Sunday, July 04, 2004
The Davy Crockett was developed to give U.S. Army units an effective nuclear capability against potentially larger units of Soviet armored forces. The Davy Crockett was designed in the late 1950's primarily for frontline use by the U.S. infantry in Europe against Soviet troop formations. The Davy Crockett, a recoilless launcher, was the third artillery piece deployed, those earlier being a l55mm piece designed to fire a nuclear round and a 280mm mobile piece, commonly called an "atomic cannon." Nuclear-capable ground artillery pieces were gradually replaced by increasingly accurate, nuclear carrying missiles and aircraft.
The weapon system used a spin-stabilized, unguided rocket fired from a recoilless rifle. It's 51-pound nuclear warhead had an explosive yield of 0.18 kilotons (equivalent to 18 tons of TNT, with an added radiation effect). As a secondary design feature, the system could also fire a conventional high-explosive round for other use, such as an anti-tank weapon.
The Davy Crockett's warhead was launched from either a 120-millimeter (M-28) or 155-millimeter (M-29) recoilless rifle. The 155 millimeter version, which became the standard issue, had a maximum range of 2.49 miles and could be fired from either a ground tripod mount or from a specially designed jeep mount. The system was deployed with U.S. Army from 1961 to 1971, and over 2,100 were produced. [Source]
So, the U.S. had 2100 nukes that were, basically, infantry weapons. That's one hell of an RPG.