The B83 nuclear weapon is a variable-yield gravity bomb developed by the United States in the late 1970s, entering service in 1983. With a maximum yield of 1.2 megatons, it is the most powerful nuclear free-fall weapon in the United States arsenal. It was designed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the first underground test detonation took place on 15 December 1984.
The B83 was based partly on the earlier B77 program, which was terminated because of cost overruns. The B83 replaced several earlier weapons, including the B28, B43, and to some extent the ultra-high-yield B53. It was the first U.S. nuclear weapon designed from the start to avoid accidental detonation, with the use of “insensitive” explosive in the trigger lens system. Its layout is similar to that of the smaller B61, with the warhead mounted in the forward part of the weapon to make the bomb nose-heavy. It was intended for high-speed carriage (up to Mach 2.0) and delivery at high or low altitude. For the latter role, it is equipped with a parachute retardation system, with a 46-foot (14-meter) Kevlar ribbon parachute capable of rapid deceleration. It can be employed in free-fall, retarded, contact, and laydown modes, for air-burst or ground-burst detonation. Security features include next-generation permissive action link (PAL) and a command disablement system (CDS), rendering the weapon tactically useless without a nuclear yield.
|Weight||2,400 pounds (1,100 kg)|
|Length||12 feet (3.7 m)|
|Diameter||18 inches (46 cm)|
|Blast yield||1.2 megatons (maximum)|
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Please Note: You are donating the dollar amount to charity, not the product.