Soviet Union Suitcase Nuke

Hey everyone. Here is something that has always intrigued me. The "lost" suitcase nukes of the old USSR. They are so simple, so menacing, and yet have a unique "video game/movie" prop feel, for being a real life weapon.

Here is a really good pic of the "lost" devices. Seems simple enough. An old Salvation Army suitcase, some PVC, switches and foil for a legendary piece of history. :cool

suitcases_14.jpg
 

Chief Bast

Well-Known Member
A neat idea, for sure.

Heck, with current technology, you could probably make a tactical nuke micro-sized enough to fit within an Ipod-sized device.

Suitcases bombs are sooo Eighties.... ;)
 

dropshipbob

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wait a second, so acording to the diagram half the ingredients for a nuke is a gun and a bullet? How does that work

That's about it, even Fat Man and Little Boy activated in such a manner. You need an explosive charge to drive a projectile into the uranium...or whatever such material, to start the reaction.
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Missing suitcase nukes. That's ALL we need. :rolleyes

Reminds me of the ol' nuclear hand grenades we used to lob back in the War of Robot Oppression. Those were the days. :lol
 

missileman

Active Member
That's about it, even Fat Man and Little Boy activated in such a manner. You need an explosive charge to drive a projectile into the uranium...or whatever such material, to start the reaction.

Actually it was only little boy that used the gun/target method.

Fat Man was an implosion type weapon, which from an engineering point of view is extremely difficult to pull off.

Building a gun/target bomb would not be that difficult, that is, any "state" could pull one off. The hard part is getting the Uranium 235, which is why the current non-proliferation efforts are all about controlling the nuclear materials required.

There is a great article about little-boy and the guy who is obsessed with the object here....

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/12/15/081215fa_fact_samuels

He sounds just like a prop nut to me. :)
 
Missing suitcase nukes. That's ALL we need. :rolleyes

Reminds me of the ol' nuclear hand grenades we used to lob back in the War of Robot Oppression. Those were the days. :lol

Hahaha :lol

Yea i wouldn't plan on carting this thing around with me into airports or anything like that. I just want it to be sitting in the corner of the room and somebody ask "What's that shiny thing in the suitcase?" Reply with "A nuke." Response " :confused "

That Hi-Res pic has just given me the nudge I needed to whip up one of these bad boys. A shopping list is being assembled...
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
I'm pretty sure the U.S. had some small nukes that could be carried in a backpack. I don't know if any info is available on those though. Of course we didn't lose ours...
 

Propnomicon

Well-Known Member
here's a higher rez pic

wap2001121401.jpg


things seemed a lot shinier in the 80's - retro blamo!


Do you have a link to the source for these pictures? It just seems odd that the Soviets would build their suitcase bombs out of 2 x 4's, angle brackets, pipe fittings, aluminum foil, two fixture bulbs, and silver paint. While they were behind the west in a lot of technologies they rightly took pride in the quality of their machining and fabrication, particularly for scientific and nuclear equipment.

Is it possible this is a modern mock-up or improvised munition example? I'm certainly not an explosives expert, but it looks like an IED using repurposed bulbs with mercury as expedient tamper switches.

Update: A little Googling shows that this was the mock-up created for the The Burton-Lunev hearing on the alleged suitcase nukes back in 2000. It was built by a congressional staffer based on Lebed's description, but it appears a gun-style detonation won't work with a fissile mass that small.
 
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