B-52 carried nuclear armed cruise missiles by mistake

CyberMonkey

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The official said the discovery was reported to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, "and higher." The official said the notification goes as high as the president.

"There are procedures in place and they kicked in and worked," the official said.


That's reassuring! Shame though they forgot to design procedures to avoid fuckups like these in the first place :)
 

Blind_Io

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So the redundant fail-safes worked. This is a non-news item.
 

Firecat

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I agree. A bomber flying over the United States loaded with nuclear warheads without anybody knowing is a non-news item.
 

Firecat

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It's a serious error and definitely news worthy.
 

thedguy

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There are several measures in place to make the nukes unusable. My brother (retired air-force) told me there has got to be something missing from this. You can't just mistakenly put a nuke on a jet. They are hugely different from normal munitions and when a nuke is to be loaded there are always 2 MPs to guard the warheads as it's not allowed to have only 1 person around a nuke.

BTW, when did North Dakota to Louisiana become "the length of the United states?" The author must be part of the 20% mentioned in the other thread.
 
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jetsetter

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I agree. A bomber flying over the United States loaded with nuclear warheads without anybody knowing is a non-news item.

Even if they dropped the bombs they wouldn't have done anything. You could light a nuke on fire and while the conventional explosives in the bomb could explode it would not initiate a nuclear explosion. Actual danger was very little.
 

Firecat

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Even if they dropped the bombs they wouldn't have done anything. You could light a nuke on fire and while the conventional explosives in the bomb could explode it would not initiate a nuclear explosion. Actual danger was very little.

My interpretation of the article wasn't just that it was carrying them as cargo, but was armed with them.

And the second part of my problem with this was that nobody was keeping track of these warheads.
 

jetsetter

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My interpretation of the article wasn't just that it was carrying them as cargo, but was armed with them.

The missile were either carried on the pylons or in the bomb bay, either way the pilots actually have to "arm" the nukes before they are ready to be used in combat. Without going through the arming sequence they are basically inert.

And the second part of my problem with this was that nobody was keeping track of these warheads.

I would be more worried about loose Russian nukes or incidents like the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_nuclear_accidents
 

thedguy

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The missile were either carried on the pylons or in the bomb bay, either way the pilots actually have to "arm" the nukes before they are ready to be used in combat. Without going through the arming sequence they are basically inert.

I think Firecat is thinking along the lines of "what if the pilot was trying to smuggle them out of the country to some group who may be able to get around the arming problem and send them back to the US."

My interpretation of the article wasn't just that it was carrying them as cargo, but was armed with them.

And the second part of my problem with this was that nobody was keeping track of these warheads.

The problem with news articles is they like to throw around terms like "armed" incorrectly.

My brother thinks it was likely an exercise to see if anyone would catch it. When he was crewing on F-111's they had 2 pilots come out say " are they ready" when they weren't scheduled to fly, they hopped in and got clearance from the tower to take off. Someone finally started asking questions to the tower and finally blocked them on the runway with a truck. The pilots got out and told them that he did his job properly and it was just a test.

Obviously somebody failed their test.

Anyone remember when an F-16 bombed a middle school in New Jersey? :p

Let me guess, he was aiming for the Pentagon? :p
 
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Firecat

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The missile were either carried on the pylons or in the bomb bay, either way the pilots actually have to "arm" the nukes before they are ready to be used in combat. Without going through the arming sequence they are basically inert.



I would be more worried about loose Russian nukes or incidents like the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_nuclear_accidents

That's good to know. And trust me, my concern for loose nukes goes around.

I do remember the incident with the jet and middle school, it got shot up a bit. I think there was a thread on that.
 

Firecat

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I think Firecat is thinking along the lines of "what if the pilot was trying to smuggle them out of the country to some group who may be able to get around the arming problem and send them back to the US."

lol...thanks, but that's now what I was thinking. :p

Next season on '24'.....
 

Firecat

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Well...I was thinking that it could get in the wrong hands if not kept track of, just not their being some kind of foul play on the part of the pilots and such. So it was 50-50.
 
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