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The 42nd Bomb Wing was the first in the USAF to deploy the AGM69 SRAM (Short Range Attack Missile), the precursor to the modern cruise missile. To give you a sense of the size of the warhead, the black retaining pin inside the safety cage was easily released with two fingers. The size is particularly impressive when you consider that the top section of the case, above the open screw holes, contained only lead balance weight! Exactly how big? Hmmmmmm, not that I’d ever actually admit to such, but I wouldn’t be surprised if on a “double-dare” a healthy young man could actually lift up the W69 using muscle power only! As a radar absorption mechanism, the entire missile, including the warhead case, was coated with a thick layer of Dow-Corning RTV material (very expensive silicone bathtub caulking), thus leading to rumors of the "rubber covered bouncing rocket!" This warhead was many times more powerful than the weapons which destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

w69 thermonuclear warhead & agm69 sram

US GOV PHOTO

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