The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RDS-4 "Tatyana" 8U69 / SN69 / 244N

The first truly combat serial nuclear bomb was the 30-kiloton Tatiana ("product 244N") launched in 1953 with the RDS-4T charge. 244N The first atomic bomb mastered by serial production and adopted the armament of front and long-range aviation, ahd a length 3365 mm, diameter 580 mm, weight 450 kg. Aerodynamic shape with low coefficient of resistance. Tail feathers of the "free feather" type. Bombing is allowed from a height of 500 to 30 000 m and at speeds of up to 3000 km / h both in horizontal flight and with a complex form of maneuver.

"Tatiana" turned out to be very compact - its weight (1200 kg) and dimensions were four times less than that of "product 501", which allowed the new bomb to be taken into service not only by long-range aviation (Tu-4 bombers, Tu-95 turboprops, reactive Tu-16, M-4, 3M and supersonic Tu-22), but also front-line (Il-28 jet bombers and Tu-2 piston, supersonic Yak-26, Yak-28, MiG-19, MiG- 21 and others).

In 1954, Tatyana was dropped into the "stronghold of the infantry battalion of the US Army" during the famous Totsky exercises, when troops were passed through the center of the nuclear explosion, solving the training task "Breakthrough by the infantry corps of the prepared tactical defense of the enemy with the use of atomic weapons." The bomb was used for a conventional purpose by the Tu-4A bomber.

Already in 1952, the US Air Force headquarters stated that "the Soviet Union has at its disposal a sufficient number of aircraft, trained pilots and bases, allowing to make an attempt to deliver the entire available stock of nuclear bombs to the United States." According to the American intelligence service, in the first half of the 1950s the USSR had nine regiments of heavy Tu-4A bombers "with a fixed arsenal of 28 nuclear weapons, but the actual armament averaged 67 percent of the standard." True, the ability of the Tu-4 to reach the US territory, even with refueling in the air (Soviet specialists managed to create such a refueling system) was extremely doubtful. But at the European theater of operations and in Asia, they really could arrange a nuclear apocalypse.

"Tatiana" turned out to be very compact - its weight (1200 kg) and dimensions were four times less than that of "product 501", which allowed the new bomb to be taken into service not only by long-range aviation (Tu-4, turboprop Tu-95, reactive Tu-16, M-4, 3M and supersonic Tu-22), but also front-line (Il-28 jet bombers and Tu-2 piston, supersonic Yak-26, Yak-28, and MiG-19, MiG- 21 and others). Theoretically, he could take aboard the Tatiana and a naval bomber-torpedo carrier Tu-14T.

Miniaturization of nuclear charges allowed creating the 8U69 tactical atomic bomb of low power (5 kt) , which was intended for the first Soviet supersonic Su-7B fighter bombers, launched in 1960 series. Presumably its carrier could be a MiG-21S fighter in a special version of the E-7N. Further optimization of nuclear charges allowed specialists of NII-1011 (now VNIITF) to create a tactical atomic bomb of low power (five kilotons) 8U69, designed for application of external suspension of supersonic aircraft. To do this, SN69, also known as the "244N" product, had a special spindle shape with low aerodynamic resistance. This was a bomb of only 450 kilograms.

Modifications of supersonic fighters MiG-19C (version SM-9/9) and MiG-21F (E-6/9) of the Design Bureau of Artem Mikoyan were completed under the order 8U69. These machines were successfully tested, but the supersonic fighter-bomber Sukhoi Su-7B was chosen as the main carrier of the nuclear bomb 8N69 by the command of the Air Force at the turn of the 1950s-60s. It was this, and not the Yak-28, that for a whole decade became the main shock complex of Soviet frontline aviation. The "244" ("8") product was intended for the arming of anti-submarine aircraft and helicopters in order to destroy enemy submarines. This small-sized bomb, adopted in 1971, and in 1979 it was withdrawn from service, was the answer to the American B57 ammunition.

The first Soviet atomic bomb to be made in mass production, the carriers of which could be front-line bombers. The bomb became RDS-4 with a beautiful female - "Tatiana". Its successful tests were carried out on August 23, 1953, when an atomic bomb weighing 1,200 kg was dropped from a jet bomber Il-28 flying at an altitude of 11 km. The power of the explosion occurred at an altitude of 600 m was 28 kt. RDS-4, also known as Tatyana, was the first tactical nuclear weapon of the Soviet Union mass produced. The bomb was in service between 1954 and 1965, and could be dropped from the Tu-4, Tu-16, Il-28 and Yak-26 aircraft.

Charges RDS-2, RDS-3 were created as a munition (aerial bomb) for heavy bombers. Plans for further improvement of air bombs were associated with the creation of a smaller-caliber atomic bomb and mass with the aim of using it for bombing from medium-range jet bombers IL-28 , based on the airfields of the European theater of operations.

During the tests of 1953, a number of important scientific and technical problems were solved to improve nuclear charges. First of all, it was work on a significant (1.5 times) reduction in the diameter of the nuclear charge and a corresponding (3 times) decrease in its mass. In terms of their dimensions, weight and suspension elements, such an atomic bomb had to correspond to a high-explosive bomb. The basic design and design of this development, called RDS-4, was based on the experience of developing RDS-2 and RDS-3. In RDS-4 was used nuclear filling and neutron fuse charge RDS-2. The composition of TG 50/50 was also used as an explosive, but the volume of explosives was significantly reduced.

