,700
Canceled 1956
Mk-21 sibling design

125 – 142
3,150 – 3,300
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 11/58 – 6/59;
Retired 11/62 – 7/65; 700 (all mods) produced
Navy TN bomb; This UCRL design was a competitor with the LASL Mk-28 to satisfy the Class "D" light weight TN bomb requirement; 3 mods

30.25 – 31
2 Mt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 9/58 – 6/59;
retired 8/62 – 7/65;
20 produced
Regulus I (SSM-N-8) SSM cruise missile warhead; considered for several other systems all of which were were canceled: the F-101 and B-58 bomb pods, and the Rascal, Regulus II, and Matador cruise missiles


20; 22
96 – 170
1,700 – 2,320
Y1: 1.1 Mt,
Y2: 350 Kt,
Y3: 70 Kt,
Y5: 1.45 Mt
FUFO: F/F or retarded, airburst or contact, laydown
Manufactured 1/58 – 3/58, 8/58 – 5/66; retirement of early mods began 1961, last one retired 9/91; 4500 produced (all mods)
Multipurpose TN tactical and strategic bomb; longest weapon design in U.S. (33 years); 2nd largest production run of any U.S. weapon design; Y4 was fission only; 20 mods and variants; PAL A (Y1), B (Y2), D (Y3, Y5); replaced by B-61 and B-83 bombs; 1-point safety problem with primary discovered after start of initial manufacture, halting production for 5 months


1,500 – 1,725
70 Kt – 1.45 Mt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 8/58 – 5/66, entered service (Hound Dog) 1959 and (Mace) 1960;
Hound Dog retired 1/64 – 1976, Mace retired 1970;
production – 900 (Hound Dog), 100 (Mace)
Warhead for the Hound Dog (AGM-28) and Mace (MGM-13) cruise missiles; 5 mods; PAL A and B

52; 35
Canceled Aug 1955
Canceled in favor of Mk-15

438; 490; 450
300 T; 500 T (Talos and TADM); 4.7 Kt; 19 Kt
Airburst, contact, time delay
TADM: stockpiled 1961 – 1966, 300 produced;
Talos: manufactured 2/59 – 1/65, retired 1/62 – 3/79; 300 produced
Multipurpose warhead: Talos SAM/SSM, XW-30-X1 TADM (Tactical Atomic Demolition Munition) warhead; Talos – 1 yield, 3 mods; TADM – 2 yields stockpiled

28 – 29; 30
39 – 39.3
900 – 945
1, 2, 12, 20, 40 Kt
Airburst, timer, surface
Honest John: manufactured 10/59 – 12/61, retired 7/67 – 1987, 1650 produced;
Nike Hercules: manufactured 10/58 – 12/61, retired 7/67 – 9/89, 2550 produced;
ADM: stockpiled 9/60 – 1965, 300 produced
Multipurpose boosted fission warhead: Honest John SSM, Nike Hercules SAM, ADM (Atomic Demolition Munition);
Versions used: Honest John: W-31 Mod 0, 3; Nike-Hercules: W-31 Mod 0, 2; ADM: Mk-31 Mod 1;
4 yields stockpiled: 2 for Nike-Hercules, 3 for Honest John (2, 20, and 40 Kt)

Artillery Shell
9.45 (240 mm)
400; 450
Canceled May 1955

Artillery Shell
8 (203 mm)
240 – 243
5 – 10 Kt, 40 Kt (Y2)
Mechanical time delay airburst
Manufactured 1/57 – 1/65;
Retired 9/92; 2000 produced
W-33 used in the T-317 atomic projectile; gun-assembly HEU weapon; used titanium to reduce weight and size; 4 yields (Y1 – Y4) using different internal HEU assemblies, high yield variant may be boosted; 2 mods

ASW warhead / Bomb
312; 320; 311
11 Kt
Hydrostatic, laydown, impact
ASW: Manufactured 8/58 – 12/62;
retired 7/64 – 1971 (Lulu), 7/64 – 1976 (Astor);
2000 Lulu, 600 Astor produced;
Hotpoint: Manufactured 6/58 – 9/62;
Retired by 1965;
600 produced
Multipurpose warhead for ASW (antisubmarine warfare) and tactical use; ASW: Mk-34 Lulu depth bomb, Mk-44 Astor torpedo; tactical: Mk-105 Hotpoint bomb, first parachute retarded laydown weapon; 2 mods; boosted fission implosion device identical to the Mk-28 primary

20; 28
1,500 – 1,700
1.75 Mt
Canceled Aug 1958
Early LASL TN ballistic missile warhead, intended for Atlas, Titan ICBMs, Thor, Jupiter IRBMs; competitor with UCRL W-38; canceled in favor of W-49 (a modified Mk-28)


56.2; 58; 59
17,500; 17,700
9 – 10 Mt
F/F or retarded airburst or contact
Manufactured 4/56 – 6/58;
Retired 8/61 – 1/62; 940 produced (all mods)
Two-stage TN strategic bomb; Y1 "dirty," Y2 "clean", each in two mods; parachutes 1×5 ft, 1×24 ft ribbon; all Mk-21s converted to Mk-36 in 1957;
Retired in favor of Mk-41; at retirement this weapon represented almost half of the megatonnage of the U.S. arsenal

900; 940
Canceled Sept 1956
Intended to be a high-yield multipurpose companion to the W-31; XW-37 was redesignated XW-31Y2

3.75 Mt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 5/61 – 1/63; retired 1/65 – 5/65; Production: 110 (Atlas), 70 (Titan)
Warhead for Atlas E/F and Titan I ICBMs; used Avco Mk 4 RV; first UCRL designed TN ballistic missile warhead; competitor with LASL W-35/49


35, 44 (tail section)
136 – 140
6,650 – 6,750
3-4 Mt (2 yields, Y1 and Y2)
Airburst, contact; mod w/low-level retarded laydown
Manufactured 2/57 – 3/59;
Retired 1/62 to 11/66; 700 produced (all mods)
Improved Mk-15, Mk-39 Mod 0 same as TX-15-X3; used gas-boosted primary to reduce weight; thermal batteries, improved safeties; 3 mods; parachutes: 1×6 ft, 1×28 ribbon, 1×100 ft


34.5 – 35
6,230 – 6,400
3.8 Mt (2 yields, Y1 and Y2)
Redstone: stockpiled 7/58 – 1963, 60 produced;
Snark: manufactured 4/58 – 7/58, retired 8/62 – 9/65, 30 produced
Warhead for Snark cruise missile, Redstone MRBM, B-58 weapon pod;
Versions: Redstone Mk-39Y1 Mod 1 and Mk-39Y2 Mod 1, Snark Mk-39Y1 Mod 1; W-39 identical to Mk-39 except for fuzing system

350; 385 (Y1)
10 Kt (Y1)
Airburst or contact
Bomarc: manufactured 9/59 – 5/62, retired by 11/72, 350 produced;
Lacrosse: manufactured 9/59 – 5/62, retired 10/63 – 1964, 400 produced
Warhead for Bomarc SAM and Lacrosse SSM; boosted implosion system adapted from Mk-28 primary; initially deployed version (produced 6/59-8/59) not 1-point safe, Mod 2 retrofit required; 2 yields

10,500 – 10,670
25 Mt
FUFU: F/F or retarded, airburst or contact, laydown
Manufactured 9/60 – 6/62;
Retired 11/63 – 7/76; 500 produced
Highest yield U.S. weapon ever deployed; only U.S. 3-stage TN weapon; Y1 "dirty," Y2 "clean"; parachutes 1×4 ft, 1×16.5 ft;
retired in favor of Mk-53

Canceled July 1957

13 – 14
75 – 92
Canceled June 1961
Intended for air-to-air (e.g. GAR-8), surface-to-air (e.g. Hawk) applications


