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|Nuclear Weapons Test Film Descriptions|
|Atomic Demolition Munitions -
Back Pack Size Nuclear WeaponsW-76
Looking down the barrel: so far, sufficient nuclear technology and know-how have eluded jihadists
(© Science Photo Library / Van Parys Media)
|0800031 - SADM Delivery by
Parachutist/Swimmer (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) - No Date Given -
9:45 - Black&White (No explosions) - The Special Atomic Demolition
Munition (SADM) was a Navy and Marines project that was demonstrated as
feasible in the mid-to-late 1960s, but was never used. The project, which
involved a small nuclear weapon, was designed to allow one individual to
parachute from any type of aircraft carrying the weapon package that would
be placed in a harbor or other strategic location that could be accessed
from the sea. Another parachutist without a weapon package would follow
the first parachutist to provide support as needed.
The two-man team would place the weapon package in an acceptable location, set the timer, and swim out into the ocean where they would be retrieved by a submarine or other high-speed water craft. The parachute jumps and the retrieval procedures were practiced extensively.
The video shows a man in a wet suit donning his parachute, the weapon package, and a reserve parachute. After he jumps from the aircraft and is nearing the water, he drops the weapon package down on a 17-foot line to lessen the impact of his landing. He then floats the weapon package to the desired location
Atomic Demolition Munitions
Credit: Department of Defense (courtesy Natural Resources Defense Council)
The Davy Crockett
The Davy Crockett (shown here at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland in March 1961) was the smallest and lightest nuclear weapon ever deployed by the U.S. military. It was designed for use in Europe against Soviet troop formations.
The Davy Crockett consisted of an XM-388 projectile launched from either a 120-millimeter (XM-28) or 155-millimeter (XM-29) recoilless rifle (the 120 millimeter version is shown above). This weapon had a maximum range of 1.24 miles (120 millimeter) to 2.49 miles (155 millimeter). The XM-388 casing (including the warhead and fin assembly) weighed 76 pounds, was 30 inches long and measured 11 inches in diameter (at its widest point).
Infantry personnel of the 101st Airborne Division preparing to fire a Davy Crockett during a training exercise at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, May 14, 1962
Soldiers conducting tests of the Davy Crockett at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, December 16, 1959
The crew of an XM-29 version of the Davy Crockett prepares it for a live fire demonstration at Fort Carson, Colorado, March 13, 1967. Here, the 37-millimeter spotting gun is being loaded (this gun is fired before the warhead to check the weapon's trajectory and make necessary adjustments).
The Davy Crockett was deployed with U.S. Army forces from 1961 to 1971. Between 1956 and 1963, 2,100 were produced at an estimated cost (excluding the warhead) of $540 million (in constant 1996 dollars). The weapon's non-nuclear components were manufactured at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois. The W54 warhead was designed at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now the Los Alamos National Laboratory) and built by the Atomic Energy Commission.
Soldiers at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, demonstrate how to set up an XM-29 version of the Davy Crockett (1961).
The Davy Crockett could also be launched from specially equipped jeeps.
Sources: U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study
Project; Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, Milton M. Hoenig, U.S.
Nuclear Forces and Capabilities, Volume I, Nuclear Weapons Databook
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1984), pp. 60,
311; Robert Standish Norris and Thomas B. Cochran, "United States Nuclear
Tests: July 1945 to 31 December 1992," (Washington, D.C.: Natural
Resources Defense Council, 1 February 1994), NWD-94-1, p. 35; Chuck
Hansen, U.S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History (New York: Orion
Books, 1988), pp. 197-198; Ted Nicholas and Rita Rossi, U.S. Historical
Military Aircraft and Missile Data Book (Fountain Valley, California:
Data Search Associates, 1991), pp. 3-95, 3-101; U.S. Department of Energy.
(Return to 50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons)
(Return to "Nuclear Davy Crockett")
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