I244N on Su-30 I244N on Su-30 I244N on Su-30

Designed by the KB-11 committee based on the experiences obtained with the RDS-2 and RDS-3 devices in 1951, this device was part of a small tactical weapons research branch, from which it derived the RDS-5, similar to the RDS-4, which used a sphere composed of plutonium-239 / uranium-235. This weapon was an intensified fission bomb with a "levitating" nuclear charge of plutonium implosion type. Its design consisted of a nuclear plutonium charge equal to that of RDS-2, surrounded by a reduced layer of explosives composed of equal parts of TNT and RDX, which was suspended by cables inside the shell. It had an approximate diameter of 1 m, a weight of 1200 kilograms and its nominal yield was 30 kilotons (approximately twice as much as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima).

In addition to IL-28, carriers of RDS-4 could be other aircraft of frontal and long-range aviation. But the bomb itself for a number of reasons was not exploited for long. In production, it was soon replaced by a much lighter and more compact 8U49 Natasha with a capacity of 40 kilotons. The weight of the bomb was reduced to 450 kg. Initially, "Natasha" could be suspended for small-batch bombers Yak-26, but subsequently the list of carriers was significantly expanded.

The first detonation of an RDS-4 device occurred on August 23, 1953, at 02:00 (GMT time), at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. It was called Joe-5 (by Joseph Stalin) by the Americans. An IL-28 aircraft, whose crew commander was VI Shapovalov, accompanied by a backup and two MiG-17s, dropped the bomb at an altitude of 11 km. The device exploded 600 m from the ground, and the energy released was 28 kilotons. The test was successful, and the design of the device was sent for mass production.

The RDS-4 bomb was used during the Totsky exercises in September 1954 under the leadership of Marshal Georgy Zhukov. It is believed that during the exercise 45,000 soldiers and about 10,000 local residents received dangerous doses of radioactive contamination. The exercises worked out the offensive of troops through the nuclear strike zone, which was used to break through the enemy's defenses. Similar military exercises were conducted in the USA (operation code-named Desert Rock), however the Totsky exercises differed in the capacity of the blown up bomb in combination with the passage of unprotected troops directly through the epicenter and the flight of combat aviation through the mushroom cloud of the explosion.

Later the charge of the RDS-4 bomb was also used as combat equipment for medium-range ballistic missiles R-5M. In accordance with the decree of the Government of April 10, 1954, the development of the R-5M missile was started in OKB-1 , which was headed by Chief Designer S.P. Korolev. The maximum range of the missile was 1200 km, which allowed it to achieve various targets in Europe. This system was the first BR with nuclear warheads. It was a single-stage liquid fuel rocket with a monoblock GP and a throw weight of 1.35 tons.

In 1953 and 1954, theoretical calculations and design studies were carried out related to the reduction of the mass of deficit plutonium in charges. During this period of time, the required number of fissile materials had not yet been produced.

Back in 1949, during the development of the first atomic bomb, I.V. Stalin, listening to the reports of the chief executives on the preparation of RDS-1 for testing, asked the question of Yu.B. Kharitonu: " Is it possible to make two instead of one bomb from the available amount of plutonium, although weaker ones? To one remained in reserve." Yu.B. Khariton, bearing in mind that the amount of plutonium produced by that time just corresponds to the charge produced by the American scheme, and the excessive risk is unacceptable, answered negatively. It is not excluded that this episode greatly influenced the development of research on minimizing the number of plutonium in charges, the experimental determination of its dependence on power, and the study of other physical effects that arise in this case.

During the test range ["polygon"] tests of 1953 and 1954 important results were obtained for further elaboration and optimization of the mass of plutonium and energy release of the charge on the principle of implosion. The results of these polygon tests were used as the basis for the development of the modification of the RDS-4 atomic bomb with a smaller nuclear filling and, correspondingly, a lower power, the RDS-4M version.

In 1962, Su-7B planes were involved in real nuclear bombs discharges at the Semipalatinsk test site. To use 8U69 (one such thing was suspended on the ventral pylon), the Su-7B was equipped with a cunning device PBK-1. The abbreviation was deciphered as "an instrument for bombing with a cab". It was an electromechanical mechanism, which determines the moment when the bomb was dropped. One of the main ways of its application from the Su-7B aircraft was a dump at a speed of 1,050 kilometers per hour in a maneuver with a sharp climb to 3500-4000 meters (this is the calibration). Having unscrewed at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizon at a range of 6-8 kilometers from the ground target, the bomb flew to it along a ballistic curve, and during this time the fighter-bomber himself left a steep lapel from the attack to avoid being hit by a shock wave of a nuclear explosion.

In addition to the USSR Air Force, Su-7B aircraft adapted for nuclear weapons were also equipped with the Air Force of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Of course, atomic bombs for them were in Soviet special storage facilities and could be issued to allies only in case of war. At the same time Czechoslovak and Polish pilots Su-7B constantly improved their skills in the possible use of nuclear weapons. This, for example, is described in an interesting book by Czech writer Libor Reznyak, published in 1996, by Atomovy bombarder Su-7 ceskoslovenskeho vojenskeho letectva. In other countries (India, Egypt, North Korea, etc.) Su-7B were delivered in a commercial version without a special suspension unit and without the PBK-1 device. However, "third-party buyers" were keenly interested in the spectrum of Su-7B's capabilities.

Join the mailing list

Page last modified: 25-08-2021 17:17:37 ZULU