How does a nuclear suitcase work

How does a nuclear suitcase work

30 years ago, Kazbek, an automated control system for the nuclear forces of the country, took up combat duty. It is known to the general public thanks to the Cheget subscriber complex or the nuclear briefcase. We learned how it works and where it has a button.

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Atomic phone
The “Cheget” subscriber complex of the automated control system for strategic nuclear forces “Kazbek”, as the nuclear briefcase is correctly called, is an instrument of retaliation. It is activated only after receiving a signal of a rocket attack on Russia.
“First comes a signal from a missile early warning system.” It is checked by the duty general of the command post in Solnechnogorsk and only after that the Kazbek system is put into combat mode, ”said Viktor Esin, chief of the main headquarters of the strategic missile forces in 1994-1996.

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The suitcase contains communications equipment with the General Staff and the command of the Strategic Missile Forces.Roughly speaking, the phone - but the information is transmitted not by voice, but by encrypted characters. It is impossible to block the connection.
The decision to create a mobile console to control the country's nuclear potential was made in the 70s, when the USSR seriously feared a sudden nuclear attack from the United States. At that time, the country's leadership could have issued orders to launch missiles only when arriving at the command post of the Strategic Missile Forces, and the time of the Pershing-2 ballistic missile approach from Europe with 400-kiloton warheads was seven minutes ...

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Where is his button?
A “nuclear suitcase” was being developed for Leonid Brezhnev, and its management was made as simple as possible so that the elderly general secretary could figure it out. True, Brezhnev did not get "Cheget" - they did not manage to debug the system. And Andropov too. The trial operation of the suitcase began in 1983 with Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov and Chief of the General Staff Nikolay Ogarkov. A year later, “Cheget” received Konstantin Chernenko. Another year continued full-scale tests of the system in different modes. A fully working suitcase was handed to Mikhail Gorbachev. They say that the last general secretary of the USSR examined the product with interest, but he didn’t go into details - there are experts on this.

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Constantly on duty on duty are three "Cheget": the head of state, the minister of defense and the chief of the general staff. There is a "main button" in the suitcases - it sends a code to the Strategic Missile Forces command points allowing the use of nuclear weapons. But the launch of missiles will happen only if the teams come from all three consoles.
Of course, the total number of suitcases is more than three - they are being changed, checked, repaired ... There is a legend that Boris Yeltsin was handed Cheget with number 51. The President was indignant and the number on the suitcase was changed to the first one.

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Cheget is intended for pedestrian escort of persons authorized to dispose of Russia's nuclear arsenal. They are usually followed by a special vehicle. Carry "Cheget" operator - an officer in the rank of not lower than the lieutenant colonel. Despite the fact that he belongs to the communications troops, the operator is dressed in a naval uniform - this is the tradition.
The first operators were selected personally by the curator of the Kazbek project, the head of the operational department of the General Staff, Ivan Nikolaev. In addition to the knowledge of materiel, consistency and composure, Colonel-General Nikolaev presented another requirement to the candidates: not to be shy in front of the high authorities. He checked on himself, being in front of the subject with all the regalia.“If you smashed in front of the general, how do you show the general secretary?” Nikolayev said. “You will fall into a swoon.”

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Come on, show me your suitcase
The only time "Cheget" was used on January 25, 1995, after the world's largest meteorological rocket Black Brant XII was launched from an island off the coast of Norway. The trajectory of its flight resembled the American ICBM Trident, released from a submarine. The end point of the route could be a high-altitude nuclear explosion, disabling Russian radar missile attack warning systems. The notice of the Norwegians about the launch of the rocket was lost in the Foreign Ministry and the next day, Boris Yeltsin said that for the first time he had used his briefcase for emergency communication with military advisers.
In the book "Presidential Marathon", Yeltsin described another case involving a nuclear briefcase. It was in 1991 during the hunt in "Zavidovo" near Moscow. "When sailing on a boat on the lake, one foreign visitor looked at the black briefcase at the bottom of the boat. I thought that was a nuclear one. I tried to stay away from the suitcase, strove to sit on the edge of the boat. I did not dissuade him.And when on the island the suitcase was opened and two bottles of vodka and pickles were taken out from there, the guest laughed for a long time, ”recalled Boris Nikolayevich.

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And as neighbors
The American nuclear briefcase is called the “ball” because it is a black leather bag, shaped like an American football ball. In the bag there is a titanium box closed with a code lock with a plastic card - the “authorizing plate”. After printing it, you can find out the presidential code to activate the US nuclear arsenal. Also in the box are communications equipment and a 30-page instruction on how the American president should act in case of atomic war. In particular, there is a list of secret bunkers where you can sit out.
Officers for carrying the ball are selected from four types of armed forces and the coast guard. Before you pick up a black bag, the candidate is thoroughly tested and gets the highest access to secrecy "White Yankees". The officer is armed with a pistol and has the right to shoot without warning. The “ball” is chained to his hand with a steel bracelet. When changing the president, the nuclear bag goes to the new head of the White House on the day of inauguration.At the same time he has to listen to a half-hour lecture on the use of the “ball”.

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Asymmetrical response
Russia also has an alternative Kazbek nuclear power management system. It provides a retaliatory strike with all the might of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in case the carriers of the Cheget and command posts are disabled. The system is called "Perimeter" and operates without human intervention. In the West, she was called "Dead Hand", a dead hand.

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  • How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work

    How does a nuclear suitcase work