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Saturday, October 29, 2005

MK-54 suitcase cannon

This post is a random musing, so do not read it if you are looking for something witty or clever. I will never post something that I learned from a book or heard from a professor, but came up with on my own. I may have verified it before posting. But copying something that I got out of a book would evade the purpose of posting these random musings.

Back when Howitzer first built a cannon, the notion was, the more gun powder, the larger an object you can shoot faster. This theory still holds true, but what if our gun powder was a lot bigger?

In a Congressional hearings in 1997, Soviet General Alexander Lebed described a bomb that could fit into a suitcase with the dimensions of 24 x 16 x 8 inches. America composed a similar bomb, using the warhead of an American nuclear artillery shell, and indeed all the necessary items -- neutron generators, batteries, arming mechanism etc. -- were successfully stuffed into a cylindrical device with similar dimensions.This bomb has been named the MK-54. It can weigh as little as 51 pounds and can be fired by a soldier from a recoilless rifle.

Now for the important part. This bomb gives the same explosive force as the equivalent of 10 tons of TNT, although it can give off as much as 20 tons worth. This would be an easy explosion to contain. Although "easy" is a relative term, this is a very containable explosion, when Fat Man and Little Boy, the two devices which exploded in Japan, are considered minor to today's comparisons.

This could be constructed with fifty or sixty tons of copper or lead surrounded this divice, and a tube extruding from this vat of copper or lead, pointing in the direction of the target. The cannon ball could be a large ball of copper or any metal really. It doesn't matter what kind of metal you use so long as it turns into molton state, and doesn't evaporate. I say copper because it's boiling point is around 2567 ยบ C, and the suitcase nuke is a low tempurature nuke. When the cannon detonates, you will have a chunk of molton copper launching several times the speed of sound, in a direction of your choice. If nothing else, anything several miles in one direction, will fall victum of airwake. You could probably shoot a house sized wad of metal several times the speed of sound with this gun.

I can't forsee anything like this being a usable gun, as setup would take too long, and reloading is not an option. IE, you would need one gun per bullet. This would be a cannon, not a gun, that would blow up every time you used it.

A cannonball fired from 20 tons of TNT, would be a very loud bang.


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