An atomic charge from a cannon: what kind of artillery nuclear charges does Russia have

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An atomic charge from a cannon: what kind of artillery nuclear charges does Russia have
An atomic charge from a cannon: what kind of artillery nuclear charges does Russia have
3 March, 12:09ArmyPhoto: Соцсети
The Russian army has means of delivering low-yield tactical nuclear weapons to strike at enemy troops at a distance of up to 45 kilometers.

Igor Zot

As is known, during the years of the Cold War, both in the USA and the USSR, in addition to missile delivery vehicles for nuclear charges, large-caliber cannon artillery was also actively developed. Thus, these countries, fighting for military priority, sought to create an effective means of delivering low-yield tactical nuclear weapons to strike enemy troop concentrations at a relatively short distance.

The creation of tactical nuclear weapons, including for artillery systems, began immediately after the appearance of the first atomic bombs. In the Soviet Union, such a task was set for specialists at the beginning of 1952, and already in 1956, a successful test of the RDS-41 charge for a 406 mm caliber projectile took place.

Full-scale work on the creation of nuclear equipment for artillery ammunition for artillery and mortar systems for the Soviet army began in the mid-1960s. In the early 1970s, nuclear warheads were created in Snezhinsk for ammunition of 240 and 203 mm calibers for the B-4M towed howitzer; heavy towed mortar M-240, self-propelled mortar 2S4 "Tulip" and self-propelled artillery gun 2S7 "Pion".

Thus, in both the USA and the USSR, conventional projectile artillery weapons became the means of delivering tactical nuclear weapons. For example, 203-mm self-propelled guns 2S7 "Peony", which were put into operation in 1975. For them, low-power tactical ammunition "Kleshchevitsa", "Sazhenets" and "Perforator" were specially created, with which self-propelled guns "processed" targets at a distance of up to 45 kilometers.

The creation of a nuclear charge for artillery shells smaller than 203 millimeters of caliber was considered an incredibly difficult task, since for this it was necessary to ensure the survivability of systems in conditions of ultra-high overloads characteristic of an artillery shot. And besides, it was necessary to ensure nuclear safety and exclude the possibility of unauthorized detonation. The development of nuclear projectiles of 152.4 mm caliber is considered one of the brightest pages in the history of the creation of Soviet nuclear weapons. The creators of nuclear charges and nuclear ammunition based on them for artillery and mortar systems were awarded the USSR State Prizes (1973, 1974, 1984) and the Lenin Prize (1984).

As a result, from 1966 until the very collapse of the USSR, all large-caliber artillery systems in service with the ground forces were equipped with nuclear weapons in our country. Surely, the modern Russian army is also equipped with them.

More about it is here.

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