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Tactical Nuclear weapons - still relevant?

This is a discussion on Tactical Nuclear weapons - still relevant? within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Well, they have one major obstacle, TLAM-N been retired from service. Same with nuclear ASROC in 1990 I think. AFAIK ...


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Old May 26th, 2013   #16
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Well, they have one major obstacle, TLAM-N been retired from service. Same with nuclear ASROC in 1990 I think.

AFAIK there's no current active service nuclear weapon in service for the US escort fleet.
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Old May 28th, 2013   #17
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I know from conversations with former Burke crew that the security stations for TLAM-N are now odd talking points, their origins lost in legend (why *do* they have that little seat in the corner?" etc)

There's possibly some nuclear depth charges hanging around somewhere for use but I don't know if any US surface ship actively carries any routinely - and if they did, I'd not expect anyone to tell me

That's always been a "no comment" topic and I've seen topics closed on another board just asking what weapons were *historically* carried.

All the UK nuclear depth charges were retired in the early 90's I think - once the cold war went away, making 1km columns of glow-in-the-dark fish became a bit contentious.
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Old June 20th, 2014   #18
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A nuclear war between Pakistan-India may destroy the whole planet since both countries have a significant number of nuclear rockets, about 200 pointing each other at the Kashmir region. The conflict is mainly religious, based on the mixture of Muslins, and Hindus.
These are proud people who live in the mountains, and don’t accept a foreign domination.
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Old June 21st, 2014   #19
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A nuclear war between Pakistan-India may destroy the whole planet since both countries have a significant number of nuclear rockets, about 200 pointing each other at the Kashmir region.
It would be the end of the world as they know it, but the rest would survive easy. Those are all short range missiles, incapable of reaching Europe and the USA. Some fallout sure, but not world ending.
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Old June 21st, 2014   #20
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It would be the end of the world as they know it, but the rest would survive easy. Those are all short range missiles, incapable of reaching Europe and the USA. Some fallout sure, but not world ending.
Actually I saw something specifically discussing a small exchange between Pakistan and India. Aside from potentially hundreds of millions dead or dying (again from a minor exchange) you'd also have to consider what all those burning cities would release into the atmosphere in terms of radiation, and soot which could cause a minor drop in global temperatures. This would then potentially lead to food shortages, riots, I guess my point is, it wouldn't be a picnic for us exactly. Then there's the issue of survivors and refugees. The countries close to India and Pakistan could also suffer significant casualties from the fallout.
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Old June 22nd, 2014   #21
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Compared to how many surface tests in the past?


Doubt it'd be a huge deal globally. Pretty horrible for the people at ground zero but the rest of the world?

Doubt it'd be much of an issue.
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Old June 22nd, 2014   #22
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Compared to how many surface tests in the past?


Doubt it'd be a huge deal globally. Pretty horrible for the people at ground zero but the rest of the world?

Doubt it'd be much of an issue.
Well first you need to consider a few things about the atmospheric test, first and I think most importantly, none of the test happened over major urban centers with millions of people in it. That alone would cause mass casualties of persons in varying degrees of duress. Burns, people trapped in building, people impaled by debris, people flash blinded, etc...then the following the initial blasts wave you'd see massive fires, fires that release huge amounts of radioactive material into ionosphere,-that effects you, and me- followed by fallout from the huge amounts of ash and soot falling back down to earth or rain.
Second, the atmospheric test weren't done in a manner where one would see the United States detonating 50 devices in a single day. The test were also separated sometimes but great distance but not always.
Consider too politically, how such an exchange would alter world affairs. Would China be neutral in a India-Pakistan nuclear exchange? India has the Agni 4 Ballistic missile capable of reaching Beijing, and the also new Brahmos cruise missile. You see how the conflicts in the Ukraine, in Syria, and elsewhere including territorial disputes are putting the Superpowers seemingly on some type of collision course. Do you think a nuclear war in South Asia say tomorrow morning would decrease the levels of international tensions?
Then lastly, how would things like the cost of food and energy be effected? How would the worlds economies fair? Think small too in terms of devices used, let's say each side fires about two dozen apiece, that's a lot of cities gone. Former SecDef Robert McNamara had the idea of fighting a nuclear war by attacking only military and political targets. Even with all these factors considered, such an event would be unprecedented in recorded history.
If say, it'd be an issue.

