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Operation Wigwam and Project 56

Operation Wigwam and Project 56

Wigwam: 1955 — Pacific Ocean


Project 56: 1955-56 Nevada Proving Ground


Last modified 17 October 1997
.

Operation Wigwam

Test:Wigwam
Time:21:00 14 May 1955 (GMT)
13:00 14 May 1955 (PDT)
Location:Pacific Ocean
Test Height and Type:Underwater, -2000 ft
Yield:30 kt

Operation Wigwam consisted of a single nuclear detonation, (both the operation and test are known as Wigwam), conducted 400-500 miles SW of San Diego, California(about 29 Deg N, 126 Deg W). It was a deep water test (the ocean is 16,000 feet deep at that point) to investigate the vulnerability of submarines to deep nuclear weapons, and the feasibility of using depth bombs in combat (there was considerable concern about problems with surface contamination). The test device was a B-7 (Mk-90) Betty depth bomb that was suspended by a 2000 ft cable from a barge. The dry weight of the bomb was 8250 lb, 5700 lb when submerged.

6800 personnel on 30 ships participated in Wigwam. A 6 mile tow-line connected the fleet tug, Tawasa and the shot barge. Suspended from this line at varying ditances from the barge were three «Squaws» — sub-scale submarine-like pressure hulls equipped with instruments and cameras.

The ships conducting the test were 5 miles upwind from the barge, with the exception of the USS George Eastman (YAG-39) and USS Granville S. Hall (YAG-40). These two ships were equipped with heavy shielding and were stationed 5 miles downwind. Both ships were contaminated by the base surge, but due to the relatively dilute radioactivity (since the shot was at such a great depth) and the heavy shielding kept exposures within the Operation Wigwam dose limit of 3.9 rems. Nearly all personnel were issued film badges to measure radiation exposure, and some 10,000 badges were processed. Only 3 personnel were measured as having doses exceeding 0.5 rems.

Project 56

Test:Project 56 No. 1
Time:22:10 1 November 1955 (GMT)
1 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11a
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

One-point safety test of an all-oralloy prototype sealed pit weapon that was similar to the Plumbbob Priscilla and Redwing Lacrosse devices (tested at 37 and 40 kt respectively), probably the primary for the TX-15/39 and W-27.

To ensure safety of the deployed design, two changes were made to enhance the nuclear output of this test. More oralloy was used than would be present in the war-reserve model. Also 3 external neutron sources («zippers») were used to ensure a large neutron population at the moment of criticality. The 37.1 inch diameter device weighed 600 lb.

Test:Project 56 No. 2
Time:21:15 3 November 1955 (GMT)
3 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11b
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

One-point safety test of the plutonium containing W-25 sealed pit weapon. The device was 17.4 inches in diameter, 26.6 inches long, and weighed 218 lb. 3 zippers were used as neutron sources.

Test:Project 56 No. 3
Time:19:55 5 November 1955 (GMT)
1 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11c
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

This was a one-point safety test for the prototype TX/W-28 primary. The 16.8 inch diameter nuclear system weighed 143 lb, the total device weighed 275 lb. 3 zippers were used as neutron sources.

Test:Project 56 No. 4
Time:21:30 18 January 1956 (GMT)
:30 18 January 1956 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11d
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Slight (10-100 tons)

Like shot No. 3 this was a one-point safety test for the prototype TX/W-28 primary. The device was basically identical except that 6 zippers were used as neutron sources.

The enhanced yield (compared to No. 3) was probably due to the larger neutron population injected into the core. Due to the low rate of neutron multiplication possible in this slightly supercritical system, only a limited amount of neutron multiplication is possible while the core remains compressed. A larger initial neutron population results in a larger final neutron population (and thus total fission output).

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История создания глубинной бомбы

Долгое время подводные лодки, первые образцы которых появились еще в конце XVIII века, представляли наибольшую опасность для собственного экипажа, а не для противника. По этой причине вплоть до Первой Мировой войны какие-либо средства борьбы с ними отсутствовали.