150 – 164
2,060 – 2,125
70 Kt – 1 Mt;
Y1: 1 Mt,
Y5: 500 Kt
F/F or retarded, airburst or contact, laydown
Manufactured 4/61 – 10/65;
retirement (early mods) began 12/72, last retired 4/91;
1000 produced (all mods)
Laydown bomb for high-speed low-altitude delivery; 5 yields; Y4 is fission only; PAL B (mod 2); Parachutes: 1×4 ft, 1×23 ft ribbon; last version retired was MK-43Y2 Mod 2

ASW warhead
10 Kt
Manufactured 5/61 – 3/68;
retired 6/74 – 9/89;
575 produced
ASROC (RUR-5A) ASW warhead; plutonium implosion warhead, similar to primary for Mk-43

MADM: 350
500 T; 1, 5, 8, 10, 15 Kt
Airburst, surface, time delay, command
Terrier: manufactured 4/62 – 6/66, retired 7/67 – 9/88, 750 produced;
MADM: manufactured 1/62 – 6/66, retired 7/67 – 1984, 350 produced;
Bullpup: manufactured 1/62 – 1963, retired 7/67 – 1978, 100 produced;
Little John: manufactured 9/61 – 6/66, retired 7/67 – 1970, 500 produced
Multipurpose UCRL designed tactical warhead; small implosion design; Y1 (1 Kt): Little John SSM, Terrier SAM,MADM (Medium ADM); Y2: Little John, MADM; Y3 (unboosted): GAM-83B Bullpup ASM, MADM; Y4 (boosted, 1 Kt): Bullpup, Little John, Terrier, MADM

Mt range
Canceled Oct 1958
"Clean" and "dirty" versions tested during Hardtack I; was to have replaced Mk-39; development of improved design continued as Mk-53

Canceled April 1958
Warhead planned for Redstone, Snark, B-58 pod warhead; Redstone/W-46 canceled in favor of Titan II/W-53

Y1: 717 – 720;
Y2: 733
Y1: 600 Kt;
Y2: 1.2 Mt
Airburst or contact
EC-47 manufactured 4/60 – 6/60, retired 6/60, 300 produced;
W-47 manufactured 6/60 – 7/64, retired 7/61 – 11/74, 1060 produced (Y1 and Y2) – only 300 in service at a time
Polaris SLBM TN warhead; breakthrough in compact, light high yield design; integral warhead/beryllium re-entry vehicle; 3 versions: EC-47, W-47Y1, W-47Y2; several severe reliability problems required repeated modification and remanufacture (in 1966 75% of the stockpiled Y2s were inoperable, correction took until 10/67)

Artillery Shell
6.1 (155 mm)
118 – 128
72 T
Mechanical time delay or proximity airburst, or contact
Manufactured 10/63 – 3/68; retirement (135 Mod 0s) 1/65 – 1969, all 925 Mod 1s retired 1992; 1060 produced (all mods)
Small diameter linear implosion plutonium weapon, 2 mods

54.3 – 57.9
1,640 – 1,680
1.44 Mt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 9/58 – 1964;
Thor retired 11/62 – 8/63 (a few to 4/75);
LASL developed ICBM/IRBM warhead; Used in Thor (Mod 0,1, 3), Atlas (Mod 0, 1), Titan, Jupiter (Mod 0, 1, 3, 5) warhead; 2 RVs used Mk-2 heat sink and Mk-3 ablative; 2 yields, 7 mods; Mk/W-28 adaptation with new arming/fuzing system; PAL A; successor to W-35

409 – 410
Y1: 60 Kt;
Y2: 200 Kt;
Y3: 400 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 3/63 – 12/65;
retired 4/73 – 4/91;
280 produced
TN warhead for Pershing SSM (Mod 1, 2), Nike Zeus SAM (canceled 5/59); Mod 1 equipped with PAL A; 3 yields, 2 mods

22 T
Became XW-54 Jan 1959
Very small spherical implosion warhead, initial development by LRL, development transferred to LASL and design redesignated W-54

200 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 5/62 – 4/66;
retired 3/74 – 8/78;
300 produced
Sergeant SSM warhead; 2 yields, 3 mods; PAL A (Mod 2); warhead test in 1963 showed Mods 1 and 2 to be useless, Mod 3 was first to achieve rated yield


148 – 150;
Y2 144
8,850 – 8,900
9 Mt
FUFO: F/F or retarded, airburst or contact, laydown
Manufactured 8/62 – 6/65; retirement (early mods) began 7/67, last 50 retired from active service (but retained in permanent stockpile) early 1997; 350 produced, 50 still in stockpile
Carried by B-47, B-52; B-58 used Mk-53BA (in BLU-2/B pod); 4 mods, Y1 "dirty" version, Y2 "clean" version; fissile material all HEU, no plutonium; parachutes: 1×4 ft, 1×16.5 ft ribbon, 3×48 ft ribbon; last 50 retired in favor of B-61 Mod 11; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"


9 Mt
Airburst or contact
Titan II warhead

50 – 51
250 T
Contact or proximity
Manufactured 4/61 – 2/65; retired 7/67 – 4/72; 1000 – 2000 produced
GAR-11/AIM-26A Falcon AAM warhead; originally called "Wee Gnat"; adaptation of Mk-54

50 – 55
10, 20 T
Time delay
Manufactured 4/61 – 2/65;
retired 7/67 – 1971;
400 produced
Warhead for Davy Crockett M-388 recoilless rifle projectile; 2 yields; 2 mods; very light, compact spherical implosion plutonium warhead

Mk-54 SADM
Atomic Demolition Munition (ADM)
150 (complete);
59 (W-54 only)
Variable, 10 T – 1 Kt
Time delay
Manufactured 8/64 – 6/66;
retired 1967 – 1989;
300 produced
M-129/M-159 SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) used a Mk-54 warhead package very similar to Davy Crockett; 2 mods; mechanical combination lock PAL

Mid Kiloton Range
Manufactured 1/64 – 3/68, 3/70 – 4/74;
retired 6/83 – 9/90;
285 produced
SUBROC (UUM-44A) ASW missile thermonuclear warhead; based on the 202 Kt Hardtack I Olive device

600; 680
1.2 Mt
Airburst or surface
Manufactured 3/63 – 5/69;
retired 9/66 (early mods), Mod-4 retired 1991-93;
1000 produced (all mods), 455 Mod-4s produced
Minuteman I and II warhead, based on UCRL W-47, competitor with the W-59 for Minuteman; 4 mods, retrofit of early mods required to fix reliability problem, blast and radiation hardening added later

490 – 510
5 – 20 Kt
Retarded airburst, retarded laydown, F/F contact, hydrostatic
Manufactured 1/63 – 5/67; retirement (early mods) started 6/75, last retired 6/93; 3,100 produced
Light weight multipurpose tactical strike/depth bomb; boosted implosion fission weapon; modular design, 6 mods; PAL B; 1×12.5 ft ribbon parachute;
Retired in favor of B-61

200 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 3/64 – 6/67; retired 9/68-4/82; 1400 produced
Polaris A-3 warhead, each A-3 carried three multiple re-entry vehicles (MRVs), first MRV warhead in service

550 – 553
1 Mt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 6/62 – 7/63;
retired 12/64 – 6/69;
150 produced
Warhead for Minuteman I/Mk 5 RV and the canceled Skybolt; version of LASL "J-21" design;

115 – 150
Very low
Canceled Dec 1963
Typhon SAM warhead

MK/B 61



695 – 716
Variable (4 yields), 0.3 – 340 Kt;
Mod 3: 0.3 – 170 Kt;
Mod 4: 0.3 – 45 Kt;
Mod 7/11: 10 – 340 Kt;
Mod 10: 0.3 – 80 Kt
FUFO: retarded and F/F, contact or airburst, laydown
Manufactured 10/66 – early 90s; early mods retired 70s – 80s; 3150 produced, 1350 in service
Multipurpose tactical/strategic bomb; basic design adapted to many other weapon systems; 4 yields; 11 mods, 5 in service; PAL B, D, F; uses IHE in primary; parachute: 1×17 ft or 1×24 ft ribbon; longest production run of any U.S. nuclear weapon, oldest design in service; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"