I'd recommend watching "Trinity & Beyond" narrated by William Shatner. The part about how strontium-90 and how it gets into our food and water I found most interesting.
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Old June 23rd, 2014   #23
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Well first you need to consider a few things about the atmospheric test, first and I think most importantly, none of the test happened over major urban centers with millions of people in it. That alone would cause mass casualties of persons in varying degrees of duress. Burns, people trapped in building, people impaled by debris, people flash blinded, etc...then the following the initial blasts wave you'd see massive fires, fires that release huge amounts of radioactive material into ionosphere,-that effects you, and me- followed by fallout from the huge amounts of ash and soot falling back down to earth or rain.
Second, the atmospheric test weren't done in a manner where one would see the United States detonating 50 devices in a single day. The test were also separated sometimes but great distance but not always.
Consider too politically, how such an exchange would alter world affairs. Would China be neutral in a India-Pakistan nuclear exchange? India has the Agni 4 Ballistic missile capable of reaching Beijing, and the also new Brahmos cruise missile. You see how the conflicts in the Ukraine, in Syria, and elsewhere including territorial disputes are putting the Superpowers seemingly on some type of collision course. Do you think a nuclear war in South Asia say tomorrow morning would decrease the levels of international tensions?
Then lastly, how would things like the cost of food and energy be effected? How would the worlds economies fair? Think small too in terms of devices used, let's say each side fires about two dozen apiece, that's a lot of cities gone. Former SecDef Robert McNamara had the idea of fighting a nuclear war by attacking only military and political targets. Even with all these factors considered, such an event would be unprecedented in recorded history.
If say, it'd be an issue.

I'd recommend watching "Trinity & Beyond" narrated by William Shatner. The part about how strontium-90 and how it gets into our food and water I found most interesting.
A War where multiple nuclear devices are used on population centers would definitely have a large scale global impact. However the danger from the fall out probably is not as life threatening to population centers 1000s of miles away. Precautions would definitely need to be taken.

Like the two nuclear explosions on Japan in WWII did it directly affect Indian population ? Obviously the scale would be different with larger number of weapons and warhead sizes being used. Also the world economy is much more inter-dependent these days so there would be the relevant impact, but again the life threatening effects would not be as direct or evident.

BrahMos is at best a Supersonic Anti-ship; and Land Attack Cruise missile with a range of 290 kms and does not carry a nuclear load out.

That being said its upto both countries and leaders world over to ensure a war does not break out between India and Pakistan; it could be slippery slope risking world peace at large.
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Old June 24th, 2014   #24
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That being said its upto both countries and leaders world over to ensure a war does not break out between India and Pakistan; it could be slippery slope risking world peace at large.
I'm sure it's to the world's advantage, but you cannot place responsibility around the necks of foreign leaders and their nations to ensure this war doesn't happen. I do agree with you that the world's leaders should as a matter of their duty do everything they can to discourage any such conflict from happening anywhere, not just for the good of two nations, but for the good of all people in the world. However it should also be accepted that India and Pakistan are the ultimate bearers of that responsibility.
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Old June 27th, 2014   #25
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I'm sure it's to the world's advantage, but you cannot place responsibility around the necks of foreign leaders and their nations to ensure this war doesn't happen. I do agree with you that the world's leaders should as a matter of their duty do everything they can to discourage any such conflict from happening anywhere, not just for the good of two nations, but for the good of all people in the world. However it should also be accepted that India and Pakistan are the ultimate bearers of that responsibility.
Absolutley, its upto the Indian and Pakistani Leadership to ensure that there is peace, infact Indian policy so far has been to keep the issue a bilateral one without any overt influence from any third party to mediate. However, if the past is anything to learn from we are aware how the international community especially the American leadership influenced both sides to ensure peace was retained during times of conflict when things started to heat up fast.
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Old July 4th, 2014   #26
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Does anyone know of any countries that are still actively developing tactical nuclear weapons or would still conceivably use them if stock piled?

I think I would exclude north Korea from this for the time being because any tactical use would be part of a very large scale use, so really more of a form of strategic use of a tactical device.
Tactical is hard to define. US still stores B-61s in NATO countries which in the event of a war will be used--you can call them tactical since they have variable yield yet they are also dropped by B-52s and B-2s.

But to answer your Q, no, no WMD can win a war.
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Old July 4th, 2014   #27
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Apart from the last time it did?
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