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Why do people always expect an nuclear explosive to always be delivered by missle or plane??

Kaieye

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,275
0
0
Hell, if I was a terrorist or wanted to hurt another country, why not deliver by truck or courier?? No country would be immune by this. How hard would it be to carry a small nuke by hand and set it up to be detotnated on top of a building for a maximum explosive yield using a crude timer?? Hell, this would sure be a lot cheaper saving a missle! And it would be real hard to prove who did it! The politician's in this world must have a gigantic headache!

Just a thought...
 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
2,700
1
71
Originally posted by: Kaieye
Hell, if I was a terrorist or wanted to hurt another country, why not deliver by truck or courier?? No country would be immune by this. How hard would it be to carry a small nuke by hand and set it up to be detotnated on top of a building for a maximum explosive yield using a crude timer?? Hell, this would sure be a lot cheaper saving a missle! And it would be real hard to prove who did it! The politician's in this world must have a gigantic headache!

Just a thought...
Who thinks that this is the case?

Cheers,

Andy
 

BDawg

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
11,631
1
0
Originally posted by: Fencer128
Originally posted by: Kaieye
Hell, if I was a terrorist or wanted to hurt another country, why not deliver by truck or courier?? No country would be immune by this. How hard would it be to carry a small nuke by hand and set it up to be detotnated on top of a building for a maximum explosive yield using a crude timer?? Hell, this would sure be a lot cheaper saving a missle! And it would be real hard to prove who did it! The politician's in this world must have a gigantic headache!

Just a thought...
Who thinks that this is the case?

Cheers,

Andy
The people who think that a missle defense shield will save us from the rest of the world.
 

xirtam

Diamond Member
Aug 25, 2001
4,693
0
0
Would you rather spend the countless hours or even days delivering a nuke by truck, or would you rather just push a button and hit your target within 30 minutes?

Asking that question is like asking why everybody expects interoffice correspondence to occur via e-mail. Sure, you could print it out and hand deliver it, but wouldn't e-mail be quicker, faster, and more cost-effective? Oh, and given the recent threads regarding public safety, it doesn't destroy the environment due to the pollution caused by paper destruction.

Nukes are delivered in many ways, just like correspondence and shipping is handled in many ways. But the most probably means of delivery is the one that's the fastest, most efficient, and has the least risk/chance of failure.
 

CaptnKirk

Lifer
Jul 25, 2002
10,053
0
71
Singing letter bomb - collect.
Sign here........x

Realistically - the most devastation from a rogue nuke would be a west coast detonation just a few miles off-shore - outside U. S. Teritorial limits.
The 'Other' countries have not taken the effort to refine thier fissionalbe material to the purity that we have, so anything used by those nations
would essentially be of a 'Dirty' variety, releasing tremendous amounts of radioactive fallout, manufactured during the thermonuclear event.

Salt water, the delivery vehicle itself, all other material within the CEP, or ground zero footprint, would be engulfed in the fireball, and rise to
an altitude easily exceeding 50,000 feet - well over 10 miles. Heavier particulates would fall upon the immediate coastline communities,
and the lighter materials would be distributed across the country by perdominate weather patterns, and would eventually wrap the planet
several times, with more debris coming down and lighter elements falling out over expanding areas for months.
Half-lifes of some these materials go into the 20,000+ years, so effects would linger for 100,000+ years.

With the shipping lanes throughout the world, and the cargo volumes being moved everyday finging one such vessel
would be more luck than not, as there are ways to shield the source from detection if it is in fact a sophositcated device.
Delivery method need not be fast, just deliberate. They have all the time in the world on their side.
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,425
1
0
<blondie>They can't do that! Those nucular thingies can't work without the missile, dummy.</blondie>

BTW, did you just have this genius idea when you woke up this morning, or did it occur to you after reading several hundred reports on the feasability of suitcase nukes?
 

BDawg

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
11,631
1
0
If we have learned anything from The Naked Gun, it is that nukes will either be delieverd either in a big case upstairs of an environmental conference, or in an Academy Award envelope for best picture.

On the off chance though, I have my eye on Reggie Jackson.
 

Crimson

Banned
Oct 11, 1999
3,809
0
0
Originally posted by: Kaieye
Hell, if I was a terrorist or wanted to hurt another country, why not deliver by truck or courier?? No country would be immune by this. How hard would it be to carry a small nuke by hand and set it up to be detotnated on top of a building for a maximum explosive yield using a crude timer?? Hell, this would sure be a lot cheaper saving a missle! And it would be real hard to prove who did it! The politician's in this world must have a gigantic headache!

Just a thought...
If it was delivered by courier, we could just check the tracking info to see who made it! DUH!
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,386
2
81
Because UPS and Fedex's weight limit is around 70 lbs and you need 150+ pounds plus all the trigger divices and containment vessel to go crititcal?
 

