1952 ... size matters!

... in this case 'size matters' means that smaller is better! The Mark 7 atomic bomb was a successful effort to produce nuclear weapons that were relatively small, lightweight and could be used 'tactically' by fighter sized jet aircraft. The original 'Fat-Man' bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 weighed five tons. The MK-7 was a scrawny 3/4 ton; yet, it was capable of 3 times the yield (61 kilotons). This was technology that helped the concept of  'flexible response' and battlefield nuclear weapons. The thinking was for lots of these bombs to be dropped by lots of fast, small hard to intercept aircraft. In fact this was one of the first 'dial-a-yeild' weapons; allowing the pilot to select from his cockpit what the final detonation force would be. Not only could the pilot select from the lowest 8 kiloton 'take out the tractor factory and the tractor-pull festival' with a flick of the wrist he could turn it into a 'melt the whole hardened command center and all the cows munching grass on top of it for ten miles around' ass kicker.

  • Length: 15.2 ft (4.6 m)
  • Diameter: 2.5 ft (0.8 m)
  • Weight: 1680 lb (764 kg)

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