There came a day when I asked E2er Montag, "Why does the willow weep?" It is called the weeping willow because it was used to ornament cemeteries. If given the right of way, human nature will make the earth a land of the weeping willows...
I've recently been reading up on the Type 941 Russian Federation ballistic missile nuclear-powered submarine (otherwise known as the "Typhoon class"), and once again was appalled by humanity's earnest desire to kill itself. This SSBN is old news; however, if we look at what could have been if it were used during the Cold War, we realize just how close we came to self-annihilation. This old news becomes like the old news of WWII---still fresh.
The Type 941 was named Akula ("shark" in Russian), "Typhoon" by NATO, and only 6 were built. The last 941 was commissioned in 1989, designated as the TK 20. These boats are the largest subs ever built to this day, measuring 574 feet long and 75 feet wide. The superstructure is coated with sound-absorbent tiles, making the incredibly huge submarines extremely quiet. They were made to prowl the Arctic seas, underneath the ice. The 941 can stay submerged up to 120 days, and is designed to be able to break through the ice.
Beneath 20 hatches lie the RSM-52 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Each one carries 10 100 kiloton nuclear warheads, otherwise known as independently targetable multiple re-entry vehicles. One RSM-52 has a combined blast yield of 1,000 kilotons. All missiles combined bring it up to 20,000 kilotons, or 20 megatons. I would like to compare this power to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The fateful weapon which would be dropped on the city of Hiroshima, named "Little Man," was a uranium-fission gravity bomb. The bomb detonated 600 meters above ground, and its power was measured at 16 kilotons. The radius of the fireball alone was just below .1 kilometers, and the radius of total destruction was 1.6 kilometers. The Japanese have determined that 69% of Hiroshima's buildings were destroyed. Hiroshima Castle, which was located approximately 900 yards from the hypocenter of the explosion was vaporized. 70,000 to 80,000 residents were killed by the blast and resulting firestorm alone, and 70,000 more from injuries.
Keep in mind that this was a 16 kiloton detonation. Each of the 10 warheads on the RSM-52 is capable of delivering a 100 kiloton blast---roughly six times the damage which was caused by Little Man. Theoretically, just one of the RSM-52 ballistic missiles could level a city larger than 50 Hiroshimas'. If the 941 were to deliver all of its ordinance, it could put England under water...
The Type 941 Akula, though, is ancient technology. There are far, far more powerful thermonuclear weapons at the disposal of both the United States and the Russian Federation. Even prior to the 1980s RSM-52, the Russians detonated the Tsar Bomba on October 30th, 1961. This thermonuclear device, the AN602 h-bomb, had a blast yield measuring anywhere between 50,000 to 58,000 kilotons, had a fireball radius of 2.3 kilometers, and a resulting mushroom cloud that rose 35 miles into the sky. Remember, this was 20 years prior to the 941 atom smashers entering the seas, armed and dangerous.
The Typhoons are history, and the Russians are selling off their old technology, such as the diesel-electric subs. The United States and the Russian Federation both have atom smashers in the water, and can strike anywhere from anywhere in the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, the willows will weep...
wikipedia.com (of course)