RV Body: 21 in;
Warhead: 19.7 in
RV Body: 72 in;
Warhead: 39.3 in
Warhead/RV: 700-800 lb;
Warhead: 253 lb
170 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 3/70 – 6/76;
early mods retired starting 4/80;
1725 produced, 610 in active service;
Minuteman III/Mk-12 RV warhead; remaining W-62s part of U.S. "enduring stockpile", but will be removed from active service under START II (to be replaced by W-88s)

Canceled Nov 1966
LRL design for Lance SSM warhead; ER ("neutron bomb") design; (canceled in favor of W-70

Canceled Sep 1964
LASL design for Lance SSM warhead; ER ("neutron bomb") design; canceled in favor of W-63

Mt range
Canceled Jan 1968
Sprint ABM warhead, canceled in favor of W-66

Kt range
Manufactured 6/74 – 3/75;
retired from service 8/75, ret. from stockpile 1985;
70 produced
Sprint ABM warhead, ER ("neutron bomb") warhead

150 Kt
Canceled Dec 1967
LRL ICBM/SLBM multiple warhead, intended for Poseidon and Minuteman-III

40 – 50 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 6/70 – 6/75; retired 9/77 – 1991; 5250 produced
Poseidon Mk-3 RV warhead, each missile carried 10 RVs; aging problems with explosive required complete rebuilding of stockpile 11/78-83 (3200 rebuilt, others retired); largest production run of any U.S. warhead

170 – 200 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 10/71 – 8/76;
retired 10/91 – 9/94;
1500 produced
SRAM (short range attack missile, AGM 69A) air-surface missile warhead; derived from Mk-61; initially removed from active service 6/90 due to fire safety concerns

Mods 0,1, 2: variable from 1-100 Kt;
Mod 3: 1 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 6/73 – 7/77 (Mods 0-2), 8/81 – 2/83 (Mod 3);
retired 7/79 – 9/92;
Mods 0-2: 900 produced, Mod 3: 380 built
Lance SSM warhead; LRL successor to W-63 design; 4 mods; Mods 0, 1, 2: TN warhead with 3 yield settings (1-100 Kt), Mod 1 had improved selection of yields; Mod 3: enhanced radiation ("neutron bomb") version, 2 yield options (slightly less than 1 Kt, and slightly more than 1 Kt), both 60% fusion and 40% fission; PAL D

5 Mt
Airburst (command & delay timer)
Manufactured 7/74 – 7/75;
retired from service 1975, ret. from stockpile 9/92;
30 produced
Spartan ABM warhead, used thermal x-rays for exoatmospheric RV kill

ca. 600 T
Manufactured 8/70 – 4/72;
retired 7/79 – 9/79;
300 produced
Walleye (AGM-62) guided glide bomb warhead; W-72 was a modified W-54, salvaged from retired AIM-26A Falcon AAM; yield was significantly enhanced over Falcon version

Canceled Sept 1970
Condor ASM warhead; derived from Mk-61; canceled in favor of a conventional HE warhead

Artillery Shell
6.1 (155 mm)
2 yields (both >100 T)
Canceled June 1973
Linear implosion pure fission plutonium warhead; intended to replace W-48

Artillery Shell
8 (203 mm)
>100 T
Canceled 1973
"Big brother" of W-74, similar design

100 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 6/78 – 7/87;
active service;
approx. 3000 produced
Trident I and Trident II Mk-4 RV TN warhead, missiles can carry 8-14 RVs; developed by LANL; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"

Variable, Kt to Mt range
Canceled Dec 1977
High yield strategic TN bomb, intended to replace Mk-28 and Mk-43; PAL D; costly, heavy delivery system lead to cancellation, warhead design continued with B-83

400 – 600
335 – 350 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 8/79 – 10/82;
active service;
1083 produced, 920 in service
Minuteman III/Mk-12A RV warhead; LANL design derived from W-50 with a new lighter primary; part of U.S. "enduring stockpile", but will be removed from active service under START II (to be replaced by W-88s)

Artillery Shell
Variable – 100 T to 1.1 Kt (Mod 0), 0.8 Kt (Mod 1)
Proximity airburst or contact
Manufactured 7/81 – 8/86; ER version retirement started mid-80s, all retired 9/92; 550 (325 ER, 225 fission) produced
Plutonium linear implosion weapon, used in XM-753 atomic projectile (AFAP); Mod 0: dual capable – pure fission or enhanced radiation (ER of "neutron bomb"), 3 yield options; Mod 1: fission only; PAL D


Variable: 5 Kt and 170-200 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 12/83 – 9/90;
active service;
367 produced
SLCM warhead; uses supergrade plutonium; PAL D; LANL design derived from Mk/B-61 warhead; now stored ashore; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"

Variable: 5 Kt and 150-170 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 1/81 – 9/90;
active service;
1750 produced, 1400 in service
Warhead for ALCM (1000 in service), ACM (400 in service); PAL D; LANL design derived from Mk/B-61 warhead; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"

2 – 4 Kt
Canceled 1986
USN Standard SM-2 SAM warhead; PAL F; variant of Mk/B-61 warhead, enhanced radiation version initially planned, later converted to fission only

Artillery Shell
6.1 (155 mm)
<2 Kt
W-82-0 canceled in Oct 1983; W-82-1 canceled in Sept 1990
155 mm companion to the the W-79, for use in XM-785 atomic projectile (AFAP); original Mod 0: dual capable – pure fission or enhanced radiation; Mod 1: fission only; PAL D


Variable, low Kt to 1.2 Mt
FUFO: F/F or retarded, airburst or contact, laydown
Manufactured 6/83 – 1991;
active service;
650 produced
Current high-yield strategic TN bomb; PAL D; uses IHE, fire resisitant pit; parachutes: 3×4 ft, 1×46 ft; 1×5 ft, 1×46 ft

1,700 – 1,900


Variable: 0.2 – 150 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 9/83 – 1/88;
inactive stockpile;
300-350 produced
GLCM warhead, missile scrapped under INF Treaty; LLNL design derived from LANL Mk/B-61 Mod 3/4 warhead; uses IHE, PAL F; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"

alternate image
Variable: 5 – 80 Kt
Airburst or contact
Manufactured 2/83 – 7/86;
retired 1988 – 3/91;
120 produced
Pershing II SSM warhead; derived from LANL Mk/B-61 Mod 3/4 warhead; uses IHE, PAL F; upon retirement the W-85 was recycled into B-61 Mod 10 bombs

Canceled Sept 1980
Earth penetrating warhead for the Pershing II SSM, canceled due to change in mission from hard to soft targets




500 – 600; 440
300 Kt;
upgradeable to 475 Kt
Timer or proximity airburst, contact
Manufactured 7/86 – 12/88;
active service;
525 produced
Peacekeeper (MX) ICBM/Mk-21 RV TN warhead (missile carries 10); RV/warhead weighs 800 lb; LLNL design; primary uses IHE and fire resistant pit; yield upgradeable by adding HEU rings to secondary; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"; after MX retirement, will equip Minuteman III



475 Kt
Timer (w/path length correction) and proximity airburst; contact
Manufactured 9/88 – 11/89; active service;
400 produced
Trident II Mk-5 RV warhead; does not use IHE; uses HEU jacket with secondary stage; production terminated by FBI raid on Rocky Flats; part of the U.S. "enduring stockpile"

200 Kt
Airburst or contact
Canceled Sept 1991
SRAM (short range attack missile) II warhead; LLNL design; safety features: PAL D, IHE, FRP; also considered for Sea Lance ASW missile

