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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Nuclear weapons with “W” in their names are warheads, which are launched on missiles. Weapons with “B” in their names are bombs, which are dropped from aircraft. The numbers in weapons’ names reflect the order in which they were conceived. The W93, for example, is the 93rd weapons design being considered for the stockpile. Since 1945, when the United States first developed nuclear weapons, only 63 weapons designs have made it into the stockpile. Los Alamos designed 46 of those 63 (and 29 of the first 30).

The last nuclear weapon to enter the stockpile was the W88 in 1988. Around that same time, four other weapons designs—the W89, B90, W91, and W92—were being explored in phase studies. But when the Cold War ended, so did U.S. nuclear weapons development. “To really show the Cold War was over, the United States also retired many weapons,” remembers Michael Bernardin, recently retired associate Laboratory director for Weapons Physics at Los Alamos.

The UUM-125 Sea Lance was an anti-submarine missile which from 1980 was developed by the US Navy as replacement anti-submarine missiles UUM-44 SUBROC and RUR-5 ASROC. It was supposed to be released missile in two versions - UUM-125A underwater and RUM-125A surface based. Originally it was supposed that the two missiles were to be armed with 200-kt thermonuclear depth bomb the W-92, the radius of destruction which was about 10 km, which made it impossible for the submarine boats avoid destruction. In the middle of the 1980s was proposed a non-nuclear version of the missile with homing anti-submarine torpedo Mk50 in a warhead. The missile received the designation UUM-125B.

In 1986 year began a full-scale design of the rocket. In 1988, it was decided to continue work on a variant for surface ships RUM-125. It was decided to abandon the nuclear warhead, and in 1990 year the program was terminated in connection with the collapse of the Soviet Union . At the present time underwater boats Navy US does not have a missile ASW weapons , and surface ships armed with missiles ASROC for installations vertical launch.

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