В 1913-году в Великобритании был разработан так называемый «сбрасываемый заряд». Он предназначался для уничтожения подводных мин, выставленных противником. Это была обыкновенная бочка со взрывчаткой, которую предполагалось сбрасывать с корабля-носителя. Главной технической новинкой стал гидростатический взрыватель, срабатывавший от давления воды после достижения определенной глубины (около 30 метров). Это оружие получило первоначальное название «крейсерская мина», или «глубинная мина».

При весе в 500 с лишним килограммов сбрасываемый заряд мог повредить при взрыве сам корабль-носитель, поскольку дистанция до точки его падения в воду не превышала четырнадцати метров. Таким образом, для разминирования это оружие не годилось, зато оно послужило прототипом будущей глубинной бомбы.

Когда в 1914-м году началась война, для уничтожения подводных лодок какое-то время пытались применять специальные артиллерийские снаряды. Они были сделаны таким образом, чтобы не давать рикошетов от поверхности воды и не взрываться раньше времени. При обнаружении перископа пушка открывала огонь в направлении субмарины, в расчете на то, что снаряды, погружаясь, смогут поразить её прямым попаданием. Разумеется, подобный метод мог сработать разве только при очень удачном стечении обстоятельств (впрочем, уже во время Гражданской войны советский эсминец «Азард» ухитрился уничтожить английскую подводную лодку именно таким образом – из орудия).

Полноценные глубинные бомбы появились лишь в январе 1916 года, когда Герберт Тейлор сумел усовершенствовать гидростатический взрыватель «сбрасываемого заряда». Величина и вес новых боеприпасов были уже не так велики, как у прототипа. Глубинная бомба типа D имела массу боевой части в 140 кг (300 фунтов), а типа D* — 54 кг. Предполагалось, что более легкий вариант будет применяться с тихоходных кораблей.

Взрыватель можно было устанавливать в одно из двух положений – на подрыв на глубине в 12 или 24 метра.

Первой подводной лодкой, уничтоженной глубинной бомбой, стала немецкая субмарина U-68. Это произошло 22 марта 1916 года и привело к увеличению выпуска нового оружия. К концу войны на некоторых британских кораблях было уже по 30 или даже 50 глубинных бомб.

Любопытно, что в советском телевизионном фильме «Капитан Немо» демонстрируется попытка уничтожения знаменитого «Наутилуса» при помощи глубинных бомб – и это при том, что действие романа «20 тысяч лье под водой» происходит в 60-е годы XIX века. Разумеется, данный эпизод является плодом фантазии сценариста – ничего подобного просто не могло произойти в те давние времена.

Operation Wigwam and Project 56

Wigwam: 1955 — Pacific Ocean


Project 56: 1955-56 Nevada Proving Ground


Last modified 17 October 1997
.

Operation Wigwam

Test:Wigwam
Time:21:00 14 May 1955 (GMT)
13:00 14 May 1955 (PDT)
Location:Pacific Ocean
Test Height and Type:Underwater, -2000 ft
Yield:30 kt

Operation Wigwam consisted of a single nuclear detonation, (both the operation and test are known as Wigwam), conducted 400-500 miles SW of San Diego, California(about 29 Deg N, 126 Deg W). It was a deep water test (the ocean is 16,000 feet deep at that point) to investigate the vulnerability of submarines to deep nuclear weapons, and the feasibility of using depth bombs in combat (there was considerable concern about problems with surface contamination). The test device was a B-7 (Mk-90) Betty depth bomb that was suspended by a 2000 ft cable from a barge. The dry weight of the bomb was 8250 lb, 5700 lb when submerged.

6800 personnel on 30 ships participated in Wigwam. A 6 mile tow-line connected the fleet tug, Tawasa and the shot barge. Suspended from this line at varying ditances from the barge were three «Squaws» — sub-scale submarine-like pressure hulls equipped with instruments and cameras.