B 90
200 Kt
retarded airburst, retarded contact, F/F airburst, F/F contact, hydrostatic
Canceled 1991
USN nuclear strike/depth bomb; intended to replace Mk-57; PAL D; 1×26 ft parachute

10, 100 Kt
Canceled Sept 1991
SRAM-T (short range attack missile – tactical) warhead; SRAM-T was a SRAM II derivative for the F-15E Eagle fighter/bomber; LASL TN design orignally called "New Mexico 1"; safety features: FRP, IHE; 2 yields


  • AAM Air-to-Air Missile
  • ABM Anti-Ballistic Missile
  • ACM Advanced Cruise Missile
  • ADM Atomic Demolition Munition
  • AFAP Artillery Fired Atomic Projectile
  • ALCM Air Launched Cruise Missile
  • ASM Air-Surface Missile
  • ASW Anti-Submarine Warfare
  • ER Enhanced Radiation ("neutron bomb")
  • EC Emergency Capability
  • F/F Freefall
  • FRP Fire Resistant Pit
  • FUFO Full-fuzing Options
  • HEU Highly Enriched Uranium
  • ICBM Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
  • IFI In-Flight Insertion
  • IHE Insensitive High Explosive
  • IRBM Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile
  • Kt Kilotons
  • LANL Los Alamos National Laboratory (nee LASL)
  • LASL Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
  • LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (nee LRL)
  • LRL Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (nee UCRL)
  • MK Mark
  • MRBM Medium-Range Ballistic Missile
  • Mt megatons
  • PAL Permissive Action Link
  • Pu Plutonium
  • RV Re-entry Vehicle
  • SAM Surface-to-Air Missile
  • Rtd Parachute-retarded
  • SLBM Sea-Launched Cruise Missile
  • SSM Surface-to-Surface Missile
  • T tons
  • TN Thermonuclear
  • UCRL University of California Radiation Laboratory
  • USN US Navy


Principal Sources:
Swords of Armageddon by Chuck Hansen, 1995
U.S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History by Chuck Hansen, 1988
Nuclear Weapons Databook: U.S. Nuclear Forces and Capabilities by Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, and Milton M. Hoenig, 1984
NRDC Nuclear Notebook prepared by Robert S. Norris and William Arkin of the Natural Resources Defense Council, published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Especially in issues:

  • July/August 1996
  • July/August 1995

Nuclear Weapons of the United States by James N. Gibson, 1996.

mohawk_350_KT_nuke (1)


U.S. Nuclear Weapon Enduring Stockpile

Last changed 31 August 2007


The U.S. nuclear arsenal is divided into three levels of stockpile readiness. These are:

  • Operationally Deployed: These are active stockpile (fully operational) weapons and mated with delivery systems such that they are ready to be used in combat. All warheads counted under arms limitation agreements belong to this category.
  • Active Stockpile: Fully operational weapons, available for immediate use, whether or not they are operationally deployed. Reasons for an active stockpile weapon to not be operationally deployed include:
    • Its assigned to a delivery system is not currently operational (in particular ballistic missile submarines spend one-third of their time not on patrol),
    • It is a spare for deployed warheads (should a deployed warhead require maintenance, for example), and
    • It is part of the responsive force — an inventory of warheads that are kept in operational condition (tritium reservoirs installed, etc.) to permit immediate deployment (for example to upload the number of wartheads on a ballistic missile, or reloads for bomber aircraft).
  • Inactive Reserve: Weapons that are kept intact, but are not maintained in operational condition. This means that limited life components are removed from the weapons and may not be available to immediately return them to service. "Limited life components" principally mean tritium-containing components such as tritium reservoirs and neutron generator tubes. Some weapons currently in this category (e.g. the W84) will be dismantled.

At the beginning of 2007 the U.S. nuclear arsenal was composed of eight types of nuclear warheads (in thirteen variant mods) that are operationally deployed, with an estiamted count of 5,736 active stockpile warheads. For the first time the 2007 Annual Report on Implementation of the Moscow Treaty listed the aggregate number of U.S. operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads which as of 31 December 2006 stood at 3,696. No official breakdown of this number is available, however if one assumes that ICBMs have 95% availability, 66% of SLBMs are on patrol, and 90% of bombers are on-duty with their full combat load, then this tally exactly matches the offical operational count.

One of the active warheads (the W87) is currently being redeployed (replacing the W62) after having been taken off of operational duty in the 1990s.


There are also 589 warheads of two types that are inactive, these are not kept in operational condition and one of these warheads (the W84) is slated to be completely dismantled.

The total number of warheads of all levels of readiness stands at 9,962 warheads. It should be pointed out that although precise numbers are cited here to keep tallies consistent and avoid cumulative rounding errors, they are in fact approximations. Even if exact numbers were available for one specific moment in time, continuing stockpile changes as a result of deployment shifts and inspection and maintenance actions causes actual numbers to fluctuate.

The total megatonnage of the deployed nuclear arsenal is about 1,430 Mt (but this is influenced by the choice of deployed weapons for bombers); for the entire active arsenal it is 2,330 Mt. The all-time high point in explosive yield was in 1960 when the U.S. held 20,491 Mt in its stockpile. The size of nuclear arsenals are often evaluated using "equivalent megatonnage" a scaling procedure that compensates for the fact that smaller explosions cause relatively more blast destructive for the amount of explosive energy released. An EMt value of one indicates the destructive effect of one 1 megaton bomb. Since most warheads in the U.S. arsenal are much less than one megaton this measure results in a larger value than the raw megatonnage. Using this measure the destructiveness of the deployed arsenal becomes 2,090 EMt, and the total active arsenal 3,405 EMt.

The United States has produced about 70,000 nuclear weapons of 72 major types since their invention. At the end of the Cold War in 1991 the United States had an active arsenal of some 23,000 weapons of 26 major types. Since that time actual nuclear warhead production has been completely shut down in the U.S., although warhead modification, retrofit, and maintenance activities continue. Much of the original nuclear weapons manufacturing infrastructure has been dismantled, and the focus of the remaining nuclear infrastructure has shifted to maintaining and extending the life of the remaining weapons, as well as dismantling surplus weapons.

The only strategic arms treaties still in force between the U.S. and the Russian Federation is the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (also called "the Moscow Treaty," the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, or SORT) and the START I treaty, which will expire in December 2009. The Moscow Treaty was signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin on 24 May 2002 and ratified by the U.S. Senate on 6 March 2003, and by the Russian Duma on 14 May 2003. The Moscow Treaty sets lower warhead limits than the effective limits of START I and requires both sides to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by midnight 31 December 2012. Strangely, the deadline for compliance is the same moment as the expiration of the treaty so it is questionable whether the warhead limit ever legally takes effect.



The Moscow Treaty does not require the destruction of any of the warheads taken out of deployment. Given the lengthy period the Moscow Treaty gives for reductions (more than a decade) and the debatable effect of its limit, the actual effect it will have on U.S. and Russian arsenals remains to be seen. U.S plans appear to take into account reduction to the SORT upper limit of 2,200 however.

Current plans are to completely retire and dismantle the oldest warhead in the U.S. arsenal, the W62 carried by the Minuteman III missile. Retirement of the W62 began in October 2006, and is being replaced by W87 warheads that have been in storage since they were removed from Peacekeeper (MX) missile upon its retirement. Five other deployed warheads (the B61-3, B61-4, W76, W78 and W80-1) will be reduced in number to bring the count down to 2,200. This will required removing 3,759 of these five warheads from deployment (given that 553 W87s are being returned to duty); together they number 4,302 of the currently deployed force. Partial dismantlement of these warheads is expected, but former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has indicated that most the warheads removed from deployment will be kept in the U.S. stockpile.

Actual production of new warheads halted in 1989. In January 1997, the first new weapon modification since the production shutdown entered service – the B61 Mod 11 (B61-11) ground penetrating ("bunker busting") bomb. This was a modification of B61 Mod 7s that were already in the stockpile. Remanufacture and updating of subsystems of existing weapons is on-going as part of a stockpile Life-Extension Program (LEP).

