Military Review

The secret of the nuclear suitcase

Today, almost every one of us is familiar with the phrase - the nuclear briefcase. But what exactly is behind these words is not known to everyone. At the same time, another verbal construction is used inseparably from the nuclear briefcase - the nuclear button. Both the nuclear briefcase and the nuclear button are in the hands of the supreme commander-in-chief, the President of the Russian Federation, and are transferred from one leader of the country to another as the presidential powers expire.

Nuclear briefcase (YAC) is the little that has come down to us since the days of the Cold War. This is a special device that stores codes to activate the country's nuclear arsenal. This briefcase is always at hand with top political figures and military leaders of countries with their own nuclear arsenal. weapons. In Russia, with the help of a nuclear briefcase, the president communicates with the Strategic Missile Forces.

The first yachi came up with the Americans. Similar devices appeared already under President Eisenhower (1953-1961 years). And this system found its final form in the days of the Caribbean crisis, when US President Kennedy questioned his control over the country's nuclear arsenal as supreme commander. At that moment, both the US military and civilians from his entourage were pressing in on him, many of whom offered to punish the presumptuous commies. For this reason, Kennedy feared that, firstly, the order for a nuclear strike on the USSR could be given by someone without his consent. Secondly, that if necessary, he himself will not be able to give the same order, since he will not be at the prepared command post. As a result of these doubts, a nuclear suitcase appeared in the USA. Since then, only the country's president is able to order the use of the existing nuclear arsenal. In this case, the order can be given at least from your own bedroom, of course, if you have a handball.

The secret of the nuclear suitcase

Who came up with the definitions of “nuclear suitcase” and “nuclear button”, which are firmly established in the modern Russian lexicon? They came up with Soviet journalists, international affairs. In the US, a nuclear briefcase is less like a suitcase. This is a peculiar leather trunk, vaguely reminiscent of an American football ball. In the US, it is called Nuclear Football, President's Emergency Satchel, or The Button, and photos in the Western press were also signed. The Soviet journalists who worked on the translation of these definitions understood perfectly well that they could not be translated literally. For example, “nuclear football” sounds, frankly, ridiculous. The “button” is good, but impersonal. The “presidential alarmbag” is also not exactly what is needed. As a result, the definitions of “Nuclear Suitcase” and “Nuclear Button” were chosen - briefly and clearly.

In our country история The club has more than 30 years. In those years, the automated control system for nuclear forces, code-named "Kazbek", took up combat duty. The general public, this system has become known just because of the subscriber complex "Cheget", the very nuclear suitcase. The Russian YACh is correctly called the Cheget subscriber complex of the automated control system for strategic nuclear forces Kazbek. JAC is an integral part of the counter strike system. It can only be activated after a signal is received about a rocket attack on our country.

First, a signal comes from the early warning system of a rocket attack, this signal is necessarily checked by the duty general, who is at the command post in Solnechnogorsk. Only after this check, the Kazbek system goes into combat mode of operation. This was told to journalists by Viktor Esin, chief of the main headquarters of the Strategic Missile Forces in 1994-96. The communications equipment with the command of the Strategic Missile Forces and the General Staff is located directly at YACh. If to speak quite simply - this is a telephone, but information on it is transmitted not by voice, but by encrypted characters, such a communication cannot be blocked.

In the USSR, they thought about the development of a mobile control panel of the existing nuclear grouping in the 1970s. At that time, Moscow was seriously afraid of a sudden nuclear strike from Washington. In 70-s, the leadership of the USSR could order the launch of strategic nuclear missiles only by arriving at the command post of the Strategic Missile Forces. At the same time, the approach of American Pershing-2 ballistic missiles deployed in Europe and equipped with 400 CT warheads required only 7 minutes.

