Article SADM not Saddam

If you look on the internet seeking information on suitcase nuclear bombs you might be surprised to find that the US had one as early as the 1960's that wasn’t fazed out until 1988. In fact, we had over 200 of the little beggars. Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM) the backpackers nuclear bomb. They make everything else in a back pack version, so why not?

The internet will tell you that the MK-54 Mod 1 was a Navy-Marine device and they will show you a short video of a SEAL jumping from a CH-46 at low level after he has supposedly suited up the thing and has it on his back. This information is fine because the Navy and Marines need the press, SF doesn’t want it. SF thrives on misdirection.

The MK-54 actually was a derivative of a device called a T-4 designed to blow a canal across Nicaragua. When, surprisingly enough, Nicaragua lost interest in the project (duh) the device was returned to the cone heads, I think at Los Alamos who came up with the suitcase bomb. The idea was to place the little jewel behind enemy lines against critical pinpoint targets where a lot of damage could be done with a small weapon.

When complete, it was a modified artillery round, completely sealed, that could be armed in a couple of different ways including the timer without which, every spy movie ever made would be sadly lacking in suspense. The M 96 arming device was about the size of a baseball, the timing was activated by revolving a set of rings to select the delay time, it was armed in a separate operation. That was the good news, the bad news was that you couldn’t de-activate it once it was armed. Oh yeh, there was an “instant” setting (go boom now) for those Rambo types who are invincible. No one on the team had the authority to set it off, the decision had to come from a lot higher up the totem pole. The word was usually transmitted by an encoded radio transmission. Just in case someone changed their mind and you were already starting on your E and E route and you were told it was all a big mistake and you had to go back and remove it from the target , you could blow the device without setting off the bomb. Right! Anybody wanna try? I can just imagine getting the word to stop the countdown and busting your butt back into the place you had just snuck out of, carrying it out of the place you had so carefully snuck it in to and trying to plant an explosive in just the right place when some local shines his light in your face and says, “What you doing, Gringo?” When I start me E and E my last words will be, “You’re coming in garbled, say again?”

The device was almost two feet long, was shaped like an artillery round and weighed 45 pounds without its jump container which added another 15 pounds. That much added to the jumper’s combat weight when fully loaded made for an interesting jump. Now I know the internet says the thing weighed 165 pounds, but WE know who sponsored that article. The yield was not going to exceed .1 KT.

I said before that the thing did not belong to the Navy and Marines, it belonged to the Field Command of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Center, a Defense Department Agency, and was under extremely tight control. Most people that saw it never really saw it, they were looking at a mockup complete in every detail except no nuclear stuff. When the device, even a mockup, went anywhere it was accompanied by armed guards. When it was being jumped, a guard was on the airplane and one was on the DZ. The only time it was out of sight of one of the guards was between the plane and the ground.

Having a suitcase nuke is cool, but how do you get it on target? The Navy and Marines had a solution demonstrated in the video. Drop the thing in the water and float it in. It would float, air could be pumped into the container and buoyancy could be established so it would float on the surface or under water, so that was one way, but what if you wanted it inland? SF had the answer. An SF had jumped with the SADM as early as 1960, proving it could be done, but back then the container wasn’t available so he just wrapped it up in his sleeping bag, stuffed it into his rucksack and jumped. During the 1960's SF at Fort Bragg were experimenting with HALO (high altitude low opening) parachute techniques. No money was available, so by providing the sport jumping clubs around the fort with a boxcar full of surplus Air Force parachutes, experimentation was proceeding. By the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis SF felt confident they could jump at 36,000 feet over water outside the three mile limit and land on Cuban soil, a glide ratio of 1:1.8. Good money was available for the Army wife with a sewing machine that didn’t mind spending her spare time sewing parachutes for club members. By the 1970's HALO was an established fact and the SADM could be jumped from as high as 25,000 feet.

For the SADM scenario, the jump would be made at high altitude two miles from the DZ. Chute opening would be at 1,800 feet and touchdown made just before sunset. If the device had to be carried very far it was jumped wrapped in a sleeping bag in a rucksack. One man jumped with the device, another man jumped with the timer. Once on the ground, the mission proceeded like any other SF mission, only the bang would be bigger.

Only USA acknowledge to possess such WMD, Soviet/Russia allegedly have the RA-115(s) and it was hinted that Israel may have some since the 70's. France never say anything about it's nuke so maybe or maybe :)
Only USA acknowledge to possess such WMD, Soviet/Russia allegedly have the RA-115(s) and it was hinted that Israel may have some since the 70's. France never say anything about it's nuke so maybe or maybe :)
Hey, everybody knows we have some
They are called CHEESE
Maybe an acronym for Charged with Heavy Explosive Enhanced System of Extermination:cool:
I heard the about the new Mark II, the Epoisses ? (the one you can't take on airplanes or train or bus or ....) it's even banned in the USA.