In the FY2005 budget congress authorized $36.6 million for two new nuclear weapons programs – the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP), and the Advanced Concepts Initiative (ACI). The RNEP was intended to explore the design of a new "bunker busting" warhead, while the ACI explored other weapons concepts. Poor reviews of the RNEP concept led to the deletion of funding from the FY2006 budget. The ACI on the other hand was replaced by the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program, to which its funds were transferred. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) requested funding of $9.351 million for RRW in the FY2006 budget.

According to the NNSA budget request the RRW:


"Is to demonstrate the feasibility of developing reliable replacement components that are producible and certifiable for the existing stockpile. The initial focus will be to provide cost and schedule efficient replacement pits that can be certified without underground tests.

This program justification is similar to the pre-existing stockpile LEP which also develops reliable replacement components, though not for warhead pits (the hollow plutonium core found in each warhead) or other non-replaceable "physics package" (nuclear explosive) components. A key motivation for interest in replacement pits is long standing concern about how long pits manufactured decades ago would remain reliable against corrosion and other forms of deterioration. In general the original formulation of RRW seems to have been a more thorough going and ambitious version of LEP. The latter program was conservative – it attempted to minimize changes to the warhead – while RRW sought to remanufacture the entire weapon.

In November 2006 the JASONs, a select panel of scientific advisors, issued a report reviewing seven years of research on plutonium pit deterioration and found that they would remain reliable for up to 100 years. This finding seemingly undercut the NNSAs FY2006 budget justification for the RRW program.

On 7 January 2007 The New York Times reported that the interagency Nuclear Weapons Council would announce the following week a major decision for RRW. The two nuclear weapon labs, it was revealed, had developed competing proposals for RRW – neither of which was in the mold of "LEP-plus". Instead both labs proposed replacing the entire existing arsenal of warheads with new designs. The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) proposal drew on aspects of many weapons from the stockpile and pulled them together in a novel design that has never undergone testing. he Livermore National Laboratory in California, approached the problem with very different philosophies, nuclear officials and experts said. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) proposal was based on a robust warhead design that had been tested in the 1980s, prior to the nuclear testing moratorium. This weapon (which might possibly be either the CALMENDRO or MUNSTER warhead designs previously considered for deployment in the 1980s) has never entered the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

Reportedly the new decision on RRW however would not select between the two proposals, but would instead combine them, yielding yet another novel warhead.

The tables below give a summary breakdown of the U.S. stockpile. Clicking on the last column of the table will bring up a detailed description of the correspondng weapon.

United States Nuclear Weapon Stockpile

Warhead Type
Yield (Kilotons)
First Produced
Click For More Info

0.3 / 1.5 / 60 / 170
0.3 / 1.5 / 10 / 45
10 / ? / 340
0.3 / 5 / 10 / 80
0.3? / ? / 340

Ballistic Missile
Start of retirement 10/2006, completion in 2009
To be dismantled

Ballistic Missile

Ballistic Missile
Life extension mod; first delivery 9/2007

Ballistic Missile

  Mod 0
  Mod 1
  Mod 2
  Mod 3
Cruise Missile Warhead
  Sea Launched
  Air Launched
  Sea Launched
  Air Launched
5 / 150
Life extension mod: 2006
Life extension mod: 2008

low to 1200

Cruise Missile Warhead
0.3 / ? / 150
to be dismantled


Ballistic Missile
Began replacing W62 10/2006
Current deployment rate one per week
330 to be deployed by 2009

Ballistic Missile
No Graphic Available

* To be partly dismantled as part of Moscow Treaty arsenal reduction.

Principal Sources:
Chuck Hansen. Swords of Armageddon 1996, VI-439 to VI-442.
Chuck Hansen. U.S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History 1988
Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, and Milton M. Hoenig. Nuclear Weapons Databook: U.S. Nuclear Forces and Capabilities 1984
Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2003), p. 74-76.
The B61 Family of Bombs, Robert S. Norris, Hans M. Kristensen, Joshua Handler in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2006), p. 68-71.
James N. Gibson. Nuclear Weapons of the United States 1996.
Jonathan Medalia. Nuclear Weapons: The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, CRS-RL32929, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, 9 March 2006.


United States Nuclear Weapon Stockpile 1

United States Nuclear Weapon Stockpile 2


Current U.S. Nuclear Forces









Principles of Nuclear Weapons Security and Safety

Last changed 1 October 1997

Due to their extreme destructiveness, nuclear weapons require stringent measures to ensure that they are never detonated, either intentionally or by accident, except under properly authorized circumstances. In addition, since most nuclear weapons contain strongly radiotoxic materials (plutonium and tritium) it is important to prevent accidental release of these materials in an accident.

The first line of defense against accident is to design into the weapon an "exclusion zone" that encloses the detonation system and physically prevents electrical energy from reaching it. Access from the firing system is provided by a "strong link". This is a mechanism (a motorized switch for example) that maintains physical isolation unless it is closed by the arming system. The strong link is thus the ‘draw bridge’ across the exclusion zone ‘moat’.

Now it is possible for an accident of some kind (a crash, fire, munition explosion, lightning strike, etc.) to destroy the integrity of the exclusion zone or the strong link and theoretically open the possibility of the detonation system being activated. To prevent this, there is one or more "weak links" is inserted into the detonation system inside the exclusion zone. These weak links will fail, rendering the weapon inoperable, when exposed to abnormal stresses (heat, acceleration forces, etc.) that are below the level that could possibly disrupt exclusion zone integrity.

Result – any accident that could circumvent the exclusion zone/strong link protections will disable the weapon by breaking the weak links first.

The first line of defense against unauthorized activation is a lock on the weapon. The earliest locks were mechanical combination locks, but since the early 1960s a more sophisticated system called a "permissive action link" (PAL) has been increasingly employed. A PAL is an electronic (originally electro-mechanical) device that prevents arming the weapon unless the correct codes are inserted into it. Two different codes must be inserted, simultaneously or close together. This is the "two man rule" principle – which requires it to be impossible to arm any nuclear weapon through the actions of a single individual. The codes are usually changed on a regular schedule. PALs have been developed in several versions of increasing sophistication, designated A through F.

Once the PAL has been enabled, it now possible to arm and fire the weapon. The "unique signal generator" is a technique for making the weapon extremely discriminating about the arming signal so that spoofing signals, noise, or other interference will not cause arming. There is a signal recognition system in the weapon that responds only to a single, very specific, complex signal. This signal is produced by the unique signal generator (which is actually outside the weapon). A more recent approach has been to replace the unique (analog) signal approach with digital communinications and codes.

Once the weapon is armed, "environmental sensing devices" (ESDs) prevent detonation of the weapon unless it is properly delivered to the target. These devices detect external effects that should occur during the delivery process, things like – free fall period, acceleration curves, temperature, pressures, etc. Unless these effects are detected in the proper sequence, and fall within specified parameters, the weapon will not detonate.

There are other safety measures that have been included in some or all modern weapons:

  • "Fire resistant pits" (FRPs) that prevent molten plutonium from escaping in a fire (probably by containing it within the high melting point beryllium reflector shell);
  • "Insensitive high explosives" (IHE), these use the explosive TATB which is highly resistant to "cooking off" in a fire, or being detonated by mechanical shock;
  • Insulating containers may be used to reduce the influx of heat from a fire,
  • "Limited retry" may be used in a PAL. This disables the PAL if the wrong combination is entered too many times, requiring factory service to restore (the same way ATMs will eat a ATM card if the wrong PIN number is entered repeatedly).
  • Weapons can also use active self-damaging mechanisms that break bomb components, requiring factory repair before the weapon can be fired, if tampering (including excessive retrys) is detected. Recent weapons have "noviolent" (non-explosive) disablement systems. These systems can also be activated by remote command in some weapons.

