OT - Why is this news story not big on US news channels?

Greetings and Salutations.
Take a gander at this story from
the BBC:
formatting link

I suppose it is not totally off topic,
as it does involve some fairly intricate metalwork.
However, if any of y'all are involved in the
recreational creation of nuclear devices, I REALLY
want to know...mainly so I can consider moving
a BIT further away (*smile*)
In any case, here is a story with meat
and serious implications for America, and, it
receives NO publicity, and no discussion. Instead
we are bombarded by tedious discussions about relatively
trivial issues - Kobe, gay marriage, "Governer Arnold",
etc.
My question is this: Is this story suppressed
because the news organizations have finally given up
and admitted they are no different from Jerry Springer
in the sort of program they produce, or, is our government
using the questionable powers of the Patriot Act and other
leverage to keep the sheeple from hearing something
disturbing?
To quote Bill O'Reilly: "We'll let the audience
decide".
Regards
Dave Mundt
Reply to
Dave Mundt
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It was cussed and dis-cussed 3 months ago on the US "news" channels. It has never been "suppressed" just not that big a deal. 30 years ago I was with an Artillery unit that had tactical nukes close enough to deploy and use in case the Soviet sent tanks through the Fulda Gap. Those same tactical warheads could as easily have been placed in the tube and dropped onto a bunker complex just like the "Bunker Buster" GBU-28.
The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. The GBU-28 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead. The bombs are modified Army artillery tubes, weigh 4,637 pounds, and contain 630 pounds of high explosives. They are fitted with GBU-27 LGB kits, 14.5 inches in diameter and almost 19 feet long. The operator illuminates a target with a laser designator and then the munition guides to a spot of laser energy reflected from the target.
The GBU 28 "Bunker Buster" was put together in record time to support targeting of the Iraqi hardened command bunker by adapting existing materiel. The GBU-28 was not even in the early stages of research when Kuwait was invaded. The USAF asked industry for ideas in the week after combat operations started. Work on the bomb was conducted in research laboratories including the the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate located at Eglin AFB, Florida and the Watervliet Armory in New York. The bomb was fabricated starting on 1 February, using surplus 8-inch artillery tubes as bomb casings because of their strength and weight. The official go-ahead for the project was issued on 14 February, and explosives for the initial units were hand-loaded by laboratory personnel into a bomb body that was partially buried upright in the ground. The first two units were delivered to the USAF on 16 and 17 February, and the first flight to test the guidance software and fin configuration was conducted on 20 February. These tests were successful and the program proceeded with a contract let on 22 February. A sled test on 26 February proved that the bomb could penetrate over 20 feet of concrete, while an earlier flight test had demonstrated the bomb's ability to penetrate more than 100 feet of earth. The first two operational bombs were delivered to the theater on 27 February.
The Air Force produced a limited quantity of the GBU-28 during Operation Desert Storm to attack multi-layered, hardened underground targets. Only two of these weapons were dropped in Desert Storm, both by F-111Fs. One weapon hit its precise aimpoint, and the onboard aircraft video recorder displayed an outpouring of smoke from an entrance way approximately 6 seconds after impact. After Operation Desert Storm, the Air Force incorporated some modifications, and further tested the munition. The Fy1997 budget request contained $18.4 million to procure 161 GBU-28 hard target penetrator bombs. For a visual depiction of how the GBU-28 works view the grapic produced by Bob Sherman and USA Today on-line.
Reply to
Don Thompson
It hasn't been supressed, I've seen it mentioned in several places. Most weapon systems are constantly being redesigned to meet the latest threat. No big deal.
As for "recreational creation of nuclear devices", the first reaction (no pun intended) of most people, once they understand how they work, is to wonder why everyone who wants one hasn't built one. They are that simple.
Reply to
Ken Finney
Well, I saw the story on the BEEB last (?) night. I think one US network also carried it. Nothing on the US nets about Africa and what is happening there. Now that the US has sent in troops, we probably will have "embedded" coverage on Africa (more newspeople than troops).
Regards,
Marv
Dave Mundt wrote:
Reply to
Marv Soloff
This story was covered by the NY Times in last Sunday's "Week In Review" ("Facing a Second Nuclear Age").
The proposed bombs are bunker-busters, which the BBC apparently didn't mention.
-- Ed Huntress (remove "3" from email address for email reply)
Reply to
Ed Huntress
"Ed Huntress" wrote in news:aYUYa.15948 $ snipped-for-privacy@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net:
Didn't mention? look at the link again, it's there at least five times. I saw the BBC item in the UK and the opening line was ' nuclear bunker busters'. or should that have been nucular (sp?).....
