"Tsar bomb": as the USSR showed the world "Kuzkin mother"

"Tsar bomb": as the USSR showed the world "Kuzkin mother"

55 years ago, on October 30, 1961, the Soviet Union tested at the Novaya Zemlya training ground (Arkhangelsk region) the world's most powerful thermonuclear device - the experimental aviation a hydrogen bomb with a capacity of about 58 megatons of TNT ("product 602"; unofficial names: "Tsar bomb", "Kuzkina mother"). The thermonuclear charge was dropped from the converted Tu-95 strategic bomber and detonated at an altitude of 3,7 thousand meters above the ground.

Nuclear and thermonuclear weapon

The basis of a nuclear (atomic) weapon is an uncontrolled chain reaction of the fission of heavy atomic nuclei.

For the implementation of the fission chain reaction, either uranium-235 or plutonium-239 are used (less commonly, uranium-233). Thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs) use the energy of an uncontrolled nuclear fusion reaction, that is, the conversion of light elements into heavier ones (for example, two “heavy hydrogen” atoms, deuterium, into one helium atom). Thermonuclear weapons have a greater potential for explosion than conventional nuclear bombs.

Development of thermonuclear weapons in the USSR

In the USSR, the development of thermonuclear weapons began in the late 1940-ies. Andrei Sakharov, Yuli Khariton, Igor Tamm and other scientists in Design Bureau No. XXUMX (KB-11, known as Arzamas-11; now the Russian Federal Nuclear Center - All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics, RFNC-VNIIEF; Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod region.) . In 16, the first draft of a thermonuclear weapon was developed. The first Soviet hydrogen bomb RDS-1949 with a capacity of 6 kilotons was tested on 400 August 12 at the Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakh SSR, now Kazakhstan). Unlike the United States, which tested the first Ivy Mike 1953 thermonuclear explosive device in November 1, the RDS-1952 was a full-fledged bomb suitable for bomber delivery. Ivy Mike weighed 6 t and looked more like a small plant in its dimensions, but the power of its explosion was at that time a record 73,8 megatons.

"Tsar torpedo"

At the beginning of the 1950s, when it became clear that the most promising in terms of the power of the explosion energy was a fusion charge, a discussion began in the USSR about the method of its delivery. Missile armament at that time was imperfect; the bombers capable of delivering heavy charges were not possessed by the USSR Air Force.

Therefore, September 12 1952. Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Joseph Stalin signed a decree "On the design and construction of the 627 object" - a submarine with a nuclear power plant. Initially it was assumed that it would be the carrier of a torpedo with a T-15 thermonuclear charge with a power up to 100 megatons, the main purpose of which would be the naval base and the port cities of the enemy. The main developer of the torpedo was Andrei Sakharov.

Subsequently, in his book "Memoirs," the scientist wrote that Rear Admiral Peter Fomin, who was responsible for project 627 from fleet, was shocked by the "cannibalistic character" of the T-15. According to Sakharov, Fomin told him that "sailors are used to fighting an armed enemy in open battle" and that for him "the very idea of ​​such a massacre is disgusting." Subsequently, this conversation influenced Sakharov’s decision to engage in human rights activities. The T-15 was never taken into service due to unsuccessful tests in the mid-1950s, and the Project 627 submarine received conventional, non-nuclear torpedoes.

Heavy Duty Projects

The decision to create an aviation super-power thermonuclear charge was made by the USSR government in November 1955. Initially, the Bomb was developed by Research Institute No. 1011 (Research Institute-1011; known as Chelyabinsk-70; now the Russian Federal Nuclear Center - All-Russian Research Institute of Technical Physics named after Academician EI Zababakhin, RFNC-VNIITF; Snezhinsk city, Chelyabinsk region).

Since the end of 1955, under the direction of the chief designer of the institute, Kirill Shchelkin, work has been carried out on the “202 product” (estimated power is approximately 30 megatons). However, in 1958, the country's top leadership has closed work in this area.