The ships conducting the test were 5 miles upwind from the barge, with the exception of the USS George Eastman (YAG-39) and USS Granville S. Hall (YAG-40). These two ships were equipped with heavy shielding and were stationed 5 miles downwind. Both ships were contaminated by the base surge, but due to the relatively dilute radioactivity (since the shot was at such a great depth) and the heavy shielding kept exposures within the Operation Wigwam dose limit of 3.9 rems. Nearly all personnel were issued film badges to measure radiation exposure, and some 10,000 badges were processed. Only 3 personnel were measured as having doses exceeding 0.5 rems.

Читать еще:  Противолодочная торпеда «Sting Ray» (Великобритания)

Project 56

Test:Project 56 No. 1
Time:22:10 1 November 1955 (GMT)
1 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11a
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

One-point safety test of an all-oralloy prototype sealed pit weapon that was similar to the Plumbbob Priscilla and Redwing Lacrosse devices (tested at 37 and 40 kt respectively), probably the primary for the TX-15/39 and W-27.

To ensure safety of the deployed design, two changes were made to enhance the nuclear output of this test. More oralloy was used than would be present in the war-reserve model. Also 3 external neutron sources («zippers») were used to ensure a large neutron population at the moment of criticality. The 37.1 inch diameter device weighed 600 lb.

Test:Project 56 No. 2
Time:21:15 3 November 1955 (GMT)
3 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11b
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

One-point safety test of the plutonium containing W-25 sealed pit weapon. The device was 17.4 inches in diameter, 26.6 inches long, and weighed 218 lb. 3 zippers were used as neutron sources.

Test:Project 56 No. 3
Time:19:55 5 November 1955 (GMT)
1 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11c
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

This was a one-point safety test for the prototype TX/W-28 primary. The 16.8 inch diameter nuclear system weighed 143 lb, the total device weighed 275 lb. 3 zippers were used as neutron sources.

Test:Project 56 No. 4
Time:21:30 18 January 1956 (GMT)
:30 18 January 1956 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11d
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Slight (10-100 tons)

Like shot No. 3 this was a one-point safety test for the prototype TX/W-28 primary. The device was basically identical except that 6 zippers were used as neutron sources.

The enhanced yield (compared to No. 3) was probably due to the larger neutron population injected into the core. Due to the low rate of neutron multiplication possible in this slightly supercritical system, only a limited amount of neutron multiplication is possible while the core remains compressed. A larger initial neutron population results in a larger final neutron population (and thus total fission output).

Принцип действия и особенности конструкции

Как известно, вода является практически несжимаемой. Это свойство можно использовать для уничтожения как обычных судов, так и субмарин – гидроудар, созданный подводным взрывом, способен пробить даже самую прочную обшивку. Таким образом, для уничтожения подлодки вовсе не обязательно попасть непосредственно в её корпус, достаточно обеспечить детонацию на определенном расстоянии до цели.

Устройство глубинной бомбы не отличается большой сложностью. Каждая из них представляет собой емкость со сравнительно тонкими металлическими стенками, наполненную взрывчатым веществом. Первоначально такие боеприпасы были очень похожи на обыкновенные бочки. Затем, чтобы увеличить скорость погружения и сделать его более упорядоченным, бомбы начали снабжать стабилизаторами, а форма их стала каплевидной (сфероцилиндрической).

Подрыв осуществляется на глубине, значение которой устанавливается перед сбросом или запуском бомбы. Инициация обеспечивается благодаря нарастанию давления воды по мере погружения. При этом, наряду с гидростатическим, используются следующие виды дополнительных взрывателей:

  1. Контактный. Работает при непосредственном соударении с целью;
  2. Магнитный. Реагирует на магнитное поле, создаваемое корпусом субмарины;
  3. Акустический. Улавливает шум, создаваемый винтами подводной лодки, и подрывает заряд.

Бомбы, использовавшиеся на Hedgehog и других бомбометах времен Второй Мировой войны, имели дополнительный вышибной заряд на основе пороха. По своей конструкции они напоминали минометные мины.

