I started a thread on this yesterday evening (I should have used the ATS search facility first -- yeah I know -- next time I will.) I see that there
has already been a lot of great discussion on the SLAM weapon system and Project Pluto. I want to add my comments here.
I think that Pluto was among the most evil weapon systems ever conceived of by humanity.
Last night, while I was trying to fall to sleep, I couldn’t rid myself of the idea of dozens of flying
, meandering across the cities and suburbs in aerial figure eights, burning
everything in their path, dumping highly radioactive fallout everywhere.
And this continues on for hours – days – weeks – months.
I picture this: the target city is evacuated. You will never be able to return. You watch the inexorable progression of events from a distance. The
missiles sweep lazily over the empty city, day in – day out – a vast framework of sonic booms and scorched earth. What can stop it?
The military tries to shoot these horrific weapons down, but they are rarely successful. The Pluto devices are flying at 500 feet above ground, and at
four times the speed of sound. The military is additionally encumbered because everything has been poisoned – difficult to setup and launch SAMs –
you have to try to shoot these missiles down with jet fighters, working in the highly radioactive wake of these missiles.
Eventually, close to the end of their life cycle, each missile unloads ten 1 Megaton hydrogen bombs in a different sector of the city, ejecting the
weapon upward, so that the low-flying missiles have time to escape the resulting nuclear blast. Then, completely expended, the missiles crash – one
by one. The city is completely contaminated with the wreckage of hot nuclear reactors.
The biosphere will take centuries to recover.
Yet with all of that grimness– there is something so fascinating with this project from a technical perspective. The specifications for these
missiles are mind-blowing. They can go around the planet four full times without need for refueling. They travel at close to a mile per second. The
nuclear reactor propulsion system provides 500 Megawatts power output – half the power output of Hoover Dam, in a package smaller than a locomotive
engine! What genius!
It is amazing that all of this was conceived and tested back in the 1960’s. What is comparable in this new millennium?
You can visit my new thread here
. However, this particular thread has a lot more cool
info, so perhaps this will resurrect a discussion of this remarkable and horrific weapon system.