Two years later, on July 10 1961, at a meeting with the developers and creators of nuclear weapons, the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers Nikita Khrushchev announced the decision of the country's leadership to begin developing and testing the hydrogen bomb in 100 megatons. The work was entrusted to the employees of KB-11. Under the leadership of Andrei Sakharov, a group of theoretical physicists developed the “602 product” (AN-602). For it was used the case, already manufactured in NII-1011.

Characteristics of the "King-bomb"

The bomb was a ballistic body of a streamlined shape with tail feathers.

The dimensions of the “602 product” were the same as the “202 product”. Length - 8 m, diameter - 2,1 m, weight - 26,5 t.

The calculated charge power was 100 megatons in TNT equivalent. But after experts had assessed the impact of such an explosion on the environment, it was decided to test a bomb with a reduced charge.

To transport the bombs, a heavy strategic bomber Tu-95 was re-equipped, which received an index "B". Because of the impossibility of placing it in the bomb compartment of the car, a special device on the suspension was developed, which ensured the rise of the bomb to the fuselage and secured it to three synchronously controlled locks.

The safety of the carrier’s crew was ensured by a specially developed system of several parachutes at the bomb: exhaust, braking and the main area of ​​1,6 thousand square meters. m. They were ejected from the rear of the hull one by one, slowing the fall of the bomb (up to a speed of about 20-25 m / s). During this time, the Tu-95B managed to fly away from the explosion site to a safe distance.

The leadership of the USSR did not conceal the intention to test a powerful thermonuclear device. Nikita Khrushchev announced 17 of October 1961 at the opening of the XX CPSU Congress about the upcoming test: I want to say that we are very successful in testing and new nuclear weapons. Soon we will complete these tests. Obviously at the end of October. In conclusion, we will probably blow up a hydrogen bomb with a capacity of 50 million tons of trotyl. We said that we have a bomb in 100 of millions of tons of TNT. And this is true. But we will not blow up such a bomb. "

The UN General Assembly adopted the 27 of October 1961 in a resolution in which it urged the USSR to refrain from conducting a test of a super-power bomb.


The test of an experimental "602 product" was held on 30 on October 1961 in Novaya Zemlya. Tu-95V with a crew of nine (lead pilot - Andrey Durnovtsev, lead navigator - Ivan Tick) flew from the Olenya military airfield on the Kola Peninsula. The bomb was dropped from a height of 10,5 km to the site of the North Island of the archipelago, in the area of ​​the Matochkin Strait. The explosion occurred at an altitude of 3,7 km from the ground and 4,2 km above sea level, at 188 seconds. after separating the bomb from the bomber.

The flash lasted 65-70 seconds. The "nuclear mushroom" rose to a height of 67 km, the diameter of the hot dome reached 20 km. The cloud has long retained its shape and was visible at a distance of several hundred kilometers. Despite the overcast, a flash of light was observed at a distance of more than 1 thousand. Km. The shock wave circled the globe three times due to electromagnetic radiation on the 40-50 min. Radio communication was interrupted for many hundreds of kilometers from the landfill. Radioactive contamination in the area of ​​the epicenter turned out to be small (1 million milligens per hour) so the research staff was able to work there without danger to health through 2 hours after the explosion.

According to experts, the power of the superbomb was about 58 megatons in TNT. This is about three thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in 1945 (13 kilotons).

The test was filmed both from the ground and from the board of the Tu-95В, which at the time of the explosion managed to move a distance of more than 45 km, as well as from the IL-14 plane (at the time of the explosion was at a distance of 55 km). At the last, the Marshal of the Soviet Union, Kirill Moskalenko, and the USSR Minister of Medium Machine Building, Yefim Slavsky, observed the tests.

Reaction in the world to the Soviet superbomb

The demonstration by the Soviet Union of the possibility of creating thermonuclear charges of unlimited power pursued the goal of establishing parity in nuclear tests, primarily with the United States.

After lengthy negotiations on 5 on August 1963 in Moscow, representatives of the United States, the USSR and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in Outer Space, Under Water and on the Surface of the Earth. Since its entry into force, the USSR has produced only underground nuclear tests. The last explosion was carried out on October 24 1990 on Novaya Zemlya, after which the Soviet Union announced a unilateral moratorium on testing nuclear weapons. At present, Russia also adheres to this moratorium.