  • The Swords of Armageddon, by Chuck Hansen, Chuckelea Pub., 1995.
  • Nuclear Weapons Databook Volume I: U.S. Nuclear Forces and Capabilities, by Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, and Milton M. Hoenig; NRDC, 1984.
  • Managing Nuclear Operations, Ashton B. Carter, John D. Steinbruner, Charles A. Zraket ed.; Brookings Institute, 1987.


Mechanical combination lock

Four-digit, 10-position electromechanical coded switch (most retired or replaced by 1987)

Ground & airplane-operable 4-digit coded switch (later version with limited try followed by lockout until reset)

Single-code 6-digit switch, limited try followed by lockout

Multiple-code 6-digit switch, limited try followed by lockout

Multiple-code 12-digit switch, limited try followed by lockout

Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth


Risks to civilization, humans, and planet Earth are existential risks that could threaten humankind as a whole, have adverse consequences for the course of human civilization, or even cause the end of planet Earth.[1] The concept is expressed in various phrases such as "End of the World", "Doomsday", "Ragnarök", "Judgement Day", "Armageddon", "the Apocalypse" and others.

Types of risks

Various risks exist for humanity, but not all are equal. Risks can be roughly categorized into six types based on the scope (personal, regional, global) and the intensity (endurable or terminal). The following chart provides some examples:

Typology of risk [1]


Plate tectonics
Nearby Gamma-ray burst

Flash flooding
Permanent submersion


The risks discussed in this article are at least Global and Terminal in intensity. These types of risks are ones where an adverse outcome would either annihilate intelligent life on Earth, or permanently and drastically reduce its potential. Jamais Cascio made an alternative classification system.

Future scenarios

Many scenarios have been suggested. Some that will almost certainly end life on Earth are certain to occur, but on a very long timescale. Others are likely to happen on a shorter timescale, but will probably not completely destroy civilization. Still others are extremely unlikely, and may even be impossible. For example, Nick Bostrom writes:

Some foreseen hazards (hence not members of the current category) which have been excluded from the list on grounds that they seem too unlikely to cause a global terminal disaster are: solar flares, supernovae, black hole explosions or mergers, gamma-ray bursts, galactic center outbursts, buildup of air pollution, gradual loss of human fertility, and various religious doomsday scenarios.[2]

The distant future

There are a number of cosmological theories as to the universe’s ultimate fate that exclude the indefinite continuation of life. Most involve time periods and distant futures much greater than the current 13.7 billion year age of the universe. A long established and widely accepted theory is the eventual heat death of the universe.

The theory of stellar evolution predicts that our Sun will exhaust its hydrogen core and become a red giant in about 5 billion years[3][4][5], becoming thousands of times more luminous and losing roughly 30% of its current mass[6]. Ignoring tidal effects, the Earth would then orbit 1.7 AU (250,000,000 km) from the Sun at its maximum radius. This would allow the Earth to escape being enveloped by the Sun’s now expanded and thin outer atmosphere, though most life, if not all, would perish due to the Sun’s proximity.[3] However, a more recent study suggests that the Earth’s orbit will decay due to the effects of tidal drag, causing it to enter the Sun’s expanded atmosphere and be destroyed[4][7][8] in 7.6 billion years[9]. Before being swallowed by the Sun, the Earth’s oceans would evaporate, and the Earth would finally be destroyed by tidal forces.

Meteorite impact

Main article: Impact event

Earth has collided with several large asteroids in recent geological history. The Cretaceous-Tertiary asteroid, for example, is theorized to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65-million years ago. If such an object struck Earth it could have a serious impact on civilization. It is even possible that humanity would be completely destroyed; for this to occur the asteroid would need to be at least 1 km (0.62 miles) in diameter, but probably between 3–10 km (2–6 miles).[10] Asteroids with a 1 km diameter have impacted the Earth on average once every 500,000 years[10]. Larger asteroids are less common. So-called Near-Earth asteroids are regularly being observed.

1.4 million years from now the star Gliese 710 is expected to cause an increase in the number of meteoroids in the vicinity of Earth by passing within 1.1 light years of the Sun. Some models predict that this will cause a large number of comets from theOort cloud to impact Earth[11], whereas other models predict only a 5% increase in the rate of impact.

Other cosmic threats

A number of other scenarios have been suggested. Massive objects, e.g., a star, large planet or black hole, could be catastrophic if a close encounter occurred in the solar system. (Gravity from the wandering objects might disrupt orbits and/or fling bodies into other objects, thus resulting in meteorite impacts or climate change. Also, heat from the wandering objects might cause extinctions; tidal forces could cause erosion along our coastlines.) Another threat might come from gamma ray bursts.[12] Both are very unlikely.[2]

Still others see extraterrestrial life as a possible threat to humankind;[13] although alien life has never been found, scientists such as Carl Sagan have postulated that the existence of extraterrestrial life is very likely. In 1969, the "Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law" was added to the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 14, Section 1211) in response to the possibility of biological contamination resulting from the US Apollo Space Program. It was removed in 1991.[14] Scientists consider such a scenario technically possible, but unlikely.[15]

In April 2008, it was announced that two simulations of long-term planetary movement, one at Paris Observatory and the other at University of California, Santa Cruz indicate a 1% chance that Mercury‘s orbit could be made unstable by Jupiter‘s gravitational pull sometime during the lifespan of the sun. Were this to happen, the simulations suggest a collision with Earth could be one of four possible outcomes (the others being Mercury colliding with the Sun, colliding with Venus, or being ejected from the solar system altogether). If Mercury were to collide with the Earth, all life on Earth would be obliterated and the impact may displace enough matter into orbit to form another moon. Note that an asteroid just 15 km wide is said to have destroyed the dinosaurs;Mercury is some 5,000 km in diameter.[16]

Global pandemic

Main article: Pandemic

A less predictable scenario is a global pandemic. For example, if HIV were to mutate and become as transmissible as the common cold, the consequences would be disastrous.[17] It has been hypothesised that such an extremely virulent pathogen might not evolve.[18] This is because a pathogen that quickly kills its hosts might not have enough time to spread to new ones, while one that kills its hosts more slowly or not at all will allow carriers more time to spread the infection, and thus likely out-compete a more lethal species or strain.[19] This simple model predicts that if virulence and transmission are not linked in any way, pathogens will evolve towards low virulence and rapid transmission. However, this assumption is not always valid and in more complex models, where the level of virulence and the rate of transmission are related, high levels of virulence can evolve.[20] The level of virulence that is possible is instead limited by the existence of complex populations of hosts, with different susceptibilities to infection, or by some hosts being geographically-isolated.[18] The size of the host population and competition between different strains of pathogens can also alter virulence.[21] Interestingly, a pathogen that only infects humans as a secondary host and usually infects another species (a zoonosis) may have little constraint on its virulence in people, since infection here is an accidental event and its evolution is driven by events in another species.[22]


Main article: Megatsunami

Another possibility is a megatsunami. A megatsunami could, for example, destroy the entire East Coast of the United States. The coastal areas of the entire world could also be flooded in case of the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.[23] While none of these scenarios are likely to destroy humanity completely, they could regionally threaten civilization. There has been one recent high-fatality tsunami, although it was not large enough to be considered a megatsunami.

Climate change and global warming

Main article: Global warming

Climate change is any long-term significant change in the expected patterns of average weather of a specific region (or, more relevantly to contemporary socio-political concerns, of the Earth as a whole) over an appropriately significant period of time. Climate change reflects abnormal variations to the expected climate within the Earth’s atmosphere and subsequent effects on other parts of the Earth, such as in the ice caps over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related – up from around 50 percent from two decades ago.[24] These disasters take a heavier human toll and come with a higher price tag.[25] In the last decade, 2.4 billion people were affected by climate related disasters, compared to 1.7 billion in the previous decade and the cost of responding to disasters has risen tenfold between 1992 and 2008.[24]Destructive sudden heavy rains, intense tropical storms, repeated flooding and droughts are likely to increase, as will the vulnerability of local communities in the absence of strong concerted action.[25] Sea level rise may completely inundate certain areas.