Наибольшей сложностью устройства обладают современные реактивные глубинные бомбы – их частью является двигатель, обеспечивающий значительную дальность полета.

Operation Wigwam and Project 56

Wigwam: 1955 — Pacific Ocean


Project 56: 1955-56 Nevada Proving Ground


Last modified 17 October 1997
Читать еще:  Ракетные боеприпасы «Skeet» (США)
.

Operation Wigwam

Test:Wigwam
Time:21:00 14 May 1955 (GMT)
13:00 14 May 1955 (PDT)
Location:Pacific Ocean
Test Height and Type:Underwater, -2000 ft
Yield:30 kt

Operation Wigwam consisted of a single nuclear detonation, (both the operation and test are known as Wigwam), conducted 400-500 miles SW of San Diego, California(about 29 Deg N, 126 Deg W). It was a deep water test (the ocean is 16,000 feet deep at that point) to investigate the vulnerability of submarines to deep nuclear weapons, and the feasibility of using depth bombs in combat (there was considerable concern about problems with surface contamination). The test device was a B-7 (Mk-90) Betty depth bomb that was suspended by a 2000 ft cable from a barge. The dry weight of the bomb was 8250 lb, 5700 lb when submerged.

6800 personnel on 30 ships participated in Wigwam. A 6 mile tow-line connected the fleet tug, Tawasa and the shot barge. Suspended from this line at varying ditances from the barge were three «Squaws» — sub-scale submarine-like pressure hulls equipped with instruments and cameras.

The ships conducting the test were 5 miles upwind from the barge, with the exception of the USS George Eastman (YAG-39) and USS Granville S. Hall (YAG-40). These two ships were equipped with heavy shielding and were stationed 5 miles downwind. Both ships were contaminated by the base surge, but due to the relatively dilute radioactivity (since the shot was at such a great depth) and the heavy shielding kept exposures within the Operation Wigwam dose limit of 3.9 rems. Nearly all personnel were issued film badges to measure radiation exposure, and some 10,000 badges were processed. Only 3 personnel were measured as having doses exceeding 0.5 rems.

Project 56

Test:Project 56 No. 1
Time:22:10 1 November 1955 (GMT)
1 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11a
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

One-point safety test of an all-oralloy prototype sealed pit weapon that was similar to the Plumbbob Priscilla and Redwing Lacrosse devices (tested at 37 and 40 kt respectively), probably the primary for the TX-15/39 and W-27.

To ensure safety of the deployed design, two changes were made to enhance the nuclear output of this test. More oralloy was used than would be present in the war-reserve model. Also 3 external neutron sources («zippers») were used to ensure a large neutron population at the moment of criticality. The 37.1 inch diameter device weighed 600 lb.

Test:Project 56 No. 2
Time:21:15 3 November 1955 (GMT)
3 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11b
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

One-point safety test of the plutonium containing W-25 sealed pit weapon. The device was 17.4 inches in diameter, 26.6 inches long, and weighed 218 lb. 3 zippers were used as neutron sources.

Test:Project 56 No. 3
Time:19:55 5 November 1955 (GMT)
1 November 1955 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11c
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Zero

This was a one-point safety test for the prototype TX/W-28 primary. The 16.8 inch diameter nuclear system weighed 143 lb, the total device weighed 275 lb. 3 zippers were used as neutron sources.

Test:Project 56 No. 4
Time:21:30 18 January 1956 (GMT)
:30 18 January 1956 (PST)
Location:Nevada Test Site (NTS), Area 11d
Test Height and Type:Surface
Yield:Slight (10-100 tons)

Like shot No. 3 this was a one-point safety test for the prototype TX/W-28 primary. The device was basically identical except that 6 zippers were used as neutron sources.

The enhanced yield (compared to No. 3) was probably due to the larger neutron population injected into the core. Due to the low rate of neutron multiplication possible in this slightly supercritical system, only a limited amount of neutron multiplication is possible while the core remains compressed. A larger initial neutron population results in a larger final neutron population (and thus total fission output).

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