Awards to creators

In 1962, for successful testing of the most powerful thermonuclear bomb, members of the crew of the aircraft carrier Andrei Durnovtsev and Ivan Kleshch were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Eight employees of KB-11 were awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor (of which Andrei Sakharov received him for the third time), 40 employees became laureates of the Lenin Prize.

"Tsar Bomb" in museums

Full-sized models of Tsar-bomb (without control systems and combat units) are stored in the museums of RFNC-VNIIEF in Sarov (the first national museum of nuclear weapons; opened in 1992) and RFNC-VNIITF in Snezhinsk.

In September, the 2015 of Sarov bomb was exhibited at the Moscow exhibition "70 years of the nuclear industry. The chain reaction of success" in the Central Manege.
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  1. +8
    5 November 2016 05: 45
    Rumbled mom, do not worry ... already the whole world started.
    Therefore, having at least a couple of such arguments in hand, you can keep any potential aggressor in fear ... but with such things balancing on a razor's edge such experiments are very risky for the existence of mankind.

    Fantastic picture ... truly exorbitant liberated forces of nature ...

    1. +4
      5 November 2016 06: 40
      Quote: The same LYOKHA
      Fantastic picture ..

      Deadly beautiful ...
  2. +12
    5 November 2016 07: 11
    Sakharov in his idea was not far from the truth. Western democracy is very sensitive to civilian casualties. Therefore, to blow up a charge of high power off the coast of the USA during a critical period is a very good idea.
    1. +1
      5 November 2016 07: 27
      Quote: kuz363
      Western democracy is very sensitive to civilian casualties.

      According to Stanislavsky - I do not believe. I will not give examples of sensitivity, everyone can remember.
    2. +3
      5 November 2016 08: 55
      Oh well ... Absolutely not sensitive .. To other people's civilian losses. To their own? No, it is doubtful, moreover, they can go to them in order to achieve certain goals.
    3. +2
      5 November 2016 09: 06
      "Western democracy is very sensitive to civilian casualties. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to detonate a high-power charge off the coast of the United States at a critical time."

      It seems to me that not Western democracy will show a special "sensitivity", but the economy. If at the same time a significant part of the population dies in the state, while another, more significant part receives practically fatal damage to health, then the state's life support systems will be destroyed, and all reserves will have to be thrown into overcoming only these two troubles. It is unlikely that there will be enough strength for anything else. And also destruction and blockages in cities ... Hardly anyone will be left on the sidelines, except for the primitive tribes in the depths of Africa.
    4. +3
      5 November 2016 10: 18
      Western democracy is very sensitive to civilian casualties.

      Yeah ... That’s why she arranged carpet bombing of German cities in the Second World War. That is why, nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That is why the B52 was leveled to Hanoi during the Vietnam War. And that is precisely why Americans are now leveling the suburbs of Mosul in Iraq with aviation. At the same time, talking about the war crimes of the Syrians and Russians ...
      For this flock of gentlemen, the civilian population is nothing but one of the varieties of industrial resources, along with machine tools and oil. Accordingly, you need to protect your own, and someone else mercilessly destroy. Nothing personal just business...
      1. 0
        5 November 2016 15: 24
        Western democracy is very sensitive to civilian casualties.
        Yeah ... That’s why she arranged carpet bombing of German cities in the Second World War. That is why, nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That is why the B52 was leveled to Hanoi during the Vietnam War. And that is precisely why Americans are now leveling the suburbs of Mosul in Iraq with aviation. At the same time, talking about the war crimes of the Syrians and Russians ...
        So these are not people and barbarians from the point of view of mattresses, and we are talking about our own population in the United States.
    5. Alf
      5 November 2016 15: 52
      Quote: kuz363
      Western democracy is very sensitive to civilian casualties.