Ice age

Main article: Ice age

In the history of the Earth, twelve ice ages have occurred. More ice ages will be possible at an interval of 40,000–100,000 years. This would have a serious impact on civilization, because vast areas of land (mainly in North America, Europe, and Asia) could become uninhabitable. It would still be possible to live in the tropical regions, but with possible loss of humidity/water. Currently, the world is existing in an interglacial period within a much older glacial event. The last glacial expansion ended about 10,000 years ago, and all civilizations evolved later.

Ecological disaster

Main article: Ecological disaster

An ecological disaster, such as world crop failure and collapse of ecosystem services, could be induced by the present trends of overpopulation, economic development,[26] and non-sustainable agriculture. Most of these scenarios involve one or more of the following: Holocene extinction event, scarcity of water that could lead to approximately one half of the Earth’s population being without safe drinking water, pollinator decline, overfishing, massive deforestation, desertification, climate change, or massivewater pollution episodes. A very recent threat in this direction is colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that might foreshadow the imminent extinction[27] of the Western honeybee. As the bee plays a vital role in pollination, its extinction would severely disrupt the food chain.

World population and agricultural crisis

The 20th century saw a rapid increase in human population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity[28] made by the Green Revolution.[29] Between 1950 and 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, world grain production increased by 250%. The Green Revolution in agriculture helped food production to keep pace with worldwide population growth or actually enabled population growth. The energy for the Green Revolution was provided by fossil fuels in the form of fertilizers (natural gas), pesticides (oil), and hydrocarbon fueled irrigation.[30] David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University, and Mario Giampietro, senior researcher at the National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition (INRAN), place in their study Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy the maximum U.S. population for a sustainable economy at 200 million. To achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster, the United States must reduce its population by at least one-third, and world population will have to be reduced by two-thirds, says the study.[31]

The authors of this study believe that the mentioned agricultural crisis will only begin to impact us after 2020, and will not become critical until 2050. Geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer claims that coming decades could see spiraling food prices without relief and massive starvation on a global level such as never experienced before.[32][33]


Main article: Supervolcano

When the supervolcano at Yellowstone last erupted 640,000 years ago, the magma and ash ejected from the caldera covered most of the United States west of the Mississippi river and part of northeastern Mexico.[34] Another such eruption could threaten civilization. Such an eruption could also release large amounts of gases that could alter the balance of the planet’s carbon dioxide and cause a runaway greenhouse effect, or enough pyroclastic debris and other material may be thrown into the atmosphere to partially block out the sun and cause a volcanic winter, as happened in 1816, the so-called Year Without a Summer. Such an eruption may cause the immediate deaths of millions of people several hundred miles from the eruption, and perhaps billions of deaths[35] worldwide due to the failure of the monsoon[citation needed], as well as destruction of the "American breadbasket", causing starvation on a massive scale.[35]


Some threats for humanity come from humanity itself.

Warfare and mass destruction

The scenarios that have been explored most frequently are nuclear warfare and a Doomsday device. It is difficult to predict whether it would exterminate humanity, but very certainly could alter civilization in the event of a nuclear winter.[36]

Artificial intelligence

Another category of disasters are unforeseen consequences of technology.

It has been suggested that learning computers that rapidly become superintelligent may take unforeseen actions or that robots would out-compete humanity.[37] Because of its exceptional scheduling and organisational capability and the range of novel technologies it could develop, it is possible that the first Earth superintelligence to emerge could rapidly become very, very powerful. Quite possibly, it would be matchless and unrivaled: conceivably it would be able to bring about almost any possible outcome, and be able to foil virtually any attempt that threatened to prevent it achieving its desires.[38] It could eliminate, wiping out if it chose, any other challenging rival intellects; alternatively it might manipulate or persuade them to change their behavior towards its own interests, or it may merely obstruct their attempts at interference.[38]

Vernor Vinge has suggested that a moment may come when computers and robots are smarter than humans. He calls this "the Singularity."[39] He suggests that it may be somewhat or possibly very dangerous for humans.[40] This is discussed by a philosophy called Singularitarianism.

In 2009, experts attended a conference hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) to discuss whether computers and robots might be able to acquire any sort of autonomy, and how much these abilities might pose a threat or hazard. They noted that some robots have acquired various forms of semi-autonomy, including being able to find power sources on their own and being able to independently choose targets to attack with weapons. They also noted that some computer viruses can evade elimination and have achieved "cockroach intelligence." They noted that self-awareness as depicted in science-fiction is probably unlikely, but that there were other potential hazards and pitfalls.[39] Various media sources and scientific groups have noted separate trends in differing areas which might together result in greater robotic functionalities and autonomy, and which pose some inherent concerns.[41][42][43]

Some experts and academics have questioned the use of robots for military combat, especially when such robots are given some degree of autonomous functions.[44] There are also concerns about technology which might allow some armed robots to be controlled mainly by other robots.[45] The US Navy has funded a report which indicates that as military robots become more complex, there should be greater attention to implications of their ability to make autonomous decisions.[46][47] One researcher states that autonomous robots might be more humane, as they could make decisions more effectively. However, other experts question this.[48]

Biotechnology could lead to the creation of a pandemic, Nanotechnology could lead to grey goo in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all living matter on Earth while building more of themselves – in both cases, either deliberately or by accident.[49] It has also been suggested that physical scientists might accidentally create a device that could destroy the earth and the solar system.[50]

Climate change and ecology

It has been suggested that runaway global warming might cause the climate on Earth to become like Venus, which would make it uninhabitable. In less extreme scenarios it could cause the end of civilization.[51] According to a UN climate report, theHimalayan glaciers that are the sources of Asia‘s biggest rivers – Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween and Yellow – could disappear by 2350 as temperatures rise, although an initial announcement of that report erroneously stated the date as 2035.[52][53] Approximately 3 billion people live in the drainage basin of the Himalayan rivers, which is almost half of the current human population.[54] The Himalayan system, which includes outlying subranges, stretches across: Afghanistan,Bangladesh, Bhutan, People’s Republic of China, India, Nepal, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Pakistan. Some of the world’s major rivers, Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween and Yellow River, rise in the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar could experience floods followed by droughts in coming decades. In India alone, the Ganges provides water for drinking and farming for more than 500 million people.[55][56][57] The west coast of North America, which gets much of its water from glaciers in mountain ranges such as the Rocky Mountains, Cascade Mountains and Sierra Nevada, also would be affected.[58][59] According to the California Department of Water Resources, if more water supplies are not found by 2020, California residents will face a water shortfall nearly as great as the amount consumed today.[60] Directly linked to observed increases in the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, global warming and climate change are now considered key drivers behind rising global humanitarian and emergency relief needs.[25] According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related – up from around 50 percent from two decades ago.[24] These disasters take a heavier human toll and come with a higher price tag.[25] In the last decade, 2.4 billion people were affected by climate related disasters, compared to 1.7 billion in the previous decade and the cost of responding to disasters has risen tenfold between 1992 and 2008.[24] Destructive sudden heavy rains, intense tropical storms, repeated flooding and droughts are likely to increase, as will the vulnerability of local communities in the absence of strong concerted action.[25]

Approximately 40% of the world’s agricultural land is seriously degraded.[61] In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to UNU‘s Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.[62]

James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, in his book The Revenge of Gaia (2006), has suggested that the elimination of rain forests, and the falling planetary biodiversity is removing the homeostatic negative feedback mechanisms that maintain climate stability by reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions (particularly carbon dioxide). With the heating of the oceans, the extension of the thermocline layer into Arctic and Antarctic waters is preventing the overturning and nutrient enrichment necessary for algal blooms of phytoplankton on which the ecosystems of these areas depend. With the loss of phytoplankton and tropical rain forests, two of the main carbon dioxide sinks for reducing global warming, he suggests a runaway positive feedback effect could cause tropical deserts to cover most of the world’s tropical regions, and the disappearance of polar ice caps, posing a serious challenge to global civilization.

