The US Air Force has launched an investigation after a B-52 bomber flew across the US last week mistakenly loaded with nuclear-armed missiles.
It follows reports in the Army Times that five missiles were unaccounted for during the three-hour flight from North Dakota to Louisiana.
The air force said the cruise missiles were safe at all times.
Army Times said the missiles were to be decommissioned but were mistakenly mounted on the bomber’s wings.
The W80-1 warhead has a yield of five to 150 kilotons, the paper said.
The flight took place on 30 August, from the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to the Barksdale Air Force Base, near Bossier City, in Louisiana.
Just for comparison’s sake, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts were 15 and 22 kilotons, respectively. That’s the equivalent of 15,000 and 22,000 tons of dynamite.
These warheads could deliver ten times the punch that KOed Hiroshima…each.
Yep, I’m feeling safer already.
Especially knowing that Dubya is still in charge of the nuclear football.
PS: Larry Johnson writes at TPMCafe that this might just have been a “staging” for the coming war on Iran. Since Johnson is (or was) CIA and a colleague of Valerie Plame, this opinion deserves to be taken seriously. We all know that BushCo is planning to bomb Iran; it’s only a question of when, and how. To nuke or not to nuke? Apparently, the former is the answer.