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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Historical United States Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear warheads are identified by a W with a program number, e.g. W88. Nuclear bombs are identified by a B with a program number, e.g. B61. Modifications include Mod numbers, e.g., B61, Mod 11, or simply B61-11. No dashes were used in B and W designations, to prevent confusion with aircraft designations.

During the Cold War the size, weight and shape of some thermonuclear weapons was classified. Any information which revealed the existence of thermonuclear weapons with diameter less than 24" or weight less than 2000 lb was classified as of 1959. A year later, in 1960, information which reveals the existence of thermonuclear weapon with diameter less than 18 inches or weight less than 690 pounds was classified. By 1988 the existence of, or the capability to design, a thermonuclear (TN) weapon assembly system with a diameter of 8 inches was classified.


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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:36:10 ZULU