ConclamoLudus

Senior member
Jan 16, 2003
572
0
0
Originally posted by: Kaieye
Hell, if I was a terrorist or wanted to hurt another country, why not deliver by truck or courier?? No country would be immune by this. How hard would it be to carry a small nuke by hand and set it up to be detotnated on top of a building for a maximum explosive yield using a crude timer?? Hell, this would sure be a lot cheaper saving a missle! And it would be real hard to prove who did it! The politician's in this world must have a gigantic headache!

Just a thought...
Brave post...have fun at Gitmo... :p

My vote is on the Academy Award envelope... :)
 

burnedout

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,249
2
0
Originally posted by: Carbonyl
Because UPS and Fedex's weight limit is around 70 lbs and you need 150+ pounds plus all the trigger divices and containment vessel to go crititcal?
W54 nuke warhead weighs 51 pounds. There were various versions. We had a stockpile of them in Germany during the Cold War for demolition. If I remember correctly, the engineer version with accys was about 80 pounds total. This included the older PAL devices, probes, timers, pack and mounting kits.

More info on W54 - Brookings Institute
 

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
27,929
141
106
They did a special on one of the major channels about suitcase nukes (20/20?)... These things have a radius of 20 miles, so why do you think a nuke will be delivered by plane or missle? lol Most people know a dirty bomb or suitcase is a possibility... are u from Nebraska or something? Also, if I recall correctly, there were 50 or more of these suitcase nukes MISSING from Russia after the Cold War. Things that make ya go hmmmmmmm.....
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
53,924
7,048
126
Originally posted by: BDawg


The people who think that a missle defense shield will save us from the rest of the world.
Should cops stop wearing body armor because a criminal could simply shoot them in the head?
 

ConclamoLudus

Senior member
Jan 16, 2003
572
0
0
30 years from now we'll all have nukes, each and every one of us, and nobody will ever use them because anybody could. They'll be the size of keychains and have a radius of...the Earth. :p
 

Dudd

Platinum Member
Aug 3, 2001
2,865
0
0
Originally posted by: Amused
Originally posted by: BDawg


The people who think that a missle defense shield will save us from the rest of the world.
Should cops stop wearing body armor because a criminal could simply shoot them in the head?
When that kevlar vest costs several billion dollars, has failed to protect it's wearer in several tests, and can easily be overcome with differing tactics, then I think it's a good idea to take another look at the feasability of that vest.
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Originally posted by: Dudd
Originally posted by: Amused
Originally posted by: BDawg


The people who think that a missle defense shield will save us from the rest of the world.
Should cops stop wearing body armor because a criminal could simply shoot them in the head?
When that kevlar vest costs several billion dollars, has failed to protect it's wearer in several tests, and can easily be overcome with differing tactics, then I think it's a good idea to take another look at the feasability of that vest.
And when the criminals don't have guns whose bullets can reach the kevlar vest...
 

KenGr

Senior member
Aug 22, 2002
725
0
0
Originally posted by: burnedout
Originally posted by: Carbonyl
Because UPS and Fedex's weight limit is around 70 lbs and you need 150+ pounds plus all the trigger divices and containment vessel to go crititcal?
W54 nuke warhead weighs 51 pounds. There were various versions. We had a stockpile of them in Germany during the Cold War for demolition. If I remember correctly, the engineer version with accys was about 80 pounds total. This included the older PAL devices, probes, timers, pack and mounting kits.

More info on W54 - Brookings Institute
If I remember correctly, critical mass is over 20 lbs so with structure and trigger, this is probably pretty close to minimum size. Isn't technology wonderful?

 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,317
350
126

The primary problem delivering a nuclear device using a missle is that everyone will know that you fired it. Who in their right minds would want to face the retaliatory strike?

Much better to buy a shipping container for a nuke with a detonator triggered by GPS. Set it to detonate when the cargo ship comes with one mile of the center of the harbor for a major city.
 

etech

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
10,597
0
0
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
Originally posted by: Dudd
Originally posted by: Amused
Originally posted by: BDawg


The people who think that a missle defense shield will save us from the rest of the world.
Should cops stop wearing body armor because a criminal could simply shoot them in the head?
When that kevlar vest costs several billion dollars, has failed to protect it's wearer in several tests, and can easily be overcome with differing tactics, then I think it's a good idea to take another look at the feasability of that vest.
And when the criminals don't have guns whose bullets can reach the kevlar vest...
Let's not forget N. Korea that has missiles that can reach the US.

As for the kevlar vest analogy, well let's just stop all research and development if it doesn't work perfectly the first time. With that stupid attitude people would still be living in caves and eating raw meat.

