First Soviet nuclear bomber

First Soviet nuclear bomber

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Tupolev Tu-4 aircraft that carried the first air-dropped Soviet nuclear bomb, known as RDS-3. RDS-3 was a modified version of the American 'Fat Boy' implosion-type bomb with a plutonium core surrounded by a uranium shell and explosives. On 18 October 1951 RDS-3 was dropped from an altitude of 10km and detonated 400 metres above the ground over the Semipalatinsk test ground. The yield was equivalent to 41.2 thousand tons of TNT (kilotons). The Tupolev Tu-4 (NATO code name 'Bull') was a direct copy of the American Boeing B-29 'Superfortress', created by reverse engineering American aircraft impounded during the Second World War. This aircraft is preserved at the Central Air Force Museum at Monino, near Moscow.

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Keywords: 1950, 1951, aeroplane, aircraft, aluminium, atomic, bomb, bomber, bull, cold war, first, four, history, kiloton, monino, moscow, museum, novosti, nuclear, piston engined, preservation, preserved, programme, propeller, rds-3, russian, shiny, soviet, strategic, test, tu-4, tupolev

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