''Tsar'' Bomb

  • Cold War
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Considered by many to have been the largest thermonuclear explosion ever detonated, The ''Ivan'' (or as it was designated by Western sources The ''Tsar Bomba''), was a Soviet weapons test – designed to ''close the gap'' between the rapidly expanding US and Russian Nuclear ''Arms Race''. With The US having more deployed Nuclear weapons, The Soviets developed – what they saw as the ultimate Cold War weapon of mass destruction. The ''Tsar Bomba'' was to be delivered on what was (then) the largest payload delivery system built as well. The N-1 (5L) Orbital Combat Rocket was every bit the ''rival'' of The American Saturn V Rocket (itself a derivative of The Atlas and Jupiter Series of American Tactical Rockets). Whereas Saturn was also planned for Space Exploration, so too was The N-1. The ''Tsar Bomba'' Project began in 1954. Various breaks in testing (which was attributed to ''lulls'' in The Cold War), made the actual deployment wait until 1961. The massive device was deemed too heavy for either a conventional Rocket or by aircraft platform deployment. A specially designed Bomber was built just to carry the weapon. A series of parachute release canopies would slowly lower the device to the optimum test altitude. This Chute was said to be over 17,000-square feet. The device weighed 60,000-pounds and was 26-feet in length. The diameter (width) of ''Tsar Bomba'' was 7-feet. Due to Russian secrecy concerns, two different figures for the size of the nuclear material used. Some sources cite a 58-MT component, while most US sources lean towards the more accurate 100-MT.


At 11:22AM on October 30, 1961, ''Tsar Bomba'' was detonated at 4,000-meters above The Mityushikaha Bay Testing Range (an archipelago in The Arctic Circle). Shock waves were felt as far as 33- miles away from the blast zone. The ''Mushroom Cloud'' was measured at 59-miles in height. A Test ''Village'' (located on a portion Mityushikaha Bay, known as ''Severny'') – and located 34-miles from the detonation, was totally destroyed. The ''structures'' were constructed of brick and wood. US Sensors additionally picked up the massive detonation – on the other side of The World. The principle goal of The ''Tsar Bomba'' was to be able to destroy an entire City (inclusive of it's civilian population), in one attack. The sheer size and technical issues of The Era limited the actual application of future ''Tsar Bomba'' devices. No reliable delivery system could be developed (The N-1 suffered from too many launch issues, without a ''combat version'' ever being built). Test casings (built but never filled) are currently on display in Sarov, Oblast, Russia.