 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
53,924
7,048
126
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
Originally posted by: Dudd
Originally posted by: Amused
Originally posted by: BDawg


The people who think that a missle defense shield will save us from the rest of the world.
Should cops stop wearing body armor because a criminal could simply shoot them in the head?
When that kevlar vest costs several billion dollars, has failed to protect it's wearer in several tests, and can easily be overcome with differing tactics, then I think it's a good idea to take another look at the feasability of that vest.
And when the criminals don't have guns whose bullets can reach the kevlar vest...
Yeah, how could any nation build a technology that is 40 years old?


Should the inventors of body armor have given up when their first tests were unsuccessful? Should cops stop wearing body armor because it protects against handgun bullets and not rifle bullets?

The opposition to a MDS is purely political and ideological. IMO, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is insanity. We have every reason and right to defend ourselves, and cover all possible bases in doing so.

The main political opposition to MDS is not that it wont work, and not that it's too expensive. That's just the BS they spoon feed the sheep. The reason an MDS system is opposed is because it gives the US an edge, and ends the MAD senerio we've lived under for so long. That brings fear of another arms race. But an arms race is a joke. No other country can compete, so the point is moot.

MAD is an outdated policy, and there is no reason whatsoever to continue with it.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,369
3,489
126
Originally posted by: xirtam
Would you rather spend the countless hours or even days delivering a nuke by truck, or would you rather just push a button and hit your target within 30 minutes?

Asking that question is like asking why everybody expects interoffice correspondence to occur via e-mail. Sure, you could print it out and hand deliver it, but wouldn't e-mail be quicker, faster, and more cost-effective? Oh, and given the recent threads regarding public safety, it doesn't destroy the environment due to the pollution caused by paper destruction.

Nukes are delivered in many ways, just like correspondence and shipping is handled in many ways. But the most probably means of delivery is the one that's the fastest, most efficient, and has the least risk/chance of failure.
Fastest, most efficient, and risk/chance may depend on the state of the willing user more than the state of technology. If you were Russia, China, or North Korea, yes, pushing the button makes the most sense. If you were some guy/organization like Bin Laden/Al Qaida with a pile of fissible material, some plans to make a nuke, and a target needing blasted, missiles, buttons, and fancy schmancy stuff is unnecessary and just gets in the way.

One man's Efficiency, Expediency, and Efficacy is another man's Idiocy that gets in the way of acheiving the Goal.
 

dpm

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2002
1,513
0
0
Originally posted by: Amused
The opposition to a MDS is purely political and ideological. IMO, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is insanity. We have every reason and right to defend ourselves, and cover all possible bases in doing so. The main political opposition to MDS is not that it wont work, and not that it's too expensive. That's just the BS they spoon feed the sheep. The reason an MDS system is opposed is because it gives the US an edge, and ends the MAD senerio we've lived under for so long. That brings fear of another arms race. But an arms race is a joke. No other country can compete, so the point is moot. MAD is an outdated policy, and there is no reason whatsoever to continue with it.
All well and good, but it doesn't stop there. Bear in mind that many countries have interpreted recent events as meaning that if you don't have WMDs then the US might well invade you, if it doesn't like you, or needs a distraction (allegedly :) ) but if you do, well, they might give you some food.

So say a bunch of "Rogue States" manage to produce a couple of nukes each, and at the same time the US creates a wonderful, infallible MDS. Do the rogue states start work on long distance missiles or do they buy a couple of ocean going yachts and start training up some fanatics?

An effective MDS would be good for America in the very short term, but it is not an answer to the world's problems that America can hide behind. ie even when you have it, its still not a good idea to piss people off when you don't need to. Ditto for when you don't have it, but want to build it.
 

cpumaster

Senior member
Dec 10, 2000
708
0
0
Originally posted by: Amused
The opposition to a MDS is purely political and ideological. IMO, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is insanity. We have every reason and right to defend ourselves, and cover all possible bases in doing so. The main political opposition to MDS is not that it wont work, and not that it's too expensive. That's just the BS they spoon feed the sheep. The reason an MDS system is opposed is because it gives the US an edge, and ends the MAD senerio we've lived under for so long. That brings fear of another arms race. But an arms race is a joke. No other country can compete, so the point is moot. MAD is an outdated policy, and there is no reason whatsoever to continue with it.
you mean the democrats refused to give US an edge? Damn those french wussies traitors...we should spends trillions of dollars to gain any edge we could even if it doesn't work the first, second, third, or hundred times, as long as it enriched the military and DoD contractors, who cares about a couple of trillion dollars? it's chump change compare to our safety and the safety of our rich corporate master right? plus when we have the MDS, we could get the money back by blackmailing those nations without MDS, give us couple of billions a month, or stop assesing tax on our exports or we'll nuke you, essentially creating a world class mafia system. see, who is the genius now? BUSH Almighty
 

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