Friday, February 07, 2003

Do The Math

I was struck by a thought. The Pentagon has apparently drawn up plans to hit Baghdad with approximately 300-600 cruise missiles (and other smart weapons) in the first 48 hours of the war. This is part of their "Shock and Awe" plan. Just how much explosive power is this? I did a quick search via google to find out what the payload of your average, non-nuclear Tomahawk missile is. I was able to find the following online exchange that discusses this (I cannot vouch for the numbers, but the poster sounds pretty sure of their facts):
1.) A typical tomahawk non-nuclear warhead weighs up to 1,000 kg of PETN for the conventional bunker busters, not 500 kg. The typical warhead only weighed 454 KG containing RDX until recently when they shifted to a 317 kg warhead containing PBXN-107, increasing both the explosive yield and flight performance. 1,000 KG PETN warhead = 39,000 KG TNT 454 KG RDX warhead = 17,706 KG of TNT 317 KG PBXN-107 warhead = 36,000 KG of TNT Upcoming 317 KG PBXN-112 warhead planned by the Navy = 47,000 KG of TNT 1 580 KG nuclear warhead containing @ 80 KG of Plutonium = 200 Kilotons of TNT (200 million KG of TNT)
Let's suppose the Pentagon follows through on their plan. Let's do the math: 300-600 cruise missiles (PBXN-107 warheads) = 10,800,000 - 21,600,000 KG of TNT (10-22 Kilotons of TNT) The bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to 20 Kilotons of TNT. Weapons of Mass Destruction anyone?


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6:17 PM  

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