Battlefield nuclear weapons were deployed with US Army forces from 1961 to 1971.
Production of the Davy Crockett battlefield nuclear bomb began in 1956, with a total of 2,100 being made. The weapon was tested between 1962 and 1968 at the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaiʻi island, with 714 M101 spotter rounds (not live warheads) that contained depleted uranium. The weapon was deployed with US Army forces from 1961 to 1971. It was deactivated from US Army Europe (in West Germany) in August, 1967.
Versions of the W54 warhead were also used in the Special Atomic Demolition Munition project and the AIM-26A Falcon.
Mk-54 (Davy Crockett) – 10 or 20 ton yield, Davy Crockett Gun warhead
Mk-54 (SADM) – variable yield 10 ton to 1 kiloton, Special Atomic Demolition Munition device
W-54 – 250 ton yield, warhead for AIM-26 Falcon air-to-air missile
The XM-388 projectile was launched from the XM-28 recoilless rifle A small, man-portable recoilless rifle, the XM-28 had a range of just 1.24 miles. An improved launcher, the XM-29, had a range of 2.5 miles. Both were operated by a three-man crew and an a M151 jeep could carry the entire system.
The 55th and 56th Infantry Platoons, attached to the Division Artillery of the US 82nd Airborne Division, were the last units equipped with the M-29 Davy Crockett weapons system. These two units were parachute deployed and, with a 1/2 ton truck per section, (3 per platoon) were fully air droppable.
Tactical Nuclear bombs, mines and artillery to wipe large columns of armor
The Davy Crockett recoilless spigot gun was developed in the late 1950s for use against Soviet and North Korean armor and troops in case war broke out in Europe or the Korean peninsula. Davy Crockett Sections were assigned to United States Army Europe and Eighth United States Army armor and mechanized and non-mechanized infantry battalions. During alerts to the Inner German border in the Fulda Gap the Davy Crocketts accompanied their battalions. All V Corps (including 3rd Armored Division) combat maneuver battalions had preassigned positions in the Fulda Gap. These were known as GDP (General Defense Plan) positions. The Davy Crockett sections were included in these defensive deployment plans. In addition to the Davy Crocketts (e.g., assigned to the 3rd Armored Division), V Corps had nuclear artillery rounds and Atomic Demolition Mines, and these were also targeted on the Fulda Gap. On the Korean peninsula, units assigned the Davy Crockett weapons primarily planned to use the passes that funneled armor as killing grounds, creating temporarily deadly radioactive zones roadblocked by destroyed tanks and other vehicles.
A plane with four conventional CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weaponcould destroy 160 armored vehicles
The CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon is a United States Air Force 1,000-pound (450 kg)-class non-guided (freefall) Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU). It was developed and produced by Textron Defense Systems. The CBU-97 in conjunction with the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser guidance tail kit, which converts it to a precision-guided weapon, is designated CBU-105.
The CBU-97 consists of an SUU-66/B tactical munition dispenser that contains 10 BLU-108 submunitions. Each submunition contains four hockey-puck-shaped sensor-fused projectiles called Skeets. These detect target vehicles, such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks and other support vehicles, and fire a kinetic energy penetrator downwards at them.
The 40 Skeets scan an area of 1,500 by 500 feet (460 m × 150 m) using infrared and laser sensors, seeking targets by pattern-matching. When a Skeet finds a target it fires an explosively-formed penetrator to destroy it. If a Skeet fails to find a target, it self-destructs 50 feet (15 m) above the ground; if this fails, a back-up timer disables the Skeet. These features are intended to avoid later civilian casualties from unexploded munitions, and result in an unexploded-ordnance rate of less than 1%.
As the CBU-97 approaches its designated aim-point, the dispenser skin is severed into three panels by an explosive cutting charge. The slipstream peels away these panels, exposing the 10 BLU-108 submunitions. An airbag ejects the forward five submunitions, then five in the aft bay. Following a preset timeline, the submunitions deploy parachutes so that they are spaced about 100 feet (30 m) apart. Then each submunition releases its chute, fires a rocket motor that stops its descent and spins it on its longitudinal axis, and releases Skeets 90 degrees apart, in pairs. Each spinning Skeet makes a coning motion that allows it to scan a circular area on the ground.
The weapon was first deployed, but not used, during Operation Allied Force when NATO entered the Kosovo War. Sensor-fused weapons were first fired in combat during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In 2010 the US government announced the sale to India of 512 CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapons. The expected platform is the SEPECAT Jaguar.
Saudi Arabia has also requested the CBU-105. In May 2015, Human Rights Watch reported on, and criticized, the Saudi use of the CBU-105 SFW during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
In addition to the United States, the CBU-105 has been ordered by India, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Philippines, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirate
SOURCES – Wikipedia, Popular Mechanics
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.