On the original post, if you spend anytime travelling outside the US and see other countries news coverage you quickly realise that our US coverage is usually;
Produced by the networks for viewing figures, sensationalism and over emphasis rules, very little factual content.
Appears to assume the viewer has a blood temperature IQ
Rarely covers international events, and if they do its never a neutral viewpoint.
While I can appreciate a certain backlash by posters against non US news agencies, such as the BBC in these threads it might be worth considering that the news as received here is minimal in content and often factually very different from the rest of the world.
For example, the BBC world news, presented in the networks as a thirty minute show which with Ad's makes about 117 mins of programming is fourty uninterrupted minuites in other countries.
Reply to
Andrew
Sheesh, I breezed over it too quickly. And if you start saying "nucular," we'll burn our OEDs.
There's some truth in that regarding broadcast coverage. It's not the case at all with our major newspapers, however.
I read the BBC online, The Guardian, the Toronto Star, The Wall Street Journal ($), The New York Times, and The Washington Post every day. My collection is about the size of those of a lot of other journalists and writers. I also read the rips of AP and Reuters. I often watch or listen to the BBC's world coverage on cable or radio. My total time spent with all of it is around three hours.
The BBC's network coverage in the US, and their online coverage, is pretty thin these days. I hope their home service has more depth.
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
They categorized them as "mini-nukes - 5KT range - and had a graphic of destroying a bunker. Still going underground to get Saddam.
Regards,
Marv
Ed Huntress wrote:
Reply to
Marv Soloff
I thought the last tests where against the treaty and they did them anyhow. When was that? Maybe Dad's era and now son wants to play nuke tests also , like Iraq. And they will say they are at least under ground without mentioning the hole right behind it , thus making it an above ground test to me.
Reply to
Sunworshiper
What is the DNC ? I was talking about in Nevada. Where do you think they are going to test it ? I seem to recall , like I said , that they continued to test beyond the agreement ( here in the US ). 1993 ?
What is it with people on computers? Do you feel better now? Its beyond me how you got on to that crap , maybe you should think about your reading comprehension. Then maybe your in Utah , which would explain it .
If you are so educated you would have asnwered my simple question , but it seems that you are the one that dropped the ball.
Did you read the article the OP sited? I thought it said the US was talking about it , the US is going to test it in France? Never mind, I don't like kicking dead horses.
Reply to
Sunworshiper
Bunker busting nukes present a bunch of interesting problems; First are the engineering aspects.
How do you make a nuclear device that is robust enough that it does not mechanically distort as the penetrator is breaking through thick concrete. A nuclear war head is quite delicate. An implosion device must compress the fissile material quite evenly or it will not reach critical mass. If the explosive charges are not fired properly or the G force has distorted the device then a nuclear reaction will not innate.
A gun type device is probably less sensitive to the G force acting on the fissile material since it is mostly solid. The gun mechanism, however, must withstand the G force and remain operable.
Bunker buster nukes will probably require a lot of testing. Some of that testing will have to be done with real fissile material. I have no doubt that this can be accomplished.
This brings us to testing; How do you test such a device? The only realistic way is to drop it from a plane. The hope is that it will penetrate deep enough to contain the radioactive fallout. Only testing will know for sure.
This brings to it's military uses; When would you use such a thing. The idea is to attack targets that are deeply buried. Obviously such a device can penetrate no deeper than current penetrating weapons. The penetration technology is no different. The question is; does the few tens of feet closer placement of the warhead to the ultimate target gain you very much? A similar warhead on the surface will probably also destroy the target. The only difference being the amount of radiation released.
Now the political issues: We will have to break a lot of long standing treaties to do this. We will have to do a lot of open air testing. Some tests will likely succeed with no radiation released. Certainly some will be disasters with a lot of radiation released. Even the earliest test bans, the ones against open air testing, will have to be breached. Of course other countries will follow the same course. We will have brought back the era of open air testing.
When would we use it? The current penetrators can attack most military bunkers. If an enemy knew that were developing such a device it is quite easily design bunkers that cannot be attacked. For example; a bunker that has a one mile long entrance tunnel. Such a bunker need not be very deep. The only requirement is that it's actual position be secret. Such a bunker built under a city would be quite secure.
Ultimately such a weapon makes little sense. The down sides are far worse than the upside. Militarily it has little use since it is so easily defeated. Politically it is a disaster.
Pete.
Reply to
Peter Reilley
I agree, it really doesn't make much sense. It would seem to me that it would be better to develop a system to get deeper penetration from what we already have.
