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Subject: The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN
Kalashnikov    4/5/2003 2:45:24 PM
During the Cold War, The Soviet Union was in possession of over 30,000 nuclear weapons, including the world's most powerful nuke: The SS-N-18, codenamed "SATAN". It contains 10 MIRVs (Multiple Independant Reentry Vehicles), each with a 750kt warhead. One SS-18 could level Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle and numerous other cities. Consider the fact that dozens were built.. In a first-strike attack, the USSR could wipe out each and every American Minuteman silo and every major American city. If my info is correct, the USSR had enough strategic nukes to strike every city in North America 11 times. It is easy to see why the American presidents were terrified of this weapon and the "window of vulnerability" it created. Any thoughts or opinions? Just making a point.
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denheer    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/6/2003 2:14:53 PM
Now you know why submarines are so important as a second strike option.
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Kalashnikov    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/6/2003 5:27:08 PM
A submarinal nuclear strike is indeed an important and deadly option. As in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1960-61 with the four Soviet Foxtrots that journeyed to Cuba, who knows what havoc they could have caused had the American blockade not been put in place, and those could only carry a single warhead. Take the Taifun/Typhoon class, which is able to carry twenty warheads. It certainly presents a much less noticable and stealthier way to attack.
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Nuker    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/27/2003 11:12:29 AM
Ya the SS-N-18 SATAN was one of the most deadly nukes ever created..........
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bsl    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/27/2003 7:03:31 PM
Both America and the USSR had, in theory, the ability to destroy each other's countries. The USSR never had the ability to destroy the American submarine based nuclear force, and, thus, never achieved a first strike capabiity. Whether or not America had an effective antisubmarine capability has always been an open question. Enough information has been declassified to know that the Soviet submarine force was never as well hidden as the Soviets believed. When the Soviets began to worry, seriously, about this, they developed the bastion deployment approach, which substituted a powerful naval defense of their boomers for a fair degree of localization of those platforms. The idea was that even if the USN had much smaller volume of sea to keep an eye on, they didn't have a large enough force to get to the defended subs north of the landmass of the USSR through surface, undersea and airborne defenses. However, there was always a degree of disconnect between theory and real world politics as far as deterrence theory is concerned. By the strict application of theory, when either side believed it had achieved a first strike capability, it ought have used it. This was never, ever American policy and it probably wasn't Soviet policy, either. Additionally, given the stakes in play, even a modest degree of uncertainty regarding certain aspects of the strategic equation was enough to deter action. As for specific weapons systems, don't get overexcited. The SS-17 was one system. Not the largest. Not the most capable. The US and USSR both tested and deployed much larger warheads at other times. Both tested devices in the 10 megaton range. The USSR may have tested larger bombs. When tests reached the 50 megaton range, people began to become nervous about effects on the planet. Splitting the crust open down to the mantle didn't seem wise. The traditional analysis was that the Soviets favored somewhat larger warheads in any given weapon because their accuracy was always less than the accuracy of American systems. In fact, both sides had effective city busters in their fission bombs, before either ever tested a fusion device. The Hiroshima bomb was a small fraction of the 750 kt warhead. No one ever really needed as much as a one megaton weapons to attack cities. 100 or 200 kt warheads were sufficient. And, no one really wanted to use almost any weapons to attack the land based weapons of the other side, because since so many were in hardened installations, the attacks would have had to have been ground bursts. This meant that any general war would have involved literally thousands of land bursts, in toto, which would have tossed enough fallout into the atmosphere to make the entire planet a very unhealthy place for everyone, everywhere, nuclear winter or no nuclear winter.
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11b10    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/27/2003 8:04:47 PM
I believe at the time that the USSR had developed the SS-18 the US had 18 Ohio Class SSBN's carrying 24 Trident SLBM's,each carrying 8 each 450 Ktn. warheads,for a total of 3,456 warheads available for a retaliatory strike.
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Heorot    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/29/2003 4:23:54 AM
To put a 750KT bomb into perspective, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in the 20KT range.
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11b10    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/29/2003 9:48:37 AM
When The total of 308 Silo Killer SS-18's where deployed, American estimates were that a first strike by the USSR, targeting USA ICBM's could destroy 65% to 80% of the USA ICBM's.Leaving enough land based ICBM's in the USA to make the rubble bounce at least once in the USSR, but K. Is Right,though I would not go as far as to say terrorified, I would say it made a couple of Presidents very nervous.
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vaaliant    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/30/2003 12:31:42 AM
Back during the late 40s early 50s we had developed a weapon that was pretty damn intimdating and scary to the Russians. It was an old predecessor to the Tomahwak. Known simply as the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile, or under its project named "Pluto", it was quite probably one of the most unique weapons for awhile. Carrying an unshielded nuclear reactor for propulsion and 16 one-megaton warheads that could be dropped on separate targets (while having a loiter time measured in literally MONTHS) quite possibly the ultimate cruise missile.
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Heorot    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/30/2003 1:29:09 AM
I take it that this was a paper project as nuclear power engines have never been developed to production levels.
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Kalashnikov    RE:The Soviet SS-N-18 SATAN   4/30/2003 12:02:34 PM
Yes, but the Soviets still had a counter (Other than the SAM belt), which was the MiG-25 Foxbat, developed especially for the task of downing American/NATO high speed weapons. It was the fastest fighter ever made at Mach 3.1. By the way, does anyone know of a Soviet cruise missile which had precision comparable to it's American counterparts, or even a Soviet equivalent (Excluding SCUDs, which were and still are extremely poor excuses for a missile, given their extremely low accuracy)
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