Using scenario analysis, the Global Scenario Group (GSG), a coalition of international scientists convened by Paul Raskin, developed a series of possible futures for the world as it enters a Planetary Phase of Civilization. One scenario involves the complete breakdown of civilization as the effects of climate change become more pronounced, competition for scarce resources increases, and the rift between the poor and the wealthy widens. The GSG’s other scenarios, such as Policy Reform, Eco-Communalism, and Great Transition avoid this societal collapse and eventually result in environmental and social sustainability. They claim the outcome is dependent on human choice[63] and the possible formation of a global citizens movement which could influence the trajectory of global development.[64]

Other scenarios
  • Peak oil: Fossil Fuels attain a level of scarcity before an economically viable replacement is devised, leading firstly to economic strain, followed by the collapse of modern agriculture, then to mass-starvation.[65]
  • Antibiotic resistance: Natural selection would create super bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, devastating the world population and causing a global collapse of civilization.[66]
  • Gulf Stream shutdown: There is some speculation that global warming could, via a shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation, trigger localized cooling in the North Atlantic and lead to cooling in that region. This would affect in particular areas like Ireland, the Nordic countries, and Britain that are warmed by the North Atlantic drift.[67][68]
  • Mutual assured destruction: A full scale nuclear war could kill billions, and the resulting nuclear winter would effectively crush any form of civilization.
  • Overpopulation: Some scenarios of simultaneous ecological (food & water production) and economical (see f.e. below) collapses with overpopulation are presumed to lead to a global civil war, where the remaining habitable areas are destroyed by competing humans (so called ‘Mad Max‘-scenario).[69]
  • Famine: As of late 2007, increased farming for use in biofuels, along with world oil prices spiking to more than $140 per barrel,[70] had pushed up the price of grain used to feed poultry and dairy cows and other cattle, causing higher prices of wheat (up 58%), soybean (up 32%), and maize (up 11%) over the year.[71][72] Food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world.[73][74][75] An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race Ug99 is currently spreading across Africa and intoAsia and is causing major concern. Scientists say millions of people face starvation.[76][77][78]
  • Experimental accident: Investigations in nuclear and high energy physics, such as the Trinity test and more recently with the Large Hadron Collider, theoretical chain-reaction global disasters triggered by these unusual conditions were worried about by some but have not yet occurred.[79][80][81][82]
  • Dysgenics Widespread occurrence of defective or disadvantageous human genes could cause a catastrophic decline in the quality of human life, or its total cessation.
  • Hypercane
  • Economic collapse
  • Mass extinction
  • Overconsumption

Historical fictional scenarios

Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) studied old texts and surmised that the end of the world would happen no earlier than 2060, although he was reluctant to put an exact date on it.[83]

The belief that the Mayan civilization‘s Long Count calendar ends abruptly on December 21, 2012, is a misconception due to the Mayan practice of using only five places in Long Count Calendar inscriptions. On some monuments the Mayan calculated dates far into the past and future but there is no end of the world date. There will be a Piktun ending (a cycle of 13 144,000 day Bak’tuns) on December 21, 2012. A Piktun marks the end of a 1,872,000 day or approximately 5125 year period and is a significant event in the Mayan calendar. However, there is no historical or scientific evidence that the Mayas believed it would be a doomsday. Some believe it will just be the beginning of another Piktun.[84]

The cataclysmic pole shift hypothesis was formulated in 1872. Revisited repeatedly in the second half of the 20th century, it proposes that the axis of the Earth with respect to the crust could change extremely rapidly, causing massive earthquakes, tsunamis, and damaging local climate changes. The hypothesis is contradicted by the mainstream scientific interpretation of geological data, which indicates that true polar wander does occur, but very slowly over millions of years.

BP Tells Cleanup Workers They’ll Be Fired If They Wear Respirators

Washington’s Blog
June 18, 2010

As I noted on May 19th, BP has been telling cleanup workers that they don’t need to wear respirators or other protective gear.

As Jerrold Nadler, the New York congressman whose district includes the World Trade Center,said today:

We’re repeating the same catastrophe in the Gulf. You see pictures of people wearing regular clothes who are wading in and scooping oil off the water. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people, are going to get sick unnecessarily.

More egregious still, sources on the ground say that BP is telling cleanup workers that they will be fired if they wear respirators:


Because – as part of their PR campaign – BP is doing everything it can to prevent dramatic pictures or headlines regarding the oil spill.

For example, BP has been keeping reporters out of areas hardest hit by the oil (and seethis, this, this and this) and threatening to arrest them if they try to take pictures, hiding dead birds and other sealife, and using dispersants to break up the thick plumes of oil. Indeed, attorney and environmental advocate Monique Harden says that BP is “running the Gulf region like a prison warden”.

Russia Will Lead Effort to Found `New World Economic Order,’ Medvedev Says

By Lyubov Pronina and Lucian Kim – Jun 18, 2010

Russia to help found 'New World Economic Order', Medvedev

Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev. Photographer: Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg

Russia will help lead efforts to recast the global economic hierarchy as the world emerges from the financial crisis, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

“We really live at a unique time, and we should use it to build a modern, prosperous and strong Russia, a Russia that will be a co-founder of the new world economic order,” Medvedev said at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forumtoday.

Russia will use tax incentives and other free-market economic policies to turn the country into a destination for innovators from around the world, Medvedev told an audience including Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.

Medvedev, in the third year of his presidency, is promoting modernization to transform Russia from an oil-and-gas economy into a magnet for high technology. Its reliance on natural resources exacerbated the steepest contraction among major emerging markets last year, when the economy shrank a record 7.9 percent.

The government will abolish taxes on capital gains from long-term direct investments starting next year, seeking to lure funds to reduce the economy’s energy dependence and subdue speculative capital, Medvedev said.


“Such investments are critically important for modernizing the national economy and we are ready to create institutions to facilitate such investments,” he said. The government will create an investment fund within a year to help draw “strategic investors” by raising 3 rubles of private capital for each 1 ruble of state money.

“We understand that international competition is the decisive stimulus for our modernization,” the president said. “Russia should become an attractive country to which people from the whole world will come in search of their dreams.”

Medvedev in March asked billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, owner of holding company Renova Group, to oversee efforts to create a Russian version of Silicon Valley in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo, where tax breaks and other incentives will be offered to lure investment to spur innovation and production of high-technology products. Cisco Systems Inc. and Nokia Oyj plan to join the project.

Citigroup’s Pandit backed Medvedev’s plans announced last year to create a financial center in the capital.

“It’s a real opportunity to turn Moscow into a hub,” Pandit said in St. Petersburg today.

Recovery Road

The nation is on the road to recovery after the decline, Medvedev said. Sovereign debt is “minimal,” foreign reserves are growing again and inflation is at its lowest level in 20 years, according to the president. The country boasts government debt of about 10 percent of gross domestic product.

“Flexibility and adaptability are words that have become much more popular than stability and predictability,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev said he will continue to seek economic integration on a regional level with former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan and Belarus, a development he said doesn’t conflict with Russia’s aspirations to join the World Trade Organization.

In areas where it lags behind, Russia will adopt foreign practices, such as the European Union’s technical standards, according to the president.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lyubov Pronina in St. Petersburg; Lucian Kim in St. Petersburg at

Smuggled video shows Israeli snipers aiming, firing at Gaza Flotilla activists

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Smuggled raw footage of the Israeli commandos’ assault on Gaza Freedom Flotilla, taken by an eyewitness, has been published online. Activist Iara Lee has kept the recordings despite the Israeli government’s efforts to confiscate all footage of the attack. This is an excerpt from the full one-hour long video.

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