      They will all endure. The main thing is to do a good job ... to brainwash the average American. Something, but in backsland they know how to do it "at once". When the first Gulf War began, the US Army quartermaster announced the procurement of 10 plastic body bags and ... nothing, the entire public of the most exceptional country calmly swallowed it.
  3. 0
    5 November 2016 08: 32
    Quote: kuz363
    Therefore, to blow up a charge of high power off the coast of the USA during a critical period is a very good idea.

    Just do not forget that they will do the same.
    1. +1
      5 November 2016 11: 45
      this would not be forgotten by the Americans. Who blunders what it takes to deliver a nuclear strike on Russia? Or a sudden massive non-nuclear strike?
      1. +1
        5 November 2016 14: 03
        the stripes are not going to be disassembled vigorously, their percussion horse is a golden calf, while the vast majority of carriers will prevail in the Russian Federation, no matter how terrible or terrible it is, there will be no place for the golden calf, just write down the history carriers, then write gone, the state sodomy unfolds in the trash, this is a priori
      2. 0
        5 November 2016 21: 35
        Just do not forget that they will do the same.

        Just do not forget that Russia does not have DIRECT exits to the ocean and the explosions of such bombs on the Russian coast will not do much harm. It is necessary to DELIVER such a weapon DEEP to the mainland, and this in itself is nontrivial. So, such a weapon for them is more dangerous than for Russia. And such a weapon must have.
    2. +1
      5 November 2016 13: 58
      forget what, it’s enough to turn to images from space and it will become clear who and how he will scoop up after the thermonuclear distribution in the coastal zone
  4. +2
    5 November 2016 08: 38
    I won’t argue, but from the source of the OBS I heard that two bombs were created - the second with a capacity of 90 megatons, they just could not create a reliable carrier for it, and therefore they do not say about the second bomb - officially it does not exist.
  5. +3
    5 November 2016 09: 29
    However, shandarakhnul not weak. A very revealing, rather psycho-targeted weapon. From the point of view of the power-efficiency ratio, multiple warheads with a power of 200 to 500 CT each turned out to be a much more dangerous weapon.
  6. +6
    5 November 2016 09: 50
    as it was in the old joke:

    warrant officer explains to soldiers - This is a thermo-nuclear grenade. radius of action is two kilometers.
    1. +5
      5 November 2016 11: 27
      Quote: Maki Avellievich
      warrant officer explains to soldiers - This is a thermo-nuclear grenade. radius of action is two kilometers.

      Question soldier- Is it offensive or defensive?
  7. +1
    5 November 2016 11: 11
    Showed ... only not "Kuz'kina's mother", but Khrushev's foolishness.
    1. +2
      5 November 2016 21: 39
      And you are trying to hide your stupidity ... but it does not work out.
  8. +4
    5 November 2016 11: 29

