ShauryaT wrote:Shiv ji: The total tonnage of MIRV on a single carrier is still in MT for the major powers. It has simply moved from one single big MT to a more efficient model, where the net tonnage of missile has actually become higher. Reducing CEP's has actually allowed for this. .
OK now you are acknowledging science while moving the goalpost
Multiple bombs of lower yields in kilotons are as destructive as megaton bombs. I have been saying exactly this all along.
I deliberately used the 20 kiloton analogy because multiple 20 ton bombs are really as dangerous as a megaton bombs. You may be more afraid of Chinese megatons but I am equally afraid of Pakistani kilotons
The goal in using these weapons is to get the energy released by them in a flat kachori/idli like shape instead of an apple like shape. Smaller weapons are useful for this compared to the multi megatonne types. So why the radiation implosion designs with MT or 100s of KT range yields instead of boosted fission ones?
1. The amount of fissile material, which is the limiting factor in the number of weapons you can deploy, used in radiation implosion weapons is much smaller than the amount used in fission or boosted fission weapons. Most modern 100-300KT weapons will use the same/similar amount of Pu as the first bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
2. You could build a 100KT fission or boosted fission weapon, but the size of the explosive lenses required to achieve a good compression in the pit will be much larger, because the size of the pit is also large! So you would not be able to fit in as many weapons on a missile! There is a downward spiral in capability, much like weight increase in aircraft.
3. A 100-300KT radiation imploded weapon may have a small boosted primary of 5KT (which would yield a sub KT amount of energy without boosting) and a secondary that uses another few pounds of Pu. The dimensions and the weight of the device are determined by the size of the primary. A 20 KT or so fission or boosted fission device would be much larger with consequent effects on your missile capability.
4. Ultimately, the game is to get the most amount of energy released in a kachori shape with the least amount of Pu. Radiation imploded weapons are the best known way of doing this. Sure, you could get the same amount of energy released using KT boosted fission weapons, but you will need many more of them, and many more missiles compared to the radiation imploded thermonuclear designs.
5. Using 100KT-300KT (or MT) designs allows you to kill the entire population of a city (a genocide!) using just one missile with multiple warheads. You can not do this using fission or boosted fission only weapons, you will need perhaps an order of magnitude more missiles and Pu.
6. A mistake is being made in running mental scenarios that correspond to KT strikes in peacetime. Wartime efforts will obviously be different and a populace mobilized for wartime will have very different reactions compared to peacetime. An example of thousands of burn victims is given and a comparison is made with the medical facilities available. But the counter point is, that in the absence of such facilities, serious burn victims will simply die of infection/shock etc. in a week or so making the task of providing care moot. In the meantime, spare capacity will be mobilized from neighboring areas.
7. Simple efforts such as accessible trenches, a few minutes of fwd. warning, and food stuff stored for a week will afford people a much better chance of withstanding a nuclear strike. People in cities that could be bombed in 1971, such as forward airbases (Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, ...) did dig trenches and they did spend their nights in them when the air raid sires went off. In a populace mobilized such as this, the extent of injuries will be much lesser, i.e. people will be either dead or not so seriously injured.
8. A city can recover in the months and years ahead after a KT strike that kills or incapacitates 15% or so of its population. On the other hand, a MT strike (or three 100KT warheads) will kill a much larger fraction of that city and make its recovery impossible. The politicians will be dead, the cultural elite will be dead, the bureaucrats will be dead, the police will be dead, the educators will be dead.. and so on. A few well aimed strikes can even put the survival of an entire nation at stake.
We also need to look beyond mere deterrence. As India grows in power and wealth and its people become ever more connected, the senseless acts of terror become even more unbearable than before. I cant see an India of 2020 go through a proxy war such as the one we faced in 99-2002 time frame without a full scale war erupting. We need to understand compellance and how relative nuclear arsenal sizes factor into this.