YAC in the Soviet Union was created for Leonid Brezhnev, for this reason its management was simplified as much as possible so that the aged general secretary could easily figure it out. At the same time, Brezhnev did not get the “Cheget”, by the time of his death the system had not yet been debugged. The trial operation of the Russian YACh began in the 1983 year, first they were received by the Chief of General Staff Nikolay Ogarkov and the Minister of Defense of the country Dmitry Ustinov. A year later, Konstantin Chernenko received his YChN, while full-scale tests of the system in various modes at that moment were in full swing. Thus, the first fully working YACH received Mikhail Gorbachev.

At present, the 3 nuclear briefcase is constantly on combat duty: one by the President, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff. Of course, in each case there is the very nuclear button, its pressing transmits a signal to the command posts of the Strategic Missile Forces - a special code that allows the use of nuclear weapons. In this case, the launch of rockets will occur only when the command comes from all three devices. In fact, more than three suitcases, from time to time they are checked, changed and repaired. There is a legend that Boris Yeltsin was given a YCh with a serial number 51, he was indignant, and the number on the case was changed to the first one.

“Cheget” is intended for constant foot escort of persons who are authorized to dispose of the nuclear arsenal of our country. Most often, they are also followed by a machine that is equipped with special communications equipment. In Russia, an officer with the rank of not lower than a lieutenant colonel wears a YaCh. In practice, the officer belongs to the communications troops, while the operator of the complex is always dressed in the form of a naval fleet - a tribute to tradition. The suitcase itself, in order not to attract too much attention, is made in the form of an ordinary diplomatic briefcase.

For the only time in history, the Cheget system was applied on 25 January 1995. On this day, from the island located off the coast of Norway, the launch of the world's largest meteorological rocket Black Brant XII was carried out. The trajectory of its flight resembled the trajectory of the American intercontinental ballistic missile Trident, which was launched from the board of a submarine. The end point of its route could be a nuclear explosion in the air, with the goal of disabling the Russian missile attack warning system. Notification of the Norwegian side about the launch of the rocket was lost somewhere in the offices of the Foreign Ministry, and the next day, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said that he first used his YCH for emergency communication with his military advisers.

American nuclear suitcase

The owner of the White House also has its nuclear suitcase. However, he, as we wrote above, is called Nuclear Football, since it is made in the form of a bag of black leather, shaped like a ball used in American football. In this leather bag there is a titanium box with a plastic card - “an authorizing plate”; the box is closed with a combination lock. Having printed out the card, the president can find out the code used to activate the American nuclear arsenal. In addition, it also contains 30-page instructions on how the president should act in the event of a nuclear war. Among other things, it contains information about all the secret bunkers available to the president.

To carry the American YACh used officers 4-x types of the armed forces, as well as the coast guard. Before that, all candidates undergo a very serious test and selection, as well as receive the highest access to secrecy - “White Yankee”. The officer who carries the briefcase is armed with a personal pistol and has the right to use his weapon without warning. The “ball” is chained to the hand of an American officer with a special steel bracelet. When the president changes, as in Russia, YACh moves to the new owner of the White House on the day of the official inauguration. In this case, a small 30-minute lecture on the use of this device.

The consequences of using a nuclear suitcase

The reader may have a reasonable question as to what will happen if the carriers of Cheget and the command and control centers are disabled. In this case, Russia will take effect. Perimeter systemable to act without human intervention. In the West, the Russian system was called very effectively "Dead Hand" (dead hand).

It should be noted that any large-scale conflict with the exchange of nuclear strikes between the United States and Russia, which for two have more than 16 thousands of nuclear warheads, will lead to a universal catastrophe, regardless of the presence of the Perimeter system. According to experts, the scenario of nuclear exchanges between the US and Russia will lead to the simultaneous death of 770 millions of people. At the same time, 180 million tons of soot will be emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere almost simultaneously, which will block up to 70% of the incoming sunlight on our planet above the Northern Hemisphere and 35% above the Southern Hemisphere. The so-called “nuclear twilight” will begin, and the world will plunge into the ice age, similar to that which was on the Earth 18 thousands of years ago.

