The & # 39; brain & # 39; of an American nuclear missile allegedly leading the warhead to Moscow is revealed in incredible photos of the Cold War
- Photos of the Martin Miller catalog the advanced nuclear arsenal created and stored by the United States during the Cold War
- Miller had incredible close-up photos taken from the Advanced Inertial Reference Sphere (AIRS) guidance system – known as one of the achievements of US nuclear engineering
- The system consists of 19,000 individual parts and is designed to be in the MX Peacekeeper rocket, bringing the striking range to 130 feet
- Miller has also cataloged images of previous navigation systems and nuclear weapons that emphasize the incredible technological progress that the US has made in the Cold War
Incredible photos bring the striking complexity of nuclear equipment made by the United States during the Cold War to life.
The images, made by photographer and author Martin Miller, emphasize the technological side of the country's long-standing distance with Russia, which ran from after the Second World War to the early 1990s.
During that long period, the two competing nations were locked up in an arms race, building and building an advanced arsenal to cause maximum catastrophe.
Miller – who recently published two books that catalog US-designed nuclear weapons – continues to write his website that & # 39; the formidable technical barriers to the production of nuclear material and designs gradually made way, making weapons virtually unlimited in number and explosive power possible … the last half of the 20th century saw crazy strategic and technological competition who left us with the chilling array of doomsday machines & # 39 ;.
The most important of the refined creations was the Advanced Inertial Reference Sphere (AIRS) guidance system, designed to help navigate a ballistic missile known as the MX Peacekeeper. The development of that rocket began for the first time in 1971 and built on technological progress that had already been made during the first 25 years of the Cold War. Although the AIRS guidance system may look clumsy and out of date, the honing device consists of 19,000 individual parts and has reduced the stroke range accuracy to just 130 feet
A series of photos shows the intricacies of the AIRS guidance system, which was extremely expensive and time-consuming in its construction. This delayed the deployment of the MX Peacekeeper rockets until the end of the Cold War. Although there were originally plans for 100 MX Peacekeeper rockets, Congress limited the number to 50 in 1984. They were not deployed until 1986.
The AIRS navigation system built on the technology of the guidance system installed in the Minuteman II ballistic missile, which first entered service in 1965. An incredible color photo taken by Miller shows all the moving parts of that navigation system, known to engineers as the & # 39; Inertial guidance set & # 39 ;. Although the AIRS system was able to reduce accuracy to 130 feet, the inertial guidance had a less impressive stroke range of approximately 1.5 km
Miller has photographed not only nuclear weapons built by the US during the Cold War, but also the control consoles needed for their launch. One image shows the console for the Titan II rocket, unveiled in 1963 – the year after the Cuban rocket crisis. The Titan II rocket was intended to be launched from an underground control capsule connected to the silo in which the rocket was stored. Two rocket operators should receive an order from the president to launch the Titan II. Once an order was issued to launch, an audio transmission of a seven-letter code would be broadcast to each of the operators on the control console. They should both enter the correct code for a successful launch of the nuclear weapon.
The warhead of the Titan II rocket is shown. The weapons were stored in underground silos that were specifically cured against nuclear attacks. This was so it could be successfully launched if the Russians had already destroyed the land above. The rocket had a range of up to 1300 miles – meaning that he could easily attack Moscow if the US had launched a nuclear attack on its enemies. The Russian capital is 6,000 km from the west coast of America
The Titan II ballistic rocket is depicted in all its glory. The nuclear weapon first entered service in 1963 and was ready to launch for 24 years. There were originally 63 Titan II rockets, of which eighteen were continuously alert 24 hours a day at an air force base outside of Tucson, Arizona. The rocket was eventually withdrawn from launch capacity in 1987. Each launch of the Titan II cost the country more than $ 3 million.
Nuclear weapons manufactured by the United States were transferred across the country in an armored train known as & # 39; The White Train & # 39 ;. The train was in use from 1951 to 1987. Despite its name, the Department of Energy's Office of Secure Transportation changed the colors of the train wagons several times over the years not to attract negative attention. Protesters often attempted to block the train's passage after it set off from the Pantex plant in Texas – where most of the nuclear weapons were built. After 1987, the government decided to transport nuclear weapons via armored trucks
Miller has also photographed equipment that was used in the early stages of the Cold War, when nuclear technology was still in its infancy. An image on its website shows the USS George Washington – the first operational submarine for ballistic missiles from the United States. The nuclear submarine was first deployed in 1959 and made 55 frightening patrols in both the Atlantic and the Pacific over the next 25 years. Compared to the detailed images of the navigation systems, the submarine appears relatively straightforward – which helps to emphasize the incredible technological progress that the US has made in the Cold War years.
The Mark 17 Thermonuclear Bomb is a photographer by Miller in intricate details. Five of the bombs were added to the nuclear arsenal of the United States between April and October 1954. However, in May 1957, one of the major weapons accidentally fell out of an aircraft when it was carried over an air base in New Mexico. The device accidentally fell through closed doors of a B-36 bomber while landing. Plutonium wells were stored separately in the aircraft as a safety measure, meaning that a nuclear disaster was avoided. However, the incident spread radioactive contamination over more than a kilometer around its impact zone. The Mark 17 & # 39; s were taken out of service later that year.
The B-52 Strategic Bomber is depicted on a black-and-white photo of Miller. Designed and built by Boeing, the first bomber was completed in 1955 and could carry up to 70,000 pounds of weapons. 744 B-52 bombers were produced in the seven years to 1962. Each aircraft cost $ 14.43 million to produce. In today's currency, that is the equivalent of $ 104 million per aircraft, or $ 77.3 billion collectively. Despite the end of the Cold War, many of the aircraft are still used by the Air Force. From December 2015, 58 of the B-52 bombers were still in active service and 18 were in reserve.
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