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The United States Most Powerful Nuke - The B41 Nuclear Bomb

#1
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The B-41 (also known as Mk-41) was a thermonuclear weapon deployed by the United States Strategic Air Command in the early 1960s. It was the most powerful nuclear bomb ever developed by the United States, with a maximum yield of 25 megatons. The B-41 was the only three-stage thermonuclear weapon fielded by the U.S.

The B-41 was the only three-stage thermonuclear weapon fielded by the U.S. It had a deuterium-tritium boosted primary, probably with lithium-6-enriched deuteride fuel for the fusion reaction in the secondary stage. This was followed by a yet-larger third fusion stage, the tertiary stage, compressed by the secondary stage. Finally, there was a fission jacket.

Two versions were deployed, Y1, a "dirty" version with a tertiary stage encased with U-238 (natural uranium), and Y2, a "clean" version with a lead-encased tertiary. It was the highest-yield nuclear weapon ever deployed by the United States, with a maximum yield of 25 megatons (Mt), and weighing in at 4,850 kg (10,690 lb). It remains the highest yield-to-weight ratio of any weapon created. The US claimed in 1963 that it could produce a 35 Mt fusion bomb, and put it on a Titan II (3,700 kg [8,200 lb] payload), almost doubling the yield-to-weight ratio of the B-41.

The B-41 was of the usual long cylindrical shape. The nuclear fusion warhead was of the Teller-Ulam type and used a 40–100 kiloton implosion type nuclear fission primary (reportedly based on the Smokey TX-41 shot of Operation Plumbbob) fueled by HEU to trigger the lithium-6 deuteride fusion fuel. The Y1 version, the third ("tertiary") stage was enclosed in a uranium tamper.

The B-41 was an example of a fission-fusion-fusion-fission type thermonuclear weapon, or tertiary stage bomb. The additional tertiary fusion stage, compressed by a previous fusion stage, could be used to make a bomb with yields as large as desired.

The B-41 (designated Mk-41 until 1968) entered service in 1961. About 500 of these weapons were manufactured between September 1960 and June 1962. The B-41 was progressively phased out of service beginning in 1963, superseded by the B53 nuclear bomb. The last B-41s were retired in July 1976.
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#2
The Castle Bravo test gave me the chills and that one was only 15MT. So pretty much half the yield of the Tsar Bomba. Sheesh.
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#3
(09-06-2017, 07:28 PM)agentmulder Wrote: The Castle Bravo test gave me the chills and that one was only 15MT. So pretty much half the yield of the Tsar Bomba. Sheesh.




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