It will be a time when the "living envy the dead." 70% of the world's harvest will perish, and many animals that are now at the top of the food chain, including almost all of humanity. People will pursue hunger, pandemics, fallout, reduction of territories suitable for life. Most of the countries of the world that survive the consequences of such a conflict will plunge into the Stone Age. Knowing this, you better understand the responsibility that people who have received a nuclear briefcase must bear.

Information sources:
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  1. Takashi
    Takashi 26 March 2014 08: 13
    eh, except for the names, no more details :(
    1. Colorman
      Colorman 26 March 2014 08: 40
      Yes, what are the details there, still a secret ...
      How does Perimeter determine that everyone is dead and that an attack should be launched?
      1. Weniamin
        Weniamin 26 March 2014 09: 07
        How does Perimeter determine that everyone is dead and that an attack should be launched?

        Kiselev spoke about this not so long ago in "News of the week". Check it out on YouTube.
        1. Canep
          Canep 26 March 2014 09: 23
          I hope this device will never be used for its intended purpose.
          1. Rus2012
            Rus2012 26 March 2014 13: 35
            Quote: Canep
            I hope this device will never be used for its intended purpose.

            "Come on, give me my suitcase!"
            1. silver_roman
              silver_roman 27 March 2014 13: 11
              I didn’t fully understand: the YaCh are located at the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the Ministry of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff. It is possible to strike only when all three persons have taken advantage of the SCH or one supreme one will be enough! ???
      2. ben gun
        ben gun 26 March 2014 09: 45
        Recently there was an article about this "Perimeter" somewhere. It defines simply: the 1st lack of communication with the command centers of the Strategic Missile Forces, the 2nd earthquake in the deployment areas of the Strategic Missile Forces combat units, and in my opinion there was something else. when these signs appear, a command rocket starts calling for the rest of the rockets to start. They start automatically without any suitcases.
        And all, hello Stalin's Strait between Mexico and Canada ... and goodbye to humanity.
        1. Denis
          Denis 26 March 2014 16: 06
          Quote: ben gun
          hello the Stalin Channel between Mexico and Canada ... and goodbye to humanity

          I would not compare it with murder, but rather with treatment. The radiation and chemotherapy that are currently treating cancer is also not a spoon of honey, but a malignant tumor is being destroyed. And before antibiotics and trypak were treated with mercury crying
          A word for science!
      3. Bongo
        Bongo 26 March 2014 10: 03
        Quote: COLORMAN
        How does Perimeter determine that everyone is dead and that an attack should be launched?

        The Perimeter system used a sophisticated sensor system to measure seismic activity, air pressure and radiation. This was supposed to make it possible to determine whether a nuclear strike was delivered in order to ensure the possibility of a nuclear retaliatory strike without using the "red button". In the event of the disappearance of communication with the air defense and the establishment of the fact of the attack, the procedure for launching missiles would be put into action, which would allow the USSR to strike back after its own destruction.
        An article about "Perimeter:
      4. Coffee_time
        Coffee_time 26 March 2014 11: 20
        According to sensors, if there is no response from the General Staff, if an earthquake or movement of the earth's crust, increased radiation background, etc. It takes into account many factors.
      5. The comment was deleted.
      6. silver_roman
        silver_roman 27 March 2014 13: 10

        when the article was here. can read.
        there the whole algorithm is performed in order to make sure that there is no one else to make decisions. only after that the "perimeter" begins to operate.
      7. StolzSS
        StolzSS 28 March 2014 07: 05
        She ceases to receive duty signals from command posts of the Strategic Missile Forces and warning equipment. When everything is silent for a long time, it starts and, flying to positional areas, broadcasts commands to launch missiles for a retaliatory strike. hi
  2. Old Cynic
    Old Cynic 26 March 2014 08: 16
    Dear author!
    Please do not write about what you have not the slightest idea, especially about the Cheget's algorithm. "Cheget" is not a telephone! Phone - "Agat".

    If you really could not stand something, they would talk to knowledgeable people.
    Article fatty minus !!! stop
    1. Zloystrelok
      26 March 2014 11: 39
      Did Putin personally tell you about the Agat system at breakfast?)

