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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


The RDS-27 was the first thermonuclear bomb dropped in the USSR from the Tu-16 bomber. The RDS-27 was a Soviet hydrogen bomb of the "Sloyka" type (in the USA the design was called "Alarm Clock"), developed in the early 1950s at the KB-11 for the Tu-16 strategic bombers. The bomb was developed simultaneously with RDS-37 under the guidance of AD Sakharov, Yu. A. Romanov, and under the general supervision of Yu. B. Khariton. RDS-27 is a reinforced atomic bomb surrounded by layers of lithium deuteride, its design is the same as that of RDS-6s, but without the addition of tritium. This design variant improved performance. The bomb had a dual source of neutron initiation. The nominal power is about 250 kt. The RDS-27 test was conducted at the Semipalatinsk test site at the P-3 site of the experimental field, on November 6, 1955, by dropping it from Tu-16. The power of the test explosion was 250 kt.

In a ground-based test of a thermonuclear charge in 1953 with a capacity of 400 kt, the Il-28 aircraft participating in the flight were withdrawn to a known safe distance. The test of the RDS-27 (RDS-6) product with the same expected explosion power was to be carried out when it was dropped from the Tu-16 carrier aircraft. In this case, when the product is dropped from an airplane, the distance of impact of the damaging factors by the light radiation and the shock wave will be reduced by 2.5-3 times. Taking into account (in the first approximation) the quadratic dependence of the levels of the damaging factors on the distance and the expected same.

The power of the explosion impact on the carrier aircraft will increase by an order of magnitude. This required more careful consideration of the issues of ensuring the security of the carrier aircraft in these conditions. Therefore, the issue of ensuring flight safety was one of the main among other organizational and technical tasks. I.V. Kurchatov instructed in detail to understand this and give an informed conclusion. An analysis was made of all previously obtained materials on the propagation of damaging factors in the atmosphere in the atmosphere and their effect on aircraft, and additional refinement calculations were made. The conclusion about the safety of the Tu-16 carrier aircraft with the RDS-27 product was developed and signed by Khariton Yu.B., Neginym EA, Muzrukov BG, Chernorez VA, Kulikov SM. Conclusion after consideration and discussion was approved by I.V. Kurchatov and N.I.Sazhin.

In 1955, the USSR continued to test the combat hydrogen bombs developed by the Sakharov Group. November 6 was tested by aerial explosion 250-Kilotonnaja bomb RDS-27 with charge, in which as thermonuclear fuel was used only lithium deuteride. Tests of the RDS-27 were carried out on November 6 when dropped from a Tu-16 carrier aircraft from a height of 12,000 m. The flight was carried out by a crew headed by Commander Martynenko VF, which included Kirilenko AN, Ryndin SG. , Shergin RI, Litvinenko B.A. and Theodules. Appropriate measurements were made for the given program and for monitoring the development of the explosion cloud. After landing, the crew reported on the performance of the test flight. This procedure was carried out immediately after the carrier aircraft was parked in the parking lot and the crew left from the plane to the group meeting. In the group, besides the manual, there were representatives of the product developers and our test engineers. Reported, as a rule, the commander of the crew and navigator-bombardier. In this case V.F.Martynenko noted that such a powerful impact on the plane of the shock wave and thermal radiation has not been observed so far. He drew attention to the peculiarity of piloting by airplane during manual control with the autopilot switched off, as well as stability and controllability under the impact of an explosion shock wave.

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Page last modified: 22-04-2018 18:58:23 ZULU