Special Atomic Demolition Munition

The Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM) was a United States Navy and Marines project that was demonstrated as feasible in the mid-to-late 1960s, but was never used. The project, which involved a small nuclear weapon, was designed to allow one individual to parachute from any type of aircraft carrying the weapon package and place it in a harbor or other strategic location that could be accessed from the sea. Another parachutist without a weapon package would follow the first to provide support as needed.

The two-man team would place the weapon package in the target location, set the timer, and swim out into the ocean where they would be retrieved by a submarine or a high-speed surface water craft. The parachute jumps and the retrieval procedures were practiced extensively.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States developed several different types of lightweight nuclear devices. The main one was the W54, a cylinder 40 by 60 centimeters that weighed 68 kilograms (the warhead was a variation of one developed for the Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle). It was fired by a mechanical timer and had a variable yield ("dial-a-yield") equivalent to between 10 tons and 1 kiloton of TNT. 300 SADMs were assembled and remained in the US arsenal until 1989.

Popular culture

The sixth season of the popular TV drama 24 revolved around six SADM's being used by islamic terrorists.

In the video game Splinter Cell, a SADM known as "The Ark" is used by Georgian terrorists to threaten the United States.

Also in the James Bond video game Everything or Nothing, the opening level involves Bond obtaining a SADM that is being sold.

In an episode titled "Brig Break" of the TV-series JAG (1995), extremists are attempting to steal SADMs from a naval base.

See also

External links

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