      "Viktor Yesin, chief of the main headquarters of the Strategic Missile Forces in 1994-96, told the journalists about this. Communication equipment with the command of the Strategic Missile Forces and the General Staff is located directly in the YCh. To put it quite simply, this is a telephone, but information on it is transmitted not by voice, but by encrypted symbols, you cannot block such a connection. "

      I think if Esin spoke like that, there was some meaning in it. Or will you argue with the former chief of staff of the Strategic Missile Forces?
      1. Old Cynic
        Old Cynic 26 March 2014 12: 05
        Are you one of those obsessed with Putin? Insert it into place and out of place ...
        I just worked on them for 10 years, and, believe me, I probably know a little more about the principles of work than Yesin.

        By the way, the "Agat" system, as you have deigned to say, does not exist in nature. "Cheget" is a telecode, "Agat" is a telephone. And together they are part of the "Kazbek" system.
      2. Old Cynic
        Old Cynic 26 March 2014 14: 54
        He returned and returned the minus.

        Here, you are quoting Esin, who said that "Directly in the YCh is the communications equipment with the command of the Strategic Missile Forces and the General Staff."
        I dare to spit "in STE interview! am
        Communication equipment with the Strategic Missile Forces command and the General Staff on duty is located either in a special communications vehicle (Small Mobile Object - MPO), or in a special airplane / helicopter / yacht (Large Mobile Object - BPO), or in a place of permanent residence (MPP).
        Yesin did not whisper this to you at dinner, the minus one is illiterate?
        And he didn’t tell you by ear that “Cheget” communicates EXCLUSIVELY with the “Baksan's” remote control, eh? And the fact that only two out of three votes are needed to launch rockets? And the degree of the decisive vote is different each time ... Did he describe the control room of the general on duty? Did you show comics before bed? Did you show off your personal Cheget kit? And through what is the dedicated communication going? And why the motorcade of the President, the Minister of Defense and the National General Staff NEVER He won’t tell you on certain streets in Moscow.

        I apologize to everyone ... I just hate to endure when ignoramuses and mediocrity try to poke their nose into the guano pros.

        Angry Shooter. The phrase of their x / f "Magicians" is applicable to you. Wrinkle the cerebellum, maybe remember: "If you don't know, don't say so!"
  3. Letun
    Letun 26 March 2014 08: 38
    Something seems to me that at the present time of the arrival of nuclear missiles from Europe, the dependence of our nuclear deterrence forces at the same time on three people ensures the reliability of a timely retaliatory strike is practically zero. And in the event of a sudden nuclear aggression at night, it’s definitely zero. Something they were too clever with three suitcases.
    1. Dry_T-50
      Dry_T-50 27 May 2014 19: 54
      Do not speak so skeptically. Look at the area of ​​our country, if there is something similar to nuclear reserves, then there will be a retaliatory strike with a 90% probability. If we add the Topol-M mobile complexes to this, then the probability of a response increases even more stronger (fortunately, only we have mobile ground missile systems, but the Americans do not) I remember we had trains with missiles, but they were cut sad
      PS.And yet I have not considered the submarines with missiles ...
  4. RPG_
    RPG_ 26 March 2014 09: 25
    "Maybe we will bang? We will definitely bang, but then" (C) DMB
    1. podpolkovnik
      podpolkovnik 26 March 2014 11: 35
      It is necessary to quote completely, otherwise part of the meaning is lost:
      “Maybe we should, comrade ensign?”
      - Let's hit it, and more than once! The whole world is in dust! But then!
      (C) DMB
  5. On the bayonet
    On the bayonet 26 March 2014 10: 02
    To hell with a dog such a weapon in practice ... even as a deterrent. Since the adequacy and reasonableness of the Americans, at least the level of Homo Sapiens can not be counted on. (So I am for military space weapons of direct direct impact (on our part). Such a deterrent would be less dangerous for its global negative consequences for the life of all of Humanity .
  6. Gagarin
    Gagarin 26 March 2014 11: 36
    SMSki constantly sends to different numbers, as they stop responding with emoticons - BOOM!