John
Please note that my return address is wrong due to the amount of junk email I get. So please respond to this message through the newsgroup.
Reply to
John Flanagan
Why ? It wasn't there just for 1 country.
Martin
BEAR wrote:
Reply to
Eastburn
The only conclusion I can draw from this article is that the mail must be very slow to Britain, or that BBC writers read very slowly.
I first saw the mini-nuke story in the October 2002 issue of Popular Mechanics (cover story). The story was also in the January 2003 issue of Popular Science, and it has been covered since then in Time, Newsweek, and an assortment of other news magazines in the US.
BTW, one of the architects of this new generation of bunker busters noted that Congress' 1994 prohibition on development of new nukes (not a treaty, just a Congressional resolution) would mean that no *new* nukes would be developed. Instead, they'd simply use the atomic triggers from some of the 10,000 or so thermonuclear weapons being dismantled as part of the Salt agreements with the Russians.
Those triggers are the right size and yield for the project, and they're already at hand, and fully tested. The only part of the project requiring testing are the penetrators, and those can be tested without active nuclear material.
Gary
Reply to
Gary R Coffman
A bunker buster, even with a 700lb core charge, has a very limited kill range. If one is dropped into a well designed tunnel complex, it may not kill or damage the entire complex, nor the folks within it. This is simple physics and is understood by anyone engineering a bunker complex.
A warhead of 700lbs, versus a warhead of 5,000 Tons (5kt = explosive force of 10,000 lbs of explosive is the difference. Not to mention the additional heat and pressure generated by our nuke bunker buster. The rads are totally besides the point.
As to the comment, about a nuke set off above ground, being the same as it being detonated underground inside or near the complex..bullshit. One has to increase the tonnage of the nuke by orders of magnitude to get damage deep in a well designed complex.
Nukes are NOT magic death rays. They are simply really really big chemical bombs in a very small package.
A properly designed undergound nuke will release far smaller amounts of radionucleids than one that is detonated on the surface. The blast/overpressure pulse is the bunker killer, not the radiation, else one could simply detonate a neutron device above the target and kill it. That simply is not possible. 3' of dirt will stop a lot of radiation, 300 feet, will stop a whole bunch.
A chemical bomb is simply a point weapon. A nuke is no more and no less a point weapon. But the same size package has a much larger point..
Gunner
"What do you call someone in possesion of all the facts? Paranoid.-William Burroughs
Reply to
Gunner
Offutt Air Force base is no longer a SAC base (Strategic Air Command doesn't exist anymore), but it hasn't been closed. It is now an Air Combat Command base.
The fact that the BBC author still called it a SAC base is just more evidence of how little the BBC author, or his sources, knows about the US military, its force doctrines, and its weapons systems.
Gary
Reply to
Gary R Coffman
This stuff about mis information is old stuff.
Even the Pinko spies didn't have it right - long after the SAC base in Austin Tx converted over to fighter TAC base Austin was a first strike city. Now that the base is converted over to be an International public Airline Airport - I wonder what is thought.
Martin
Reply to
Eastburn
Wasn't the largest chemical explosion the ammonium nitrate explosion in Galveston, TX I believe it was? Either that or the one that occured in NJ. Both were during WWII while loading ships I think.
John
Please note that my return address is wrong due to the amount of junk email I get. So please respond to this message through the newsgroup.
Reply to
John Flanagan
Supposedly the biggest (accidental) pre-nuclear explosion..my late grandmother lost siblings in the great Halifax explosion of 1917. It killed more than 2,000 people, injured around 10,000 and destroyed hundreds of acres of North-end Halifax. It was a WWI French munitions ship which collided in the harbor with a Belgian relief ship then drifted to the docks. The time between collision and explosion was 20 minutes- enough time for the ship's crew (who knew well what was on board) to high-tail it out and for curious spectators and the fire department to gather.
BTW, the city of Boston generously and quickly donated aid and Halifax still sends an Xmas tree to Boston every year in gratitude.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
That would be the explosion of the "Grandcamp" and a bit later of the "High Flyer" in 1947 their explosive load was 2300 tons on the GC and 1000 tons on the HF. There are several claims of explosions being "the largest non-nuclear explosions in history". I remember one that took place where 10,000 tons of AN was loaded into a covered location, primed with 1,000 pounds of TNT, and then exploded to test several new instruments. Sailor Hat was 500 tons of TNT stacked in a spherical configuration. The "Pepcon" explosion in Nevada was a big one. One in Nova Scotia in WWI of a French munitions ship killed a lot of people and is considered in the running.
Reply to
Don Thompson

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