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yield of the weapons in defcon

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:40 pm
by Castle Bravo
Does anyone know if there is any specific yield of the nukes in defcon based on the damage they inflict or whatever.

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:41 pm
by AIRburst95
The blast range is not realistic and neither is the blast damage but if I were to guess it would be in the high 10+ megaton range of nuclear weapons.

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:45 pm
by Laika
All nukes are identical. Damage: it is, or it is not - there is no other gradation of it.

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:56 pm
by AIRburst95
Laika_rus wrote:All nukes are identical. Damage: it is, or it is not - there is no other gradation of it.

Yeah, but I think he's asking what yield the nukes have, not what different ranges of nukes there are...

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:15 pm
by Laika
Sorry, I misunderstood the question.

Defcon nuke yield is enough to destroy everything in the most narrow point between Magadaskar and Africa.
Using Google maps we can see that it is roughly 450 km distance.

Diameter of blast of an average nuclear bomb is 15 km. (source: somewhere from wiki) It says: 15 km - crashed windows.

Even if you take into account that "average" nuke yield is not a clearly defined constant, it looks like there are no regular nukes IRL capable of destruction that we see in Defcon.

upd: The most powerful nuke ever made has radius of destruction of 35 km (=70 in diameter); not even close to Defcon nukes. ... _Paris.png

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:03 pm
by -- Tobias --
Laika_rus wrote:... it looks like there are no regular nukes IRL capable of destruction that we see in Defcon.

Sharp analysis. So, in terms of yield, you are saying Defcon nukes are ~ thirty times as powerful as the average real life nuke. Not big enough imo.

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:25 pm
by A8U51V3 M0TH
It takes 9 missiles to destroy a population of up to 25.6 million (big cities) but in real life most Missiles are not just one big powerful warhead but several including chaff and decoys like the minuteman here:
Image However 8 multiple bomb hits with "small" 20kt weapons would create huge blast radius's if aimed like this Image (it takes 8 nukes to zero a 10m city in game) assuming each ones a minuteman "cluster" of 6-7 nukes all aimed at once perha\ps that would create a blast radius of 450km??
DEFCON is probably not a very accurate simulation of REAL nuclear war lets not forget in the cold war USA and Russia had THOUSANDS of warhead's pointed at each other not just 232 like game.
Heres some more Info here about Real life nukes and how many it would take to destroy the whole world: ... -the-bomb/ - ... ire-planet

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:58 pm
by Ace Rimmer
For those that don't like to read:

Ira Helfand on the climate effects of nuclear war

... a limited exchange between India and Pakistan [50 (small) Hiroshima sized nukes each] ... could kill up to a billion people worldwide [global famine] ...

big war between U.S. and Russia ... period of three years throughout the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere where there would not be a single day free of frost, meaning basically agriculture would stop ... might be small bands of humans that would survive

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:32 pm
by cza

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:03 pm
by AIRburst95

eh' MAD kept them in line. No one would have actually implemented this plan.

When in doubt, fire back.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:47 pm
by Castle Bravo
Well i understand the blast radius is not realistic especially when you have one taking up the whole of France, but based on the population killed what would you say, because the large white blasts are simply for effect, no one is going to pay attention to a tiny white circle. I think that the weapons would have to be on the higher side, around 5-15 megatons, because if you dropped a 15 megaton bomb on New York City on top of the empire state building during rush hour or the middle of the day around say 12, I think that you could kill 12 million people with a powerful nuclear weapon. I have just never seen the topic discussed. Perhaps that could be a goal of the Defcon game developers. The United States most power warheads are actually on their trident II missile system with the Ohio Class Submarines, not on the Minuteman III. Our most powerful gravity bombs and nukes in general are on our bombers, also known as the B83, which would be the most likely bomb for the United States to use against Iranian nuclear facilities because it is bunker buster capable, I will now stop rambling about random stuff.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:52 pm
by cza
Here's Bravo's scenario. You could do an intersection with a population layer and get an approximation to Bravo's number.

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:15 am
by Castle Bravo
Ha, detonate the tsar bomba in tims square and the fireball itself will extend out 5 miles about half way into central park

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:16 am
by Castle Bravo
and the thermal radiation radius would wipe out just about all of the island, (not long island but the main newyork downtown)

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:28 am
by Castle Bravo
and compared to the bomb blasts in defcon it would have to be a 1 gigaton weapons, also known as 1000 megatons, or 1000000 kilotons