    Quote: COLORMAN
    How does Perimeter determine that everyone is dead and that an attack should be launched?
  7. onegin61
    onegin61 26 March 2014 12: 15
    Quote: COLORMAN
    How does Perimeter determine that everyone is dead and that an attack should be launched?

    Then, when there is no technical confirmation in the reception of a signal
  8. Technologist
    Technologist 26 March 2014 17: 38
    I read that the "Perimeter" has not been operating for a long time, although in the light of recent events, they can reanimate.
    1. Mikita
      Mikita 27 March 2014 02: 52
      read at least on Wikipedia, or an article here on topvar
      1. podolski_cky
        podolski_cky April 1 2014 09: 22
        the article says
        In December 1990, a modernized system took up combat duty, which worked until June 1995. The complex was removed from combat duty under the signed START-1 agreement
        and on the wiki
        In December 2011, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Lieutenant General Sergey Karakaev, stated that the Perimeter system exists and is on alert

        although for me it’s not that they are not reliable sources
    2. Dry_T-50
      Dry_T-50 27 May 2014 19: 59
      It exists, but it is in a "sleeping" mode. That is, it collects and analyzes information. It is impossible to turn it off with impunity (the system regards an attempt to turn it off as aggression with all the ensuing consequences), in contrast to its American counterpart.
      It would be necessary to bribe everyones Anonymus, let the world serve
  9. Maxim90
    Maxim90 26 March 2014 18: 27
    The main thing is that Zhirinovsky did not get it))
  10. Klim
    Klim 26 March 2014 20: 14
    The last paragraph about nuclear winter is complete nonsense and fairy tales invented by incompetent scientists in this field and picked up by magazines.
  11. Peacemaker
    Peacemaker 27 March 2014 04: 57
    The so-called "nuclear twilight" will begin,
    It will be a time when "the living will envy the dead."
    Bible Revelation 6:12 And when He removed the sixth seal, I looked, and, behold, a great earthquake occurred, and the sun became gloomy like a hair shirt, and the moon became like blood. Apocalypse...
  12. MLC 56
    MLC 56 April 2 2014 17: 56
    We thought up suitcases damn, chopped before with swords and the environment was in order)))
  13. MLC 56
    MLC 56 April 2 2014 17: 58
    God forbid that these buttons ever be used.
  14. Jager
    Jager April 3 2014 21: 34
    Strategic Missile Forces has a damn breakthrough of various duplicate control and communication systems. Even the submarine commander is not able to launch missiles without repeatedly duplicated ciphers from the command post.
    The "perimeter", if any, will start working only after such an infernal cataclysm that, at best, a launch will be made from the nuclear submarines on duty, while the mainland will resemble a radioactive crater. Yes, even if we are blown to pieces and we cannot answer, the radioactive contamination of destroyed nuclear power plants, spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, special chemical plants will slowly and surely destroy America itself.
  15. Myka
    Myka April 25 2014 11: 05
    =) Strategic Missile Forces- if we fall asleep, you will not wake up
  16. tundra
    tundra April 25 2014 21: 31
    Yes, they got it AND MOSCOW WORKS yes AND AND they got it, too .... EVERYTHING IS NOT SO PIDORASAM ...... Well, minus it !!!!!!
  17. silberwolf88
    silberwolf88 April 27 2014 01: 17
    There are many features of the use of nuclear weapons (let's not forget about tactical charges) and the "Nuclear Suitcase" is just one of the control links. There are nuances in the use of strategic aviation weapons, including the delivery of single strikes.
    Specialists (and here there are very sensible comments on the organization and systems of centralized combat control) it is clear that within the framework of an article and an open publication, you can simply outline the topic, BUT it is unlikely to fully reveal the features of the application.
  18. misha55771
    misha55771 6 May 2014 18: 53
    YES, if this is used, not only the enemy will suffer, but most of the others