What is hidden in the nuclear case

What is hidden in the nuclear case

The nuclear briefcase is not only a portable remote to activate the country's defense system, but also a real symbol of state power.

We decided to tell what it is, how it works and to whom it belongs.


Scepter and orb are in the past. In today's world, when atomic weapons are a deterrent, the nuclear case can be considered a symbol of power and might.

What is it? We often hear about him, but we know little about him. And we will never know everything. There is a concept of state secrets. However, the basic principles of his work still known.

If to simplify completely, the nuclear briefcase is a telephone. It houses a communications system with the general staff and command posts of the strategic missile forces. The suitcase is activated by pressing the notorious nuclear button. In the event of a threat of a rocket attack, it transmits the encrypted code of the party command of the Strategic Missile Forces. Of course, the decision to strike back can not be made by one person.There are several nuclear suitcases. Only in the event that the signal came from all devices, a decision is made to launch rockets.

The case of spontaneous pressing of the button is excluded. According to the former Chief of General Staff Viktor Esin, the chance of an error in the operation of the YAC is zero. Nuclear suitcases are often checked and repaired. This is evidenced at least by the fact that Boris Yeltsin received in his time from Gorbachev’s hands a nuclear briefcase number 51. The first president of Russia has long lamented about this. As a result, the suitcase was replaced with another - with the number 1.

Ours and theirs

Nuclear suitcases have the leaders of all countries that own nuclear weapons. However, they can be called in different ways. The nuclear briefcase in the USA is not a briefcase, but rather a bag. The first American nuclear bags were shaped like a baseball, so the name Nuclear Football was attached to them. In the main principle of their work does not differ from the Russian YACh, but there are differences. In the depths of Nuclear Football is hidden titanium box, closed with a combination lock, which opens with a plastic, so-called authorizing card. Also in the American nuclear bag is a 30-page manual for using the device.They say that when the attack on the twin skyscrapers was made, the then US President George W. Bush opened the briefcase and read the instructions.

The Russian nuclear briefcase can also be called the “Cheget” subscriber complex of the automated control system for strategic nuclear forces Kazbek. In order not to attract too much attention, it is made in the form of a diplomat. Nuclear suitcase, as well as the American "ball" is a portable remote control, worn by him, both in America and in Russia, by specially trained officers, always accompanying the leaders of countries.

In Russia, a liaison officer is no lower than the rank of lieutenant colonel. However, according to tradition, he is dressed in the form of the navy. In America, the right to carry the "ball" can be achieved only by an officer who has received the highest access to secrecy, called the "white Yankee." The man with the nuclear case is always armed. YACH is fastened to one of his hands, the other he has the right to get a weapon and shoot without warning in case of a threat.

As already mentioned, there are several nuclear suitcases. In Russia they are with the president of the country, the chief of the general staff and the minister of defense

World on the brink

The first nuclear briefcase appeared during the Cold War with US President Eisenhower. The current view of the American "nuclear ball" has acquired, however, already during the Kennedy presidency, during the Caribbean crisis, when the probability of a nuclear war loomed over the world with all the evidence. Before the appearance of the YAC, the decision to launch missiles in response could only be made from the Kremlin and the White House, which was very inoperative, considering the speed of the missile approach.

In the USSR, YAC was created under Brezhnev, however, Andropov became the first user of the cherished nuclear button. The very name of the "nuclear suitcase" was invented by Soviet journalists. An adequate translation was needed to the American definitions of Nuclear Football and President's Emergency Satchel, but it was considered silly to call the device for launching missiles with a ball and a knapsack. And so the "nuclear suitcase" appeared. Since then, the nuclear briefcase has been handed over from the president to the president during the inauguration. By its symbolic significance, this moment is comparable to the transfer of a scepter, epee, or other symbol of power.

Interestingly, once the Russian nuclear suitcase was even activated.It happened on January 25, 1995, when Norway launched the largest meteorological rocket, the Black Brant XII. Her flight paths could be confused with the American Triadant ballistic missile.

Fortunately, everything worked out, because in the event of a nuclear war, even if the nuclear briefcases do not work, Russia will have the “Perimeter” emergency retaliation system (the Americans called it “Dead Hand”) and the world will end.

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