    Was at this exhibition. This is the granddaughter. Well, "Kuz'kina's mother" herself (rear view). I made very little photos. Sat down battery. But what was most impressed was not the bomb itself, but its braking system. This is Something! It's a shame I couldn't take a photo.
    1. +3
      5 November 2016 12: 02
      The exhibition was generally very interesting. There you could measure your radiation background. Here are a couple of photos. Granddaughter pulls an icebreaker
  9. 0
    5 November 2016 11: 43
    Great bomb, hell of destruction and no radioactive contamination.
    Evrogey apparently forgot, and that's rude. But don't. Their "refugees" are asleep in every sense.
  10. +2
    5 November 2016 15: 50
    And here is how M. Weller described the explosion of "Tsar Bomb":
    ... An unrealistic blinding brightness sphere flared up, buildings flashed at once, a hurricane struck the unearthly force, dared everything around. A many-kilometer wall of ashes struck in all directions, a black tornado swelled and grew from below in a frantic rotation. A white raging ball floated in kilometers up and down, enveloped in a smoky hat tens of kilometers wide. A terrible mushroom got into the stratosphere.
    This is power! This is ammunition! This is a test! This is the triumph of Soviet military science! Screws, guys, holes for orders.
    Scientists nod their heads, generals light a cigarette. Champagne is clapped in the bunker: "For success!"
    There is a 65-kilometer apocalyptic mushroom above the ground, and a giant fiery sphere burns in the center of the cap. Already terribly.
    Flames for a minute. Two flames.
    They look at the periscopes with increased attention. Estimated time, however, expires. What you need started the reaction. Full rated power. Even more comes out.
    Fifteen minutes!
    Everyone already understands that this ... slightly exceeds the calculations. Well, of course ... but, you know, there are no jokes. Animation subsides, begins to smell of tension.
    Half an hour!!
    Brothers, something we did not exactly calculate. Something is not quite right. The people begin to turn pale. Scientists argue quietly and feverishly.
    40 minutes ...
    Explosion continues to rage of mad power! A giant ball of red-hot plasma is raging over the Earth!
    And then they recall: he said, said Niels Bohr ... that it is theoretically possible to launch such a power, such a volume of thermonuclear reaction, that it will go not with a negative balance, but with a positive one. The surface of the flame bunch and its temperature will be such that it starts to get involved in the synthesis of hydrogen in air and water vapor of the atmosphere, and oxygen burns out, and a reaction occurs with a positive balance ... and there is water with its hydrogen and oxygen, the World Ocean ... and until, then, all the fuel will run out ... although when it goes as it should, it's fast.
    Empirically, of course, it was difficult to verify. But theoretically, he admitted that perhaps ...
    And there you are.
    And then someone is doing badly. And someone needs a doctor. And someone has an involuntary urination. Green generals crying mother of scientists weeping. Scientists wipe sweat and exchange rather meaningless remarks.
    Have a light, guys.
    End of the world.
    ..... your mother!
    Two hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Somewhere on the horizon, Americans fly and look in horror that these nightmarish Russians did this.
    And after two hours, the reaction begins to curtail. Is running out. The sphere fades, the sphere goes out.
    No one has the strength to rejoice. Swell and with meaningless blissful smiles descend to sit on anything. Brew alcohol and swallow, well, bastard, there is something to celebrate.
    1. AUL
      5 November 2016 17: 07
      Weller, of course, is a good writer, I read it with pleasure, but in such matters he has dubious authority. Two hours of continuous explosion is unlikely.
      "I am an artist, as I see it!"
      1. 0
        5 November 2016 20: 22
        An explosion is by itself. And then came the uncontrolled fusion chain reaction. Perhaps Niels Bohr was right in something.
        1. 0
          17 January 2017 19: 38
          The reaction with the release of energy lasted 65-70 seconds. Everything else is the convection effect of temperature plasma.
  11. 0
    5 November 2016 20: 24
    Weapon for the suicide of mankind. I think the broadsheets of 300 megatons will no longer be tied to geography, wherever it would have flown - thank you all for your attention, but there will be no new meetings.
  12. 0
    5 November 2016 23: 51
    Quote: Expelling Liberoids
    I won’t argue, but from the source of the OBS I heard that two bombs were created - the second with a capacity of 90 megatons, they just could not create a reliable carrier for it, and therefore they do not say about the second bomb - officially it does not exist.

    I haven’t heard about the second bomb, but the fact that such charges were planned for the Ural ICBM (later the Proton launch vehicle) and the Raskat ICBM (later the N-1 launch vehicle) - this is confirmed in a number of reference publications.

    In general, the Tsar Bomba was more a political rather than a military weapon. It was after its explosion for the first time that our "sworn friends" agreed to a temporary moratorium. Delivering such a fool to an intercontinental range would be problematic.
  13. 0
    10 November 2016 20: 28
    how the USSR showed the world "Kuzkin's mother"

    He showed the donut hole, not "Kuzka's mother."
    There was no carrier capable of carrying this bomb. the ancient "barn" Tu-95 was not counted. The USSR could have thrown it on its head. And to threaten someone, no.
    Therefore, the world scratched its hair, rolled over onto the other side and forgot.
    However, air defense systems, just in case, strengthened.
    1. +1
      13 January 2017 19: 54
      Quote: rjxtufh
      since the ancient "barn" Tu-95 was not counted

      In those years, he was very good, and now he will give a light to many. laughing
  14. 0
    12 November 2016 23